Lilly Pulitzer for Target: They Came, They Waited, They Went Home Mad
Never underestimate the hunger of a barely thawed populace for a warm breeze of Palm Beach.
Last Sunday, they lined up in droves at Target stores across the country, or set alarms for predawn hours to wake up and shop Target.com. (Some New Yorkers lined up early at a Bryant Park pop-up on Thursday.)
The object of their collective obsession was the Lilly Pulitzer for Target collection, an affordable line of brightly printed women’s wear, children’s wear, home goods and matching makeup.
Within hours (even minutes in some locations), it was almost entirely sold out, in stores and online. According to Target, it was one of the fastest-selling collaborations it has undertaken, out of more than 150 such joint projects since introducing the program in 1999.
Jane Schoenborn, Lilly Pulitzer’s vice president for marketing and creative communications, saw it all firsthand. She went to her local Target, at the Valley Forge Shopping Center in King of Prussia, Pa., and stood in line with the company president (at the back, she said).
“It was slim pickings,” she said this week. “I saw a couple women I work with clinging to the umbrellas.” She herself managed to snag a few mugs.
Since Sunday, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook have trembled with the frustration of shut-out shoppers, and pictures surfaced of racks picked clean, bare white hangers scattered like carrion bones on the veld. Online, the demand was such that Target briefly shut down its website for maintenance in the early hours of Sunday. (It refutes the notion that the site crashed.)