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Target Faces Backlash From Customers Looking For Missoni

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(credit: CBS) Esme Murphy
Esme Murphy, a reporter and Sunday morning anchor for WCCO-TV, h...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — An all-out marketing blitz online, in magazines and in the blogosphere had shoppers ready for the debut of the very high-end Missoni line at Target stores.

But, the line sold out quickly in stores nationwide, crashing Target’s website and leaving many shoppers angry.

Social networking sites, especially Twitter, are providing a platform for the backlash, which features tweets like this one on Wednesday, “So Target is totally sold out of Missoni and the only way to get it is from extorting eBay trolls?” The answer is yes.

At the downtown Minneapolis Target, the 400-item Missoni collection is down to a few pieces, with a crowd of wistful shoppers gazing at the remaining scraps.

“I’m really disappointed it’s only the second day of the collection and I was really hoping there would be more stuff,” Natalie Barry said.

Around town you can spot the ones who got to Target early Tuesday — like Keegan Shoutz, who waited in line for the St. Louis Park store to open and scored a number of items including a tie for $24 and socks for $6.

“I was getting text messages from people who had gone to the the downtown store saying it was already wiped out,” Shoutz said.

The big question is whether Target will get new merchandise and while Target would not provide anyone on camera for us to interview, off camera they said that won’t be happening — that bits of merchandise will dribble in.

And not being able to restock could be a PR problem for Target.

“It’s kind of a weighing situation,” Prof. Dave Brennan of St. Thomas University said. “They really have something here and the other problem is, they don’t have enough of it. The disappointing thing is, if it’s all gone in one day, it really makes you look pretty bad.”

As for eBay, 27,000 items from the Target collection are now on the online auction website.

A $65 towel on eBay was $13 at Target Tuesday. Bad news for Becca Bijoch, as she scoured the Internet at her job at Lola Red PR. Her hopes of a Missoni bathroom makeover is fading fast.

“I am super bummed,” Bijoch said.

Experts say some of this falls into the “any publicity, is good publicity” category but Target was also hoping having the Missoni merchandise in stores for the next month would lure shoppers in who would then buy other items. With no more merchandise, that’s not going to happen.

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