Target Banks on Female Readers Buying Its Bikinis in the SI Swimsuit Issue

By , dealnews Features Director

The Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue is a storied special edition, revered by dudes worldwide for several decades. But for the issue's 50th anniversary, an unlikely sponsor is aiming to get the attention of female readers.

Apparently, 18 million women read the swimsuit issue, so Target — a retail chain whose public image is more in line with Kristen Wiig's Target lady than a catdaddy-dancing Kate Upton — is hoping to catch their eye. The retailer has paid to insert a 6-page swimsuit style guide in the issue, presumably taking a serious approach to guiding a real-world woman in her pursuit to select a bathing suit.

The retailer also managed to get two of its Xhilaration-line swimsuits onto the models themselves, for the first time ever. Models Jessica Perez and Hannah Davis were photographed wearing the Xhilaration Women's Geometric Print Top and Bottom ($17.99 and $14.99, respectively) and the pictured Xhilaration Women's Sequined Top and Bottom ($19.99 and $14.99, respectively). This comes amid concerns that bathing suits in the upcoming issue, due to hit stands tomorrow, are taking a backseat to — gasp! — more exposed skin.

Readers, what do you think of this media / retailer collaboration? Ladies, do you regularly peruse the swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated? Would you be inclined to buy a style that was featured on one of the models?

Front page photo credit: CNBC

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I'd look through the issue if I saw one laying around, otherwise I don't go out and buy an issue. As for buying the styles, it depends on the look and cost. I won't pay for a bathing suit that costs in the hundreds. The best time to buy bathing suits is late summer and early fall anyway. Plan ahead and save money on the same cute outfit