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The Success of Lilly for Target

As you might have heard in the news, Target released their newest designer collaboration with Lilly Pulitzer. With other designer collaborations in the past, Target only provided a limited amountModels wearing Lilly Pulitzer clothing for Target of items and when it ran out, the items were nearly impossible to find unless you’re willing to pay double the price through sites like eBay. With that said, it was no surprise that the adorable Lilly Pulitzer for Target line created Black-Friday like lines and sold out both in-store and online almost instantly. I was sadly among the large group of people that missed out on the sale. While limited quantities did create some backlash for Target through social media, Target clearly has a good tactic going if their designer lines continue to sell out like crazy.

Many designer brands do not want to offer discounts because they worry that rather making customers happy with lower prices, it will actually discount the value of their exclusive brand. High-end stores use price as an indicator of the value of their products and the service their customers will receive. But Target’s collaboration with designers has proven to do the complete opposite and actually boosted sales, here’s why:

  • Limited quantities: Although it is frustrating that not everyone was able to get their hands on some new Lilly Pulitzer dresses, swimsuits and accessories, only providing small quantities drives more demand for the products and does not saturate the market with their products.
  • New markets: Since most Lilly Pulitzer items, especially their dresses, are priced anywhere from $150-$200, they attract a higher-end market that shops at stores like Nordstrom and Saks. Opening their line through Target allowed their brand to be exposed to other markets that would not normally shop at higher end retailers at a much lower price – most of the dresses at Target were around $40. Brand exposure also helped to bring new customers to their higher-end line that may not have heard of or purchased from before. It will be interesting to see how much it boosted sales for the regular Lilly Pulitzer brand for people who either couldn’t get their hands on the Target line or for those who just wanted more Lilly.
  • Social media exposure: Whether customers were one of the lucky few to walk about with some Lilly products or if you walked out empty handed, it seemed like most turned to social media to tell the story. Yeah, there might have been some backlash to the limited quantities available but like the saying goes, any publicity, is good publicity. More people now know about Lilly Pulitzer and even more know about Target collaborations just because of the social media buzz. Not only do they want the Lilly line but they will definitely be on the lookout for the next Target collaboration.

Clearly Target shoppers have a positive attitude towards the Target collaborations and like having access to high-end brands at lower costs. Would you go wait in crazy lines just to get your hands on the Target designer collaboration collections?

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