Susie Gilden|Apr 22, 2015

Picture this: I am at a friend’s wedding on Saturday and the clock strikes midnight. Instead of heading to the dance floor, I huddled on a couch with a few of my girlfriends so we could purchase from Target’s newest designer collaboration line with Lilly Pulitzer.

While being completely anti-social, we tried over and over to refresh the Target app and the website in hopes of getting our hands on some of the less expensive designer goodies. It was a complete #fail. So I went back to the dance floor, knowing that waking up at 7 a.m. for the 8 a.m. store opening would be my fate.

I am no stranger to the battlefield of in-store Target sales. I was on maternity leave during the big 2011 Missoni collection launch and went from store to store to find the perfect selection for my newborn. (I still have some pieces in her wardrobe today).

As a PR practitioner, I understand why Target built up the collaborations so much, but was always baffled why they only made such limited stock. If people are willing to purchase items for triple the price on eBay, isn’t that a miss for Target’s bottom line?

The in-store experience at Target reminded me of the scene in Mean Girls when Katy imagines attacking Regina George like they would in the animal world. At Target, there were women tearing things off of the two small racks and leaving a lone iPhone case to survive the next round. I even saw a man go nuts over some Lilly Pulitzer hair ties.

I did see some camaraderie though. Women in the dressing room were bartering for pieces the others were discarding and hoping for just a scrap of Lilly fabric, so they could say they scored some of the highly sought after collection.

While Target saw huge success in the collaboration, it sold out in three minutes after the doors opened on Sunday, and the reviews on social media were definitely mixed.

According to a Forbes article, 81 percent of U.S. respondents indicated that friends’ social media posts directly influenced their purchase decisions. If that’s the case, then according to my social media feeds I would not be shopping at Target ever again. People were upset that they never had a shot at that adorable turban or the cute cover up.

Brands should take note. People love collaborations like these. It’s an opportunity for high-end designers to reach the masses and for the lay consumer to feel for one moment like the celebrity they long to be. That being said, we don’t want to feel like we are going to get attacked by a pack of wild animals when doing so.

But don’t worry, I did score a bunch of cute Lilly stuff. Maybe that means I am queen of the jungle.


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