The Day Target Shoppers Lost Their Minds

This author got an up-close and personal view of greed during this week's infamous Missoni meltdown.

By Lesley Kennedy
target missioni flats
Photograph: Target

I can’t fault others for getting to Target before me. No matter how tempted I was to make the kids be late to school this morning so I could be at the store right at 8 a.m. to snag me some fab low-priced Missoni swag, arriving half an hour after it opened didn’t seem like that big of a deal. Reason took over.

Much to my dismay, however, reason was already totally out the window. Here’s the thing – clearly, many, many, many women were over-the-moon psyched for a chance to buy the Missoni for Target line, released on September 13. Reports show women were camped out overnight in Chicago. In Dallas, one Denver shopper told me, her friend waited more than two hours in line for the store to open. If you tried to buy something online from the 400-plus-piece collection, you were totally shut out – the Target site crashed early this morning.

I mean, a Missoni sweater for less than $50? Who can blame us for getting a little bit giddy?

By the grace of the fashion gods I managed to find one pair of Missoni for Target ballet flats. 

But when I excitedly, hurriedly, pushed my cart down the Target aisle at the Sheridan, Colo. store, with visions of iconic Italian prints dancing in my head, my heart literally sank. My stomach knotted. The Missoni-labeled racks and shelves were just about bare. As in empty. As in you could almost hear the fashion gods laughing uproariously from above. No Missoni for you, you style-hungry sap.

I raced to the shoe section where I saw one pair of rain boots left — in a kid’s size. At that moment, the fashion gods smiled upon me, though, because, pushed back a little, nearly hidden from the eye, was one more ballet flat. In my size. Huge exhale. At least I found something.

The clothing, however, was a whole other story. There was literally one sweater – which I spotted, but was snapped up before I could even turn my cart around (it’s OK, it was size XS, anyway) – and one lonely XL hoodie hanging on for dear life. Surrounding me: Women, and more than a few men, gleefully struggling to push carts that nearly overflowed with Missoni items. I’m talking dozens of sweaters, skirts and dresses. Gloves. Hats. Suitcases. Dishes. Sticky notes. Bags. Of course, I had to steal glances at all those accessories piled on top, because the accessories wall, when I arrived 30 minutes after the store opened, was completely picked over. Gone. Not a colorfully striped scarf in sight.

And here’s where I went from disappointed to just plain angry. The clerk told me she was ringing up $2,000 and $3,000 purchases in that first hour. Clearly, these shoppers do not intend to wear or use all that Missoni for Target stuff. If you can go spend $3,000 in a shopping spree, you’d be buying real Missoni that, let’s be honest here, won’t snag, pill and fall apart after one season of wear (if you’re lucky).

I’m sure these frenzied buyers plan to resell their goods – for a handsome fee – on eBay or some other site. And, for that, I say shame on them. Get to the store before me to get something you love? Fine. More power to ya. You win. But take away my chance at buying my own great, affordable fashion so you can make a couple extra bucks? Now you’re making things personal.

So, no I will not be buying any Missoni for Target items on eBay. And I seriously hope you don’t, either. I can live without that sleeveless sweater dress. I won’t die from not owning that long knit cardigan I’ve been coveting. And when I see someone at the mall carrying that sweet knit clutch, I’ll resist the urge to pry it from her swift and nimble little fingers.

Because I do have my flats, and I did even manage to fight through my rage to pick up razor blades, kid’s bubble bath and a few Amy’s frozen dinners. And, unlike some of my fellow shoppers this morning, I still have my reason. It just won’t be swathed in Missoni stripes this season.

Lesley Kennedy is an award-winning freelance writer and editor, and a reporter for She lives in Denver, Colo. and blogs about style at Denver A La Mode.

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First Published Wed, 2011-09-14 11:14

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