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Ali Shops Blog

After Missoni–Lessons for Target

September 13th, 2011
by Allison Kaplan

Off, into the sunset. Even the $399.99 Missoni bicycle for Target reportedly sold out all units nationwide today.

It’s 9:26 p.m.–a full 16 hours after the limited edition Missioni collection launched on, and the website is still down. Meanwhile, more than 15,000 items from the Missoni for Target collection are already on eBay, many selling for double the original price. Target is attempting to respond to every angry Tweet sent to @TargetStyle. The retailer says some stores will receive more Missioni in the next few days; online will not. Target spokesman Joshua Thomas spent the day apologizing for the empty racks and online woes, saying traffic was heavier than a typical Black Friday and demand far exceeded expectations. You’d think the fact that a pop-up in New York sold out of its entire stock within six hours last week might have better prepared the company for what happened today.

Now, Target must scramble to fill the space that was earmarked for Missioni for the next six weeks (Xhiliration, anyone? Anyone?). While the stores may experience increased traffic for the next few days from people hoping for more, word spread fast that it’s all gone. Target counts on its designer lines to drive traffic to other departments within the store. If you’re not making an extra trip for Missoni, you’re also not grabbing the inevitable $100 of incidentals. Time will tell if this frenzy actually hurt, more than it helped Target.

So what’s the takeaway?

1. More bandwidth online. Or a beefed up help desk? Basically, don’t test your redesigned website with your most heavily hyped designer collaboration.

2. Make sure marketing matches production. The ads always look amazing. The collections don’t always live up, or in this case, live on. When you’re investing in ads in Vogue and throwing parties at New York Fashion Week, you better be prepared for demand.

3. Thinkfast. It would likely take too long to re-issue, and by that time, the fashion-mob moment will have passed and word will be out on how things actually fit. But perhaps Target could capitalize on the attention by letting desperate shoppers order ahead for certain items to be re-issued, or even vote on select items to bring back. That would stick it to those who immediately tried to sell on eBay, extend the Missoni buzz, and serve as a mea culpa to frustrated customers.

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3 Responses to “After Missoni–Lessons for Target”

  1. Juliet Smebakken says:

    You said it. Still … who’d of thought so MANY people would really fork out the cash for a bunch of stuff that will be out of style so soon. And go figure, I still want some of it!

  2. Lindsay says:

    Wow. What a harsh review. Do you know how retail even works? The launch was marketed as a limited time offer so there should be no surprise that there wasn’t a surplus of product. Nobody could have expected this much excitement; in fact, the Liberty of London line for Target didn’t get close to this much hype from the public and there were events, ads, etc. circling that campaign as well. For the people who did get items they can be excited that not everyone will be decked out in the same jacket, dress, shoes, etc. That’s the whole point of limited time only partnerships. Supply and demand. Simple.

    In planning for Missoni for Target long ago (I would guess upwards of a year and a half or more) the economy was in a much different state (it still is) and buying extravagant amounts in hopes it will all sell is never a strategy. Also, just because a pop-up in New York got great response 1 week before the launch does not mean the thousands people working on the items – including the vendors – can produce product in that quick of a turnaround. As far as voting on items to bring back, Target has brought back peices in the past from designer collaborations that have done well – don’t give up hope. It was unfortunate that the website was down, I will agree that. From a locally-based publication I would have expected more support for a locally-based company that is taking risks and providing a great product.

  3. Jennifer says:

    I am unsympathetic to the complaining. I was anticipating this launch since it was announced in July. As you note, there has been an abundance of hype, publicity, previews and advertising. That NYC pop up shop that launched last week sold out of merchandise the first day, with a line up around the block. Those are bullhorn-loud announcements that if you want something, you better line up and get there early. That’s what I did; I ordered online very (VERY) early on Tuesday morning and showed up Target when the doors opened. I got everything that I wanted, online and in store, and there was plenty of merchandise to go around. For those who did not plan ahead, I say too bad.

    I do not, however, condone gobbling up merch to resell at jacked up prices on ebay. That’s some bad karma right there.

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