Target’s Marimekko Collection Doesn’t Fly Off Shelves, And That’s A Good Thing

marimekkoLast year, a collection at Target from Lilly Pulitzer was such a hit that it temporarily took down the retailer’s site, and shoppers camped out overnight, cleaning out local stores. By the standards of Target’s designer collaborations, their latest one with Finnish company Marimekko is almost a flop, having only sold out of some of the products on the first day.

If it were regular old shoppers who were so crazy over the designer collaborations that they sold out within hours, that would be good from Target’s point of view. Instead, for past collections, the designer collaborations have been big hits with resellers with plans to flip the items on eBay and elsewhere.

Five years ago, one seller tried to sell a pair of boots from the retailer’s Missoni collaboration for $31,000, though we somehow doubt that anyone paid that much for the boots that originally retailed for $35.

Right now, Marimekko pages on Target lead in an infinite loop, but there are only 2,000 individual items listed on eBay from the collection so far. Shoppers at a Target store expressed surprise to an Associated Press reporter that there were items from the collection left to browse, and that they were the only shoppers looking at them.

Target may have realized that the kind of shoppers who are interested in cut-price Lilly Pulitzer frocks are exactly the kind of shoppers that it should be courting, not driving away. After last year’s disaster, Target tightened up its rules about selling to resellers. For designer collaborations past, like 2012’s Jason Wu collection, the retailer had no limits on how many items one shopper could buy, leading to a reselling paradise.

Target’s Marimekko launch fails to ignite shopping frenzy [AP]