We came, we saw, we experienced the madness that was Lilly for Target. For those who were not on the front lines this morning, you didn’t miss out on much. By that we mean you didn’t miss out on much because there were literally not many things in the store. With intermittent crashing of the Target website as some items had already sold out online we should have seen this coming, but the limited number of items that were carried in the store for a product that has such a huge fan following was kind of shocking. To give you a brief over view of what we mean by this, here’s our experience with Lilly for Target.
We arrived at the Waterford Lakes Target at 7:04 a.m. with Starbucks in hand and about ten people ahead of us in line. Not so bad, right? We sat on the ground with our snacks and settled in for what we thought would be a relatively civil hour. The people ahead of us were strategizing, but seemed fairly rational in their ways. What we quickly found out was that we were surrounded by some of the pushiest humans to walk the Earth.
By 7:30 a.m., things started getting a little crazy. A group of about ten sorority girls (in letters…) had joined their sisters in line ahead of us, which was uncool but expected. Women at the front of the line had grabbed a bunch of carts, and we knew that they would be used as battering rams and roadblocks to deter others from getting through the doors of the store. People in line behind us were creeping up close to try to get ahead. And this is when the anxiety started setting in.
About ten minutes before the store doors opened, a Target manager came out with an off duty police officer to debrief us about how to properly behave (no running, pushing, etc.). The crowd kindheartedly laughed at the idea of using their shopping carts as battering rams, but you could see the quick flashes of crazy in their eyes as they tightened their grip on the handle.
Then, the doors opened.
Quickly shuffling feet dodged abandoned carts as our eyes desperately searched for the bright display of clothing at the front of the store. A sea of shoppers headed in different directions in search of the housewares and beauty supplies while we followed the parade towards womens clothing. What greeted us after that was nothing short of disappointing. The entire rack of clothing was gone in seconds as two or three women clawed at each other to put THE ENTIRE DISPLAY in their own carts.
Now, we don’t feel the need to point fingers at anyone in this situation even though this shopping experience was less than ideal. Yes, it would have been nice if the Target website had not crashed, it also would have been nice if people did not hoard all of the merchandise, but the biggest problem we assessed was something that could have been fixed with the simple economic principle of supply and demand.
There was clearly a high demand for this line. Months ago, when the collaboration was announced, there was a huge buzz online as fans of Lilly rejoiced in the idea of having moderately priced items not usually made by the designer (like the hammock, so glorious). Adding in a massive marketing push, a hyped-up lookbook, and a star-studded launch party only increased this demand. With great designs at an affordable price point, who wouldn’t want to get their hands on a piece from the collection? Sadly, the supply did not echo the demand, leading to an extremely unsatisfied market.
We’re not economics majors, but even we can see that Lilly and Target really messed this one up. We love the line, and wish that it could have been accessible to everyone. At this point, Target, its your move. Increase the supply, make customers happy, and enjoy some serious profits.
To our fellow customers, take a second to evaluate your behavior. Did you really need eight pairs of palazzo pants? Probably not. There are seven other people (in various sizes) that didn’t get the opportunity to purchase such a coveted item. If you were able to buy what you wanted in a somewhat reasonable manner, congratulations. If you hurt others, both physically or mentally, in a desperate attempt to buy one of everything, you should be ashamed. That isn’t what the kind and sweet Lilly Pulitzer would have wanted.