Target’s website and shopping app went down Sunday morning as online buyers poured in to have their pick of a 250-piece Lilly Pulitzer clothing line sale -- dubbed “Palm Beach Perfect.”
In the early hours of Sunday, Target had to take its website offline for nearly 20 minutes, overwhelmed by shoppers browsing through the colorful fabrics and designs on the website even before stores opened at 8 a.m. EST, the Wall Street Journal reported, adding that while a clogged website can be annoying to customers, it can also indicate that the company put on a hit show.
“When the traffic got heavier, we made the website inaccessible,” the Journal quoted Target spokesman Joshua Thomas as saying. “We realize there is an extreme amount of excitement around this collaboration, and we apologize for any disappointment this may have caused our guests.”
Many shoppers also found it difficult to access Target’s mobile app at other times during Sunday morning. Target’s physical stores also had heavy foot traffic and early lines of customers, the Journal reported.
Target had initially planned to launch the Lilly Pulitzer collection sale at 3 a.m. CST (4 a.m. EST), but had to delay it by two hours because of high traffic, the paper reported, citing the spokesman. Target reportedly said that the number of visitors to its website was similar to Black Friday sales, with the entire collection nearly sold out in only three hours.
Some customers, frustrated by the short supply of products, lashed out at Target on Twitter, saying that the company should not promote something that most people will not see. Thomas countered the argument by saying that it is hard to anticipate how strong the demand could be for any collection, Star Tribune reported.
“We never intend for a collaboration to be in store for one day,” Star Tribune quoted Thomas as saying. “We anticipate they will be in store for a couple of weeks. … You just don’t know how the consumer is going to react until you put it in front of them.”