Along with the beautiful springtime weather comes a little more seersucker and Lilly Pulitzer. In the north east, I still feel like many preppy shoppers suffer, unable to find the traditional brands in a brick and mortar store close by. For this reason, as well as the fact that I am a college student on a budget, I was thrilled to hear about the Lilly Pulitzer Target collaboration back in January.
A bright colored and fun patterned shift dress for less than $50? And there are plus sizes included? It should not come as any surprise, IMHO, that the online selection sold out today within 5 minutes of releasing… and the site crashed. Although increasing sizes and selling at a lower price point were controversial changes in the beginning, Lilly has had a dedicated following that was only expected to expand by increasing its target market. Pardon my business speak, but this is just logical.
Dedicated Lilly fans chronicled their journeys, staying up until all hours to shop online and camping out at local Targets, by using hashtags #LillyPulitzerforTarget and #LillyforTarget on Twitter. It is no wonder that at approximately 12:30 p.m. when the line was unveiled and open to the public online, that the information spread so quickly via social media. Since there was not a definite release time published before hand, Lilly Pulitzer increased the hype and their sales by using free publicity, their customers discussing the suspense and their favorite items. Social media also contributed to the amazing success of their past annual endless summer sale. Again, super smart!
Many bloggers and shoppers alike are complaining about Lilly Pulitzer Target collaboration resellers. Some shoppers turned sellers went to the trouble of buying out entire stocks of Target-Lilly clothing to sell online and turn a profit. This is an interesting concept considering that some of these auctions will end up at approximately the same price as a full price Lilly Pulitzer dress. Personally, I feel this defeats the purpose.
A few years ago when Missoni worked with Target, the fashion world was abuzz in a similar manner. A few days after the dedicated shoppers backed off, I rummaged the shelves and found an adorable pair of purple and green flats in my size, in the iconic chevron pattern I love. Although I would argue that this Lilly Pulitzer Target collaboration was even more successful, I plan on using the same tactic to approach this line. Some people will have impulsively over purchased and rather than resell, they might return those items.
Sure, I wish I had my own place to decorate with the newly released Lilly home goods or a tiny girl to rock a mini-me shift.. but at what cost do we become so invested in these low price designer lines? These companies are ever so intelligently feeding into our desire for the latest and greatest, providing only a limited number or selection of affordable products to peak our interest. As an apology of sorts, Lilly Pulitzer is offering a mystery gift with purchase today, but again I just believe it is smart marketing. I would be stunned if the full price Lilly site did not receive a larger influx of web traffic than normal, from devastated fans looking to comfort themselves with a treat for their dedication.
Some people are comparing today’s Lilly Pulitzer Target collaboration release as similar to that of Wal*Mart on Black Friday. How far are you willing to go for tropical print tea cups and pom-pom edged shorts?