CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. – Preschool teacher Jacquie Truesdale woke up around 5 a.m. Sunday and walked over to the closest Target in Florida, around 6:30 a.m.
Her goal? Secure a few items from Target’s collaboration with Lilly Pulitzer, the queen of American resortwear known for her bright, bold patterns.
Truesdale, a Lilly Pulitzer loyalist, arrived with an idea of what she wanted based on sneak peeks of the collection online. When doors opened at 8, she was the second person in the store and made off with a few shift dresses, tote bags, two pillows and a pair of sandals.
She was among the lucky ones.
Pastel dresses and beach coverups flew off the racks at Target stores Sunday morning as eager shoppers snatched up apparel, accessories and home decor from the limited edition collection.
Much of the collection was sold out online and in stores within hours of going on sale Sunday morning, drawing ire from Lilly lovers who missed out on the chance to own discounted versions of the brand’s designs.
Target began responding to disgruntled customers via Twitter early Sunday morning, when would-be Target.com shoppers began complaining about website outages and difficulties placing orders. By Sunday afternoon, most items on Target.com were out of stock, forcing the retailer to break the news that no more inventory would be restocked.
“The #LillyforTarget collection is available for a limited-time. We do not anticipate more items becoming available,” the retailer said through its @AskTarget account.
“We are learning from these experiences and sharing with our online and store teams,” the company said in response to another irate customer.
The 250-piece collection features items in 15 exclusive prints at attractive prices compared to other stores. Lilly’s signature sleeveless, collarless shift for adults currently retails from $180 to $300; the Target version is available for $38. Target’s Lilly bikinis are priced at $48 for the top and bottom, compared to $136 for the two pieces.
Lines started forming as early as 5 a.m. outside Target stores across the country for the colorful collection. Pictures on social media showed lines extending into parking lots. Other images showed racks completely emptied of inventory within minutes of doors opening.