Sigh. After months of build up, a star-studded New York party and tons of hype—including some generated right here—the Shops at Target launched Sunday. I went. I saw some overhead signs. I searched around for The Webster clothes, and Privet House home goods. But before I could find the Cos Bar soaps, I remembered we needed toothpaste. I bought that, some groceries, and I left . . . underwhelmed. I still believe The Shops is a great concept. While other chains continue to copy Target's proven formula of partnering with individual designers, Target always manages to stay a step ahead—this time, teaming up with cool boutiques from around the country to create affordable collections designed to bring the flavor of each individual store to mass market. Some of the products look great. But the magic that could have been the Shops got lost at the end caps. There's no sense of "shops," which is a shame. Look, I realize Target isn't going to turn the front sale display shelves into mini-boutiques (as great as that would be)—there's too much money to be made selling cereal and toilet paper. And I'm sure the hope is that by sprinkling the Shops throughout the store, customers will wander throughout the entire store looking for them. But contrary to the marketing buzz, there's not enough excitement or presence in the actual store to make shoppers go out of their way. Why not swap out a couple of the usual shelving units for something more boutique-y? This is Target after all—they know how to make an impression. I wouldn't mind walking to a far corner of the store, if what I found resembled the new experience I was led to expect.