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Target's Missoni Mania: Is It Worth the Unhappy Customers?

Missoni Mania at Target

One shopper's photo of the Missoni mania at Target.

Target may be laughing all the way to the bank, but yesterday’s frenzy over the launch of its Missoni for Target line has created lots of unhappy customers.

While some just don’t think the design is worth all the fuss — on Twitter, @et_cerica tweeted, “If by Missoni for Target you mean Cosby Sweaters for Target, then yeah”  – many love it, and found themselves highly frustrated with their shopping experience, which included Black Friday-like mad rushes in stores and a crashing Target website.

On Access Hollywood’s site, Glam Slam blogger Ryan Patterson said her husband, “… stayed up all night trying to get online to order the highly coveted collection for me. When it finally came up online around 3:30 am pst. we started to order and already things were sold out.”  Most online shoppers were met with the same difficulty.  The Target website was unavailable most of the day yesterday, and people report service is still spotty today.

Then there was the actual retail experience.  Houston Press blogger Christina Uticoni says she watched as three women “… took off at a full-on sprint toward the Missoni apparel display” after her local Target opened.

One of them made her way around the racks at full speed, scooping up each garment — at least one in every size. I watched in utter amazement as the three women worked as a team to clear the racks, and at one point The Tall One yelled at The Short One, “Don’t worry about it! I’m getting all of the extra-smalls for you! Just go and grab stuff from that other rack!”

In the first seven minutes, that group of three women had eliminated at least half of the small amount of stock on display.

Uticoni’s experience was by no means atypical.  Many shoppers complained of what Uticoni calls “combat shopping” at their own stores, with women elbowing each other out of the way to get their hands on Missoni scarves and sweaters, and were disappointed to find empty racks and shelves.  At one store in Los Angeles, the police even had to be called in.

We might have known this would happen after hearing about the special pop-up store Target created in New York City last week. A blogger at Sugar Rock Catwalk said he had to wait in line for four hours just to get in.  The store ended up closing earlier than planned because apparently there was nothing left to buy.

Reports are that people are already buying the Missoni line, which features 400 different pieces including apparel, backpacks, placemats, coffee mugs and even a Missoni bicycle, for three times the price on eBay.  Anybody want a Target dress, Missoni or not, for $139?  I bet it’s those women from Houston who are selling it.

Will this affect shoppers’ relationship with the Target brand?  I don’t know about you, but these frenzies over designer collections at Target make me want to run in the other direction.  Who wants to get hip-checked by a mom w/ Missoni mania?  Someone knocking you over so they can get their hands on $20 baby tights?  I generally love Target, but events like yesterday’s full-on assault to get Target’s new Missoni line make me like them a lot less.

Photo credit: Andrea Cairone for RARE vintage

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