The recent launch of Target's (NYSE:TGT) limited edition collection in collaboration with designer Lilly Pulitzer caused a frenzy that left many shoppers disappointed and angry after the collection quickly sold out in the mist of website outages and online purchasing problems.
Kathee Tesija, Target's chief merchandising and supply chain officer, responded to the backlash over the retailer's temporary website crash in a Q&A on the Target company blog.
Tesija said that while Target has had more than 150 designer partners, Lilly Pulitzer's was the most talked-about collaboration on social media in the retailer's history. To get the buzz started, Target opened a Lilly Pulitzer pop-up shop last week in New York's Bryant Park.
Tesija said products "literally flew off of our shelves" and the collection sold out by mid-morning on Sunday, April 19.
Although it's not uncommon for a limited edition to sell out, Tesija said that the retailer expected to have enough Lilly Pulitzer items to last several weeks. "At the end of the day, our guests let us know that they didn't need that much time to decide that this was a collection they wanted to bring home," she said.
And when asked about the Target website crash, which was due to a massive influx of visits, Tesija said that the occurrence "wasn't acceptable." She also corrected the notion that the website had crashed, adding that in reality it only limited the amount of active users at any given time.
"Our goal is to provide an easy, fun experience, whether guests are shopping online or in our stores," Tesija said. "We didn't get there with this launch and for that, we're sorry."
The company is now focused on taking a closer look at what happened and improving the site experience for guests.
Visit A Bullseye View for the full Q&A.
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