Target Has More Web Woes During Debut of Lilly Pulitzer Line

Target Corp. Store
Target has estimated that hackers stole credit- and debit-card data, as well as personal information, for as many as 110 million customers during the 2013 holiday shopping season. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

Target Corp.’s website malfunctioned during the release of another highly anticipated line of designer goods, leading to plenty of online angst.

Clothes and home products created by Lilly Pulitzer, a colorful beachwear brand, were to go on sale on its website early Sunday. About 1 a.m. New York time, the company said on its Twitter feed that the website was “updating and will be shoppable soon.” About five hours later, the company said it was working. By then, the site said much of the line was sold out, to the dismay of many.

“Disappointed!” read a Twitter post from Beth Chapman, owner of a bridal boutique in Clinton, Connecticut. “Logged on from midnight to 1 am & it wasn’t available. Logged back on at 7 am and you were virtually sold out!”

The line also sold well in stores, with shoppers lining up at locations across the country Sunday.

The glitch was reminiscent of Target’s debut of Italian fashion house Missoni’s line in September 2011. The online rush crashed Target’s entire website for most of the day, while also bringing lots of criticism from customers.

Target, in a statement, said heavy traffic to the site resulted in its slowness.

“We realize there is an extreme amount of excitement around this collaboration, and we apologize for any disappointment this may have caused,” the statement said.

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