Missoni for Target was a red-hot hit at launch this week, but the Italian designer's special collection for the retailer has left some customers confused and even upset, while reseller Internet sites like eBay have experienced a boom.
Target's Tuesday Missoni collection launch saw store shelves throughout the U.S. and Canada bought bare within hours, while the company's online retail site -- target.com -- even crashed for almost a day. Target's Web site is back up, and many Missoni for Target items are available, but others remain out of stock online while a search for products in-store reveals few are available.
The response has been unprecedented, Target Corp. spokesperson Joshua Thomas told CTVNews. This is definitely the largest designer collection we've ever had.
Some critics have already lined up, however, and it's not just frustrated Target shoppers unable to find sought-after Missoni items in stores. Computerworld columnist Robert L. Mitchell, who writes Reality Check, wrote Thursday that Target's Missoni launch was in fact, a disaster because the company was unable to fully capitalize on events.
And while Target stores remain out of stock, there's no shortage on eBay. More than 38,000 Missoni items -- most Missoni for Target -- are listed for sale Thursday on eBay, and many are listed at higher than retail prices.
For instance, a Missoni for Target Long Chevron Zig Zag Cardigan Sweater was on sale at eBay for the Buy It Now price of $249.
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 on items including knit dresses, tights, sweaters, rain boots, luggage, dinner ware, iPad and iPod covers and even furniture.
The combination of a collection stamped by the hot Italian designer and Target's discount pricing proved powerful on Tuesday, as the much-hyped Missoni for Target Collection launched to an in-store and online furore.
Visitors to Target's Internet site earlier Wednesday morning were greeted with a picture of the company's trademark Target dog 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.
The Minneapolis-based retailer apologized to customers for the issue through Tweet updates on its Twitter account.
We understand your frustrations, Target tweeted just before noon EDT on Tuesday. We've reached out to the appropriate teams and they're working quickly to get it fixed.