As a limited introduction, Target opened its stores and website on Tuesday, September 13, with a selection of Missoni, the Italian designer who features lively zig-zag striped patterns. Before the doors to the retailer had even opened in the Chicago area, shoppers had lined up outside their stores, some as early as 7:30 am CST.
A wide variety of Missoni merchandise lined Target shelves (including clothing, home goods, and more), as well as populated its website. Shoppers in a frenzy to gain the inexpensive goods from the Italian designer flooded both the Internet and regional stores, causing mayhem, reports the Chicago Tribune.
By 9:00 am, goods on Chicago area store shelves were empty, and by 10:30 am, Target was tweeting about its online difficulties. Three hours in the morning and again on Tuesday afternoon, the website was experiencing difficulties. Shoppers who showed up on their lunch breaks were profoundly disappointed.
Was this bad planning on Target’s part? Should they have known the reaction from shoppers and planned accordingly? From earlier accounts, shoppers can say “yes.” An early experiment with Missoni, a pop-up store in Manhattan, had to be closed due to a lack of inventory.
Similarly, the corporation knew that the merchandise by the Italian designer would be popular, noting “the amount of buzz Missoni is creating is unprecedented for our designer partnerships.”
Yet, Target did extensive television and magazine advertising of the new Missoni line, knowing that it probably would not meet demand. Just what was Target trying to accomplish by that?