The Internet is blazing Tuesday with two red hot retail deals that some consumers can't get enough of and some consumers have already had enough of. One is the Whole Foods/LivingSocial deal offered, in which the daily deal company is offering a $10 coupon for $20 in food. The other is the launch of Missoni for Target line of clothing and accessories.
And both have had their high moments and low moments Tuesday.
First, consider the LivingSocial/Whole Foods deal. Whole Foods Market, the largest U.S. natural-foods grocer, is selling one million of its $20 of groceries for $10 purchase daily deal through LivingSocial, a competitor with Groupon and other daily deal makers. Whole Foods' deal is good because it gets customers a discount and 50 cents for each coupon sold is donated by the grocer to the company's Whole Kids Foundation, which works to combat childhood obesity.
Great deal, huh?
But while the deal is the first such for a grocery company to offer on a national level -- LivingSocial subscribers or those who sign up Tuesday simply buy the deal for $10 and take the voucher to any national Whole Foods store for redemption -- it isn't coming without a price to both the company and some consumers.
By half way through the day, almost 700,000 of the LivingSocial/Whole Foods daily deal had been purchased by 3 p.m. EDT Tuesday, but also many aggravated regular shoppers of Whole Foods were lining up to complain on Internet chats, message boards and Twitter.
$10 for $20 to Spend at Whole Foods Market. Which should buy you...a carrot, read one sarcastic Tweet on Tuesday.
Another Tweet on Tuesday complained that Whole Foods stores are already totally crowded enough without nearly one million shoppers crowded into stores in the coming days and weeks.
Tens of thousands of Whole Foods customers are apparently happy with the deal, however, preparing to get $20 for $10 while spurring a 50 donation to the company's kids foundation. The company also seemed satisfied, despite some complaints.
We're not a traditional grocery, company spokeswoman Kate Lowery told Bloomberg News. We're always looking for alternatives and ways for our shoppers to save.
Still, though it's a big success and Whole Foods certainly knew that complaints would come, the agitation from some just goes to show how big retailers can't win with all when something meets such high demand.
Similarly, Target was caught in having too much demand for its new Missoni for Target products, which launched Tuesday.
Target's Web site became so popular Tuesday after launching Missoni for Target that the retailer's main site went down. Also, stores sold out of products almost immediately across the country as hoarders re-selling the hot items on eBay for high prices swarmed in.
Visitors to Target's Internet site were being greeted Tuesday by a picture of the company's trademark stuff dog with the Target trademark around its eye and the following words: Woof! We are suddenly extremely popular. You may not be able to access our site momentarily due to unusually high traffic. Please stay here and we'll try to get to you in as soon as we can! We're up and running here.
Target has been working with Italian luxury knitwear designer Missoni for a year to create and launch a line of 400 items unique to the national retailer. Missoni is known for colorful zig-zag stripes which appear at Target on items ranging from knit dresses, tights, sweaters, rain boots, luggage, dinner ware, iPad and iPod covers and even furniture.
But while many consumers aren't turning on the products, some have complained that they didn't have a fair shot at the goods -- since others swooped in early, bought them up, then placed them on eBay at higher prices.
For instance, a Missoni candle designed for Target that retails for $12.99 is being sold on eBay for $49.99. Other eBay items include a Missoni for Target Zig Zag Carry-On Travel Tote, that has 11 bids placed driving the current price to $86.00, and a Missoni for Target Zig Zag Carry-On Spinner Upright Luggage Suitcase, selling at the current bid of $250 while the retail price in-store is just $169.99.
Target stores said they expected more shipments of Missoni products coming soon, and the company apologized for inconvenience. However, the issue just goes to show, like Whole Foods', that having the hottest deal or hottest products just about always comes at a price.