Italian fashion house, Missoni, collaborated with Target to create a moderately priced “Missioni for Target” 400-piece line. The collection featured all lifestyle items from clothing, luggage, bicycles, patio sets, and dining ware – all featuring Missoni’s signature zigzag prints. Missoni, which normally runs within the high-end/designer price-range ran from $40-60 for clothing and interior decor, $299 for luggage, $399 for bicycles, and $699 for patio sets.
Bloggers and editors have been chatting about the collection’s debut for months and although designers such as Jean Paul Gaultier, Issac Mizrahi, and Rodarte have designed collections for Target in the past – there has never been a larger reaction online in Target’s retail history. Target.com sold out within ten minutes of the collaborative collection’s debut – causing the site to crash and linger in-and-out of service all day Tuesday September 13, 2011. “We are suddenly extremely popular,” the page read.
“Target.com is seeing greater item demand than we do on a typical Black Friday, and the excitement for this limited-time designer collection is unprecedented,” Target revealed in a statement. “We are slowly bringing the site back online to ensure we can provide a positive shopping experience to our guests.”
The reaction in stores weren’t much different. As lines formed outside of Target stores before opening the morning of Tuesday September 13, 2011. While enthusiasts anticipated Target’s opening, twenty to thirty minutes after doors had opened, shelves appeared vacant with only a few items remaining.
The social media reactions blasted Target as frustrated customers posted furious tweets and Facebook status updates about Target’s unfortunate website crash. One shopper tweeted; “Seriously so mad at @TargetStyle. Why did you not prepare for the Missoni for Target line?”
Marketing specialists and professionals alike assumed the slip-up was not only amateurish but unprofessional as well. However, they believed it would not have any long-term effect on Target’s reputation. Ian Schafer, chief executive of the digital marketing firm Deep Focus quoted, “It’s a little bit embarrassing for one of the nation’s largest retailers to have a Web site that can’t support a rush — it’s not like they’re any strangers to rushes. It’s saying, ‘We’re so popular we had to turn people away at the door.’ Then get a bigger place.” There is no excuse for corporate giant, Target, to have any sort of difficulty with website rushes; however, expectantly they will be tackling this assignment for future launches and collaborative endeavors.
What do you folks think? Is all press good press in this case? Do you think the buzz is creating an even bigger want for the product or is it ultimately just upsetting Target customers?