April 19th has come and gone and Target stores across America are already sold out of Lilly goods. In fact, stores were reportedly sold out within minutes of opening and online stock only lasted for a few hours. Good for the collaboration, right? Some may see it that way but the product launch ignited a shopping frenzy that resulted in thousands, maybe even millions, of angry customers across the country. Before Target executives pop another bottle of champagne, they may want to consider the following list of good and bad.
They generated a large amount of traffic online and in stores (good). Even with Target’s scarred past, think security breach during the holidays of ’13, the company can still draw a crowd! Target has clearly rebuilt the trust of its customers over the past few years. I applaud their effort to rebuild so quickly and I hope they can continue to bring us more high-end items like Lilly Pulitzer and Missoni at affordable prices. It seems like Target took the proper steps to restore their image and gained (or maybe regained) a loyal following.
The Target website crashed (bad). This is actually a controversial issue because the company said the site didn’t “crash” but they had to take it down for a short time to update inventory and prevent a crash. Many of us don’t believe that story. The year is 2015 and e-commerce is well established at this point. Major sites like Amazon don’t seem to have these problems even during high-traffic periods like Black Friday or Cyber Monday. One thing that’s true is that Target’s integrity is on the line…again.
The supply was limited (good/bad). And by limited I mean sold out within an hour or so with no plans to restock. I say good because a great marketing plan creates a sense of urgency for an exclusive product – but was Lilly for Target too exclusive? Unless you were one of the lucky few people in the front of the store line or online at 3:00 AM then you probably walked away empty handed or, at least, disappointed.
In the aftermath of Lilly for Target, we are left wondering if all of the frustration was worth it. For now, Target leaves a bad taste in the mouths of those hopefuls who were forced to walk away. The wound is fresh and the disappointment still lingers. As we throw away our Lilly for Target look books will we throw away our Target Red Cards too?