BUSINESS

Missoni's line for Target sells out, crashes site

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NEW YORK (AP) - There's Black Friday, then there's Target Tuesday.

This is what the Target website looked like this morning. (Photo: Target.com)

In a scene that was reminiscent of the shopping frenzy that typically comes on the day after Thanksgiving, Target's website crashed several times throughout the day and more than a hundred shoppers lined up at many of its stores early in the morning on Tuesday for a sale of limited offerings of its Missoni for Target collection of bikes, luggage, clothes and housewares.

“It was pretty much like Black Friday, they were just scattered throughout the store just frantically seeking out the Missoni product,” said Target Store Manager Matt Roy.

Ronald Byrd was hoping to get his hands on some menswear but one day into the sale was a day too late.

“I'm going to just to grab something and say I got something but it's like all the good stuff is gone. Maybe they'll get some more restocked stuff,” Byrd hopes.

The 400-piece line made by the Italian luxury knitwear designer Missoni 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 real duds that can go for $595 to $1,500.

"This was Missoni mayhem," said Joshua Thomas, a Target spokesman. "This is unprecedented."

Target says some items will be restocked - like accessories and home items - but the coveted clothing line is sold out.

Joanne Abdallah was one of the lucky ones who got items from target.com Tuesday before the website crashed from an excessive number of shoppers.

“It was crazy. You could feel it even on line that everybody was kind of amped-up trying to get the stuff in their carts,” she said.

So-called limited partnerships, in which high-end designers create cheaper versions of their fashions for lower-end stores, have become popular in recent years because they appeal to cost-conscious customers who want to be stylish but aren't willing to pay designer prices. At a time when Americans are watching every dollar they spend, the limited-time offerings also are part of a growing strategy by retailers to spur impulse buys by creating a sense of urgency for shoppers to buy.

Swedish retailer H&M, which caters to 20- and 30-somethings with trendy clothes, often attracts long lines at its stores that reach around the block when it offers limited-run affordable fashions from upscale designers like Jimmy Choo. It also will be launching a less expensive version of the Italian designer Versace's collection in November.

Target, in particular, has become known for creating buzz around its limited partnerships with designers and fashion brands, including its latest partnership with Liberty of London last year. Target offered 300 items with the designer, which is known for its floral prints, and sold out of most of the merchandise in a couple of days.

Likewise, Target Corp., based in Minneapolis, worked hard to create buzz around the Missoni by Target collection. Target declined to comment on how much the company spent on marketing, but it targeted social media sites like Twitter and had ads on TV and in Vogue magazine.

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