Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Missoni day at Target

It's been all over the news that the Missoni for Target line launched yesterday, creating stampedes in some stores and crashing Target.com.

Just in case you've been under a rock:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D58q7H0llcY (sorry, wouldn't let me embed this one)

Not only was I part of the "frenzy" but I was apparently one of the few lucky ones who got almost everything I wanted.  I can't say it wasn't for lack of trying, but a lot of it had to do with being at the right place at the right time.

I heard last spring that Target was collaborating with Missoni and I was pretty excited.  I used to do a lot of window shopping at Marshall Fields on Nicollet Mall over my lunch break, and I sometimes visited the beautiful Missoni sweaters in the Oval Room.  Maybe from a distance, people can pass them off as being "just a bunch of ugly zigzags", but up close and in person, I thought they were works of art.  Of course, I knew the Target line would be a cheaper quality, but it was still pretty intriguing to know that some actual Missoni items might be in my reach.

Target kept everything hush-hush, up until just a couple months ago when a few images were released to fashion blogs.  Then the entire lookbook was published last month and shoppers were finally able to prioritize what they would be running for when the doors opened September 13.  (As a sidenote, the lookbook features a model wearing about ten items at a time, and it looks hideous in most cases.)  I was almost relieved that I didn't want most of what I saw.  Although some of the housewares are pretty, we have everything we need right now in that department so it just doesn't make sense to run out and buy a bunch of new designer stuff.  And honestly, all the zigzags could be overkill really quick.

I decided, if I could, I would get a sweater or two, the ballet flats, a headband, and this beautiful throw.  It would all depend on what the items looked and felt like in person, and if I was in competition with other shoppers for the same things.

It really surprises me that Target was supposedly not prepared for the high demand.  They created a mystery, leaked information to fashion bloggers, then set up a pop-up shop in Manhattan during fashion week which drew all kinds of celebrities and press.  And they completely underestimated how many people were paying attention, even after the success of some of their other designer collaborations.  I knew there would be lines at the doors before the stores opened.  I even had an elaborate plan to get The Mister to stay home with the kids so I could drive out into the second- or third-tier suburbs to Targets where there might not be as many people clued-in to the event.  But that was before he accidentally scheduled a business trip over the launch date.

I told myself I might have to do without the Missoni shopping spree, since I'd never be able to drag the kids on a 8:00 am Target run, and I was a little disappointed, but ultimately OK with it.  I figured I'd try to get to the local stores sometime that day and see if anything good was left.

Monday night, Miss Punky woke up several times and I ended up spending the night holding her in the chair in her room.  I had brought my iPhone in with me, so I sat in the dark and refreshed the Target site once in a while just to see if the Missoni goods were online yet.  By around 4:00 am, I could view pictures of many of the items, but the links weren't working to be able to buy them.  I dozed off and woke up at 6:00, with Punky stirring on my lap.

It hit me that this might be my chance to order something, so I brought her downstairs and stuck her in her highchair with some food while I sat down with my laptop.  I clicked around as fast as I could, picking out two sweater dresses, two pairs of ballet flats (one for myself, a matching pair for Punky), a little cardigan for Punky, and the multicolored trench coat.  The throw was already sold out online.  It's what everyone wanted most.  I hurried through the checkout process, then breathed a sigh of relief when my order was confirmed.  Mission accomplished!  But then I went back and looked again at the throw.  It was possible to view which area stores had it, so I checked the closest Target to me (Richfield) and found it had "limited stock".

Suddenly, it seemed possible that I still might get that throw.  I got the kids dressed and fed and was out the door at 7:40.  I'm not proud of this, but to get Boo's cooperation, I told him that after Mommy did her "special shopping," he would get a doughnut.  Well, it worked, didn't it?  We pulled into the Target parking lot at about 7:57, and I was dismayed to see several cars in the lot and a small crowd standing at the doors.  I hurried around the car, unbuckling the kids, and I had just gathered them up in my arms when I saw the last people pouring into the doors.  I tried not to think about how I would have been at the front of that line if The Mister had been home that morning, and kept going.  We were greeted by many, many Target employees, all standing around the entrance chuckling at the mob scene.

It was a rather good-natured crowd of people: quiet, respectful, not shoving or grabbing, although they were definitely in a hurry.  Many women were on their phones, describing to friends what they were finding.  I was a little disoriented at first so headed toward the shoes and women's clothing.  The shoes were all gone, except for the size 10, when I got there.  The clothes were almost completely cleaned out except for a blue sweater dress, which no one seemed to want.  I touched it and decided it was too scratchy.  Yuck.  I remembered the throw and headed for housewares, or tried to.  My kids are indecisive about riding in shopping carts.  They want to ride, then they want to walk.  Then they want me to carry them.  And the Missoni for Target launch was not a place for small children.  Mine were the only ones there except for one baby in a carrier.  We got to the bedding and encountered a group standing around a mostly-empty end cap lamenting the throw, which I'm guessing was the first to go.  There were two zig-zag duvet sets left and something made me grab one and throw it in the cart.  $99.  Cha-ching.  We headed back to the little girls' clothes and I looked over everything to see if I could get something for Punky.  I have to say, I wasn't crazy about it.  If there are leftovers that go on clearance, I'll take a second look.  I remembered that The Mister had asked if there were any men's clothes, so I went to the back.  Only two sweaters remained, and luckily one was in his size.  I liked the way it looked so it went in the cart.

I kind of bumbled around the store after that, looking at what was left.  People were snatching up the plastic dinnerware, but I didn't care for it much.  At this point, it seemed like I should get everything I was even remotely interested in because I could always return it later.  I got a tote bag and a makeup case.  I got the headbands I wanted.  I saw someone wheeling the bicycle, and a few people with carts piled high- I'm guessing were going to sell it all on eBay.  There was nothing left to do but make good on my promise to get Boo a doughnut and head home.

It wasn't until afternoon that I heard Target.com was down and there were angry people everywhere that had not been able to order.  I also heard how everything was on eBay and marked up to obscenely inflated prices.  I looked to see how much my $99 duvet was going for.  I saw one with 41 bids already up to $200.  That's what made me realize how insane this whole thing had become.   If I sold all my stuff for twice what I paid, I'd make some good money, just because I happened to get online at the right time and show up at the store at 8:00.

If Target didn't have such an easy return policy, I wouldn't have bought half the stuff.  My plan, all along, was to buy quickly, then take my time at home deciding what I wanted to keep.  I don't even know if the things I ordered online will fit or be any good.  I'll really just be happy if Punky and I end up with cute matching shoes in the end.

To be continued, when I get my online shipment...




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