The Lilly Pulitzer line was launched at Target on Sunday April 19th and customers went crazy for the clothes in store and online quickly selling out everywhere.
Photo: The nearly decimated #lillyfortarget section after 7 minutes.
— Steph Himel-Nelson (@LawyerMama) April 19, 2015
Many anticipated this signature product line and some of the clothes are already appearing on Ebay for resale from those who made it to the store.
The CEO of Belus Capital Advisor said the event was “typical Target” that Target had already planned the event to occur in such a way and purposely had a small supply to “stoke demand and Internet chatter”
Yet many of the chatter being seen on social media sites are negative and EJ Haust a social media consultant speculates on “how many complaints there are, and how Target will try to spin the event as a ‘success.’”
Before the event Target posted updated on their website by tweeting, “For those still waiting for #LillyforTarget, we are continuing to work through our website experience. We will share updates as they come.”
Once the stores opened the next morning they followed with another tweet saying, “We appreciate your patience. You can now shop the #LillyforTarget collection.”
With as much traffic the website received there was no crash like they had experienced in the past with the release of Missoni luxury knitwear. Target spokesman said “there was extreme traffic,” and the company had only made the website inaccessible at 3 a.m. ET for 15 minutes.
Thomas reports that by noon ET everything was sold out online.
Target told WallStreet it plans on spending $1 billion to improve their digital commerce.
In stores lines began early in the morning to snatch the clothing off the rack and many shoppers were left empty handed.
The store does not plan to re-stock on any Lilly Pulitzer clothing sold out but they can be found on Ebay resellers with more than 9,400 listing of the products already.
Target is not happy about this fact as Thomas expresses to US Today, “That’s really disappointing to us.”
Target are not the first to be affected by collections being bought and re-sold on Ebay.
Rare collections tend to “become like collectors’ items,” he says.
41 year old Rachel Rickert was lucky to come out with some Pulitzer clothing at a St. Louis Park, Minnesota location. She did state that the items she was interested in purchasing were already sold out by 7 a.m. ET and it took three Target trips to find one in supply. She finally found some sundresses at a SuperTarget.
“I will definitely get some good use out of it walking around the lakes this summer,” She tells US Today.
A manager at the store Rickert went to had told her “by the time they opened the line was deeper than on Black Friday.”
“Preppy Black Friday” soon became the name of this event.
The hashtag # LillyforTarget blew up all social media sites. Even Pop Style Opinionfest hosts Tom Fitzgerald and Lorenzo Marquez stated “@TargetStyle needs to stop humiliating its consumers and plan these collaborations a little better.”
Another tweet from Jen Lancaster read “Everything gone in three minutes. Women waited in line w/hundreds of dollars, left with nothing. How is this good business?”
Another shopper agreed with all the angry comments by saying “This was a perfect storm of high demand, stupidly low pricing and low merchandise quantities and greed by some people,” said 51 year old Elaine Taylor.
She even saw those shoppers planning to re-sell the items saying, “You couldn’t buy that much for personal use. It definitely dampens enthusiasm for future launches.”
“We are learning from these experiences and sharing with our online and store teams,” the company replied to all the angry customers.