Waiting outside in line to buy a Horizontal Striped Sweater? Or a Year of Chick Fil A?

Horizontal Stripes.  Hoarders.  eBay.  Crashed Website.  This was the mayhem that surrounded the launch of the line Missoni at Target.  I’m really not sure what all the fuss is.  People were lined up outside the Target stores to buy Missoni?  I can understand waiting in line to get a 36″ flat screen TV for $599 on Black Friday, or lining up to get Blackhawk’s Playoff Tickets,  or to shake hands with Everyone’s new favorite QB, Jay Cutler (or will be after Sunday’s Packer’s Game).   And this was the Same week that you could wait in line, overnight at a new Chick Fil A, to receive a Full Year worth of Meals.    But waiting in line to buy regular priced merchandise, and to be one of thousands wearing the same items as every one else?  Not so much.  I’ll take the chicken, please.  And much of the clothing is stripes…Horizontal Stripes.   And everything looks alike…from the boots, to the sweaters, to the socks, to the mugs, to the luggage.  I think there are 4 or 5 patterns (or so it would seem), and there are a few different colors they come in.  Yes, the items are cute, the items are retro, but are they worth lining up outside a Target…on a School Day, just to be one of the hundreds of thousands who will now be sporting Stripes?  Not in my world.

I received this article from my friend Gina, who asked my thoughts.  My thoughts, are I agree, with Gina, the items may be cute, but there is No way I would wait outside, at a Target to buy these.  This is the article from USA Today:

Those who managed to get their hands on Missoni at Target on Tuesday should consider themselves blessed.

By the time Tammy Mission of Danville made it to the store in Walnut Creek a day later, the signs still hung but only a shelf with shoes from the Italian luxury designer remained.

She snatched a pair up immediately.

“I can’t believe I didn’t put a reminder in my phone about the ‘Tuesday Missoni Invasion,’ ” she said. “When I went home and remembered what I missed, I wanted to cry.”

The 400-piece line made exclusively for the cheap-chic retailer features its trademark zigzag patterns for between $2.99 for stationary and $599.99 for patio furniture — a fraction of the price of the designer’s typical offerings, which run from $595 to $1,500.

A frenzy typically reserved for Black Friday or an Apple (AAPL) iPhone release saw people lined up outside stores on Tuesday and snatching up almost everything within hours of the doors being opened.

Online the demand was so great that Target’s Website crashed for several hours.

“It was so intense for us that it was like having a ‘Black Tuesday,’ ” said Felipe Chordas, store manager of Target in Walnut Creek. “In the women’s section there were three or four racks of clothing that was gone in a half-hour.

“When you have shirts that normally sell for $500 going for $100, this is the frenzy you’ll get,” he added.

By Wednesday, the lines were gone and the craze shifted to secondary markets, where the items are being sold for well over the original price. For example, an ad for a bicycle with the Missoni pattern on it appeared on Craigslist for $1,600, about four times what Target charged.

On eBay (EBAY), by Wednesday afternoon, there were more than 32,000 Missoni for Target items available.

With the economy in its current doldrums, Joanna Douglas, fashion and beauty editor for Yahoo (YHOO) Shine, said that the idea of having a high-end designer try to make a line for the masses is a trend that is likely to continue.

“I was really surprised how many people knew what the Missoni line was all about, but it’s nice to have a brand like this now available to the masses,” she said. “I can say I was right there at 6 a.m. with the rest of the country trying to get the pieces, and it was frustrating.”

Except for items available from people returning items, it is unclear how much more of the line will be available. Target originally planned to have it run through October.

“I think Target would be foolish not to bring more back because there’s so much money to be made here,” Douglas said. “But I think the fact that it is so limited is good because you know not too many people will have the same items.”

Source:  Associated Press

I look at this picture, and think there should be a captain, “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia”, or “My Nose, My  Nose, My Nose”.  This is screaming 1972.  And, again, I would Not wait in line, to buy anything regular-priced, especially if every Tom, Dick and Harry, or Tina, Dorothy and Harriett would be wearing it the following week.   There is something to be said about being an individual, and marching to the beat of your own drum, and not looking like everyone else.

Of course, there did end up being a different spin to this story.  People who bought up all the items at the stores, turned around and sold them on ebay.  This lit the fire in the belly of my friend Kim ,”People bought all of the Missoni collection at Target w/in hours. They didn’t limit quantities allowed and people bought carts full and went home and are attempting to sell them on eBay at a huge markup. I say we revolt and force them to eventually give their greedy purchases away”.   I agree with Kim, No one should profit from being able to Hoard these items, then sell them on eBay.  And  yet, people are buying them on eBay!  As of Friday, there were 51,210 Missoni items for Sale on eBay…and there were 38,000 items that were already Sold!   And when I said “hoard”, I’m not referring to those who bought a few items, then sold them on ebay.  I’m referring to those who went to Target, with the sole purpose, of filling their shopping carts, “hoarding” the merchandise, then immediately went home and listed them on ebay.  Hoarding with intention to profit.  That’s why Target should have limited purchases.

