Lilly Pulitzer for Target sells out


Mariah Wellman/Iowa State Daily

Lilly Pulitzer for Target

Miranda Pollitt

The Lilly Pulitzer collection for Target hit stores April 19 and people across the country waited in lines to get their hands on the limited edition merchandise.

The Target store in Ames opened at 8 a.m. and eager customers waited outside for the doors to open. Women of all ages, and one supportive husband who was “just there to get dog food” started lining up around 7:45 a.m. Once the doors opened, it was a frenzy to the clothing, beauty and home goods section of the store. 

There was a very limited quantity of each item, which was a common complaint from customers about the collection. Clothing items were based on how well the previous designer collections did at each Target location, meaning each Target store had different clothing items. No location had every single clothing item, but one of each item was available in every size. There was a small collection for home goods and cosmetics, and there was no backstock available at any location.

All of the items were scattered throughout the store. Customers were frantically running from each department to get the items on their wish lists. The four main sections were clothing, accessories, cosmetics and home goods.

Debra Gibson, senior clinician in the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication, visited Target the day the collection launched.

“I really wasn’t planning to go to Target,” Gibson said, “My plan was to shop online. I stayed up until 2 a.m. Sunday when the site finally went live.”

Target launched the collection on its website early Sunday morning. Once Gibson arrived on-site, she found most items were out of stock. Shortly after gaining access to the website, it crashed and became unavailable.

Gibson’s daughter and sister shopped the sale in Kansas City, Mo. and Minneapolis, Minn.

“Shortly after, my daughter texted to tell me women my age were pushing her and shouting at her, and then a woman came up and literally grabbed items out of my daughter’s hands,” Gibson said. “She ended up with a couple of items and then left.”

Unlike other locations, there weren’t any battles of women fighting for merchandise at the Ames store.

Gibson decided to check what was left at the Ames location at around 8:30 a.m.

“By 8:45 a.m. when I arrived, the selection was very picked over,” Gibson said. “None of the clothing sizes small enough for my daughter were left.”

Many locations were completely sold out by 8:30 a.m. Some customers witnessed the Lilly displays and decorations being taken down within an hour of the merchandise being in the store. There have been rumors that the collection will be restocked, but Ames Target employees said they were told the shipment they received was the last and the leftovers would be returned after two weeks.

Despite the madness and difficulties of locating the collection, people were excited to purchase the limited edition merchandise.

“My scarf is my favorite item,” Gibson said, “I’ve been around long enough to love the Lilly Pulitzer look for years and this scarf’s colors and prints represent everything I’ve always enjoyed about the line.”

Compared to normal Lilly Pulitzer items, the Target collaboration was more affordable and the quality of the items was very good. The patterns were bold and bright and pieces appeared to be well-made.

“I think it was a great opportunity for Lilly Pulitzer fans to gain access to more affordable collection items,” Gibson said, “I wish Target could figure out how to offer these special designer collections online without the sites crashing almost instantly.”

Many customers felt the same way and expressed their concerns on social media. Target and Lilly Pulitzer customers have been waiting for months for the collection to launch. However, most came out empty-handed and upset because of the lack of stock and availability.

One major issue Lilly and Target customers have with the collection is that people are re-selling items on eBay for ridiculous prices.

“I’m unhappy with the idea that people loaded up their carts yesterday just to turn around and sell the items for exorbitant prices on eBay,” Gibson said, “My daughter purchased a headband for $8 [and] by last night, someone was selling the same headband on eBay for $80.”