Marimekko: Expect another sellout at Target

RetailWire panelists recently weighed in on the latest designer collaboration at Target — this time featuring the Finnish brand Marimekko. (You’ve probably seen the commercials already.) Based on past history, Target will sell out of goods online and in-store very quickly. The question is whether it’s good for the brand or the long-term reputation of Target:

The designer collaborations may be good for Target’s brand cachet, but in the long run they have only reinforced the chain’s reputation for poor supply chain management. I fully understand retailers’ desire to buy “too little” instead of “too much” — but the coming feeding frenzy (in-store and online) is not going to please the very customers for updated apparel that Target is trying to draw back to the store on a consistent basis — not just once a year.

Is it any wonder that Target felt compelled to hire away a supply chain executive from Amazon? Will he be able to manage these types of events in the future, in order to sell out in a week instead of an hour? (And bringing the website to a crashing halt…) It requires a commitment to a different mindset on the part of Target’s senior management.

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