Some folks truly did go to Target, and bought the items with the intent of giving them as gifts or keeping them for themselves, but did end up getting caught  in the Frenzy.  My friend’s sister ran into a similar experience, and truly had bought items to give as gifts, but when she realized the Frenzy over what was happening, she decided to also try her hand at ebay.   “My sister was online at 4am getting 4 Missoni throws for $40….very slow Target system but still up…then she thought to stroll into her local Madison Target at 8am just in case.  She and another guy headed straight for the Missoni home decor, he scooped up all the pillows offering her if she wanted it, then they both acknowleged they were getting everything as “gifts.”  She sold the first of 6 throws on ebay for $180 (earth colors) and a purple striped throw went for $120 ten hours later.  She thinks the ebay bubble is bursting (lots of clothes not moving now on ebay)…but she is waiting for her next 4 to come in the mail before listing a couple of them.  She honestly started out getting them as gifts, and wasn’t hoarding shopping carts worth of goods.  She emailed my niece at college to say you can either have this Missoni throw I ordered for you, or I’ll put it on ebay and you can get what it goes for.  Guess what she picked?  ebay baby!”   Of course she did…because she can receive the cash, and wait a month to buy again the item she wants, and not pay outrageous prices on ebay, from people who did Hoard, and turned around and sold them.  I would like the record to reflect that in No Way am I referring to my friend’s sister as a Hoarder. 🙂

This is a classic case of Supply not meeting Demand.  And for those lucky enough to acquire these items, many felt they could turn around and sell for a tidy profit on ebay…and they did.   Unfortunately, for those waiting to receive their items purchased online, it appears that Target has cancelled Many of the orders that people confirmed, only to find out that at first there would be a delay in receiving, then to find out the order was cancelled completely.  And welcome to the year 2011, because there is now a website, dedicated to all the horror stories, of the people so displeased with Target, and the delay, or cancellation of their precious Missoni items:    http://racked.com/archives/2011/09/17/all-your-missoni-for-target-weborder-horror-stories.php

One customer felt that Target should go to eBay and buy back all the items that they aren’t able to fulfill.  Or , give the customers Target gift cards to make amends for the inconvenience.  My sense is Target is going to do neither.  Plus, as they say Any publicity is good publicity, and Target has certainly received a great deal of publicity over this.  And, clearly, we are still talking about it.  Or at least, I am.

If you like the Missoni line, and it makes you happy, then good for you.  I just hope you didn’t have to wait outside for hours in line at a Target, or have to buy them on ebay for more than double the cost, and I hope you don’t end up wearing the same horizontal-striped sweater as the person next to you at lunch.

I went online at Target.com and attempted to buy a gender-neutral, non-clothing item, to use as a prize, for the wittiest comment to this blog.  Every single item of Missoni, on target.com is OUT OF STOCK.  So, instead, I will award the best comment,  my favorite book, “The Everygirl’s Guide to Everything”…and if that doesn’t strike your fancy, and you are indeed the very lucky winner, You can, instead, get a copy of my favorite movie, Brian’s Song.  Your choice.  Afterall, you will be the winner of this very illustrious contest. 😉

Let the comments begin.   Be an individual…and don’t hoard. And in the future a year’s worth of Chick Fil A would be a Much better reason to wait in line! 🙂



Dialogue I thought I’d share re: Terry’s observation of Kerry Collins, the Colts back-up QB

Terry:  Who is that?  He looks old (grey beard with baseball hat, he looked 60)

Patrick:  He is old.  He’s 35




  1. Interesting! I am NOT one to wait in line to buy things…hate lines…but I would do it for a year of free meals way before I’d do it for striped clothes. Maybe I stood in line for concert tickets back in the day, but now that I mention it, that was actually my mom who would go stand in line for us on school days at 10am at Carson’s ticketmaster window (thanks Phyllis!) Does seem like a bit of a debacle for Target. I just saw a tv ad that had a banner “through October”…ummmmm…not really.

  2. I have a bad mental picture of the woman wearing horizontal stripes sitting at her computer watching her eBay items with a huge pile of Chick Fil A wrappers next to her! 🙂

  3. I had a feeling that the items would end up on ebay and the shoppers that rushed to the store were ebay sellers.

    We did try a Chick Fil A last night – was okay – not sure why anyone would tent out or wait in a huge line for it though.

  4. I can’t wait to see all of the ‘Glamour Don’ts popping up around town! Hopefully the discounted Missoni comes with a rulebook.

  5. I do not stand in line for ANYTHING. Not a concert, midnight movie debut, Black Friday and certainly not horizontal stripes. That being said, had they been available when I did my weekly trip to Target, I MIGHT have picked something up. Boy those e-bay people kinda screwed everyone out of being able to buy their bargain Missoni wear, and kind of defeated the purpose of it being offered at a discount, didn’t they?

    As for Chick Fil A… we went there once and my boys (using their rating scale they use for everything) gave it a resounding thumbs down. The odds of us ever stepping foot into a Chick Fil A again are about as good as seeing Terry sporting a Missoni striped Packers hat. Not sure what all the fuss is about there. And if anyone knows their way around a chicken finger, it’s my boys!

  6. Longer than usual blog, TOB . . . but very interesting to once again see how greed takes over. Don’t have a clever or witty comment this week . . . I think Paddy already did that! Ouch is right!

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