News Feature | April 21, 2015

Target's Lilly Pulitzer Introduction Brings Frustration, Attention

Source: Innovative Retail Technologies
Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

The response to the release of Lilly Pulitzer line creates pandemonium.

Target Corp.’s highly anticipated Lilly Pulitzer line of clothing and home goods debuted this weekend online and in stores, and the response created pandemonium.  As a result of shopper enthusiasm, the retailer’s site experienced website issues and shoppers cleared out product from stores in record time, according to USA Today.

Many stores were sold out of the collection within minutes of opening their doors. According to Target, since it was a limited edition collection, no more items will be made available at Target.

Heavy traffic online crashed the site twice over the weekend, forcing many shoppers to try again later, when they found many items of the limited-edition, limited-supply line sold out. 

However, Target spokesman Joshua Thomas stated that the website did not crash, but that the retailer was taking measures to manage the site as a resulting of the overwhelming traffic, ABC7News reported.  Thomas explained that measures included allowing only some customers access to the site at specific times.  Target also made the site inaccessible for a 15 minute period early Sunday morning in order to control the traffic flow.

Similarly, long lines formed at stores to snatch up the limited edition Lilly Pulitzer collection , but several shoppers left empty-handed and disappointed. Several items have already surfaced on eBay

The fashionable line was actually created by happy accident in 1959, according to Inquisitr, when Pulitzer created the colorful stuff to camouflage juice stains on her clothing as a Palm Beach juice stand entrepreneur. The designs were adopted by a number of celebrities who helped to make them famous. And the affordable prices are also attractive, with 250 items in the collection going for $2 up to $150.

The fiasco is definitely an attention-getter and a money-maker for the retailer, at least for now, because of the limited-edition designer appeal and because the rush involved no discounting, but such issue that create high levels of frustration and resentment for shoppers trying to access their online cart and checkout, could have a longer-term negative impact  on store loyalty.  They will likely be interpreted  as inept technology on the retailer’s part rather than simply frenzied exuberance about a limited edition fashion line.