Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Missoni (for Target) Moment

Despite everything I needed to be doing yesterday, there was a seven letter word calling my name.  MISSONI.  For those of you who don’t know about Missoni, I won’t accuse you of living under a rock.  I’ll just tell you it’s one of the most iconic Italian designers to have ever crossed the pond.  In my mind, the words chevron pattern and Missoni are almost interchangeable.  Other words that come to mind when I think Missoni are elegant, well-made and classic. 
Given the previous sentence, it won’t surprise you that when I found out Missoni was doing a line for Target, I couldn't wait to get to the store.  Oh yeah, there’s one more word that comes to mind when I think of Missoni—expensive!  Which is why I was so excited about the Target line.  A $2000 dress is a wee bit out of my budget.  A $50 dress, now that's more like it.
I live in Oregon, which is better known for flannels than Italian fashion so I didn’t think I needed to make an effort to get to Target the moment it opened.  My mistake!  I headed to my local Target and this is what I found.
Nothing left but a couple of skirts!

This rack was picked clean.
The shelves were bare, Mother Hubbard bare.  Fortunately, I had another Target up my sleeve, a lesser-known, not overly-frequented Target.  I headed there and hit pay dirt.  See!

I came home and compared goods with my friend Jules who had foraged at the airport Target.  We assessed our purchases and the fact that the Missoni craze crashed Target’s website.
“Who are all these people filling up their shopping carts with Missoni at 8:00 a.m.?” asked Jules.
 “Ebay,” I said.  “I bet they’re going to resell it on Ebay.”
We pulled up Ebay,  put in the search term ‘Missoni for Target’ and were rewarded with no less than 12,000 items.  The cute little dress with the brown stripe down the middle pictured above was selling for $300.  I bought it for $50.  Which brings me to an interesting question. 

Is this the ultimate outcome of a retail economy?  I’m certain Target was happy to sell out of its Missoni wares within five hours but I wonder how Missoni feels about the 7000+ items being hawked for quadruple the price on Ebay?
Maybe they’re happy to raise awareness about their brand.  Or maybe they’re annoyed at the idea of scavengers emptying the shelves and reselling for their own profit.  I tried to imagine how I’d feel if the same thing happened with Losing Beauty.  I’d be thrilled, of course, to have people lining up at 5:00 a.m. to buy autographed copies of my book but I’m not sure how I’d feel if, at the end of the day, I found all those same books on Ebay for quadruple the price.
What do you guys think?


Sarah Tokeley said...

Honestly? I wouldn't mind - as long as people were actually buying them. Pages of books with no bids would be disheartening. I'd love to think that only book lovers would buy my books but hey, as long as someone does, it means I'd have more chance of getting another one accepted :-)

SBJones said...

It's Missoni and Target's problem. Limit one per customer isn't a bad thing like this. At least they launched it now for back to school vs black friday.

If I had a signing at a launch party for my book and people wanted 10 copies so they could resell them, I would have to say that it would depend on how many people were there. I wouldn't sell out to the first 10 customers if there was a line for 100. If they seriously wanted lots of copies, even to ebay, I would put their name down and do a separate order, sign and ship them. However if only 10 people showed up and they wanted every book. I would not say no.

Johanna Garth said...

Sarah you're right-pages of books with no bids would be beyond disheartening!

SB, good analysis. But if Target tried to limit me to one Missoni purchase I might have been really annoyed.

julie fedderson said...

My Target never gets the designer lines, or else I just miss them when they come out. The skirt looks awesome!

Johanna Garth said...

Oh, that's too bad Julie! The black and white prints were the most interesting. They were a little blah on the hanger but amazing on.

Tami said...

I would think Target would be reasonably prepared for this and able to restock relatively soon - hopefully foiling the plans of the would-be "entrepreneurs" on e-bay. There something that seems shady and immoral - if not actually illegal - about their resale ploy.

Anonymous said...

Wow ... I guess I'm living under a rock I've never heard of them but surely will be looking out for them now (not that I'm going to sell them on ebay of course) but this a wonderful point about how we have "gone overboard" in trying to make our own money during a recession ... I almost wonder if 10 years ago this would have happened or if the shelves would have been bare because people could afford it ... not because they were selling it because they can't afford other things they need!! Great blog!!