Friday, September 30, 2011

Deeply discounted Missoni...

It's been my experience in the past that if you return something to Target that was an "online only" item (but returnable to the store) then they put it back out on the sales floor and automatically discount it to 75% off. Don't ask me why they do this; I've just seen it happen multiple times. So it didn't surprise me earlier this week when I saw this Missoni for Target "romper" - which initially looked like a top to me, but I guess it's a "onesie" that you're supposed to sleep in - at my local store marked down to $9.99 (down from $39.99). The re-ticket clearly stated that it was an "online only" item, hence the steep markdown.

So if you have a keen eye - and keep checking your local stores for Missoni online returns - you may just score yourself a bargain!

The Returns Department...

It’s time for another installment of The Returns Department, a sporadic feature on my blog in which I share with you an impulse buy that went awry. So remember the Mossimo wedge boots that I blogged about earlier this week? I was impressed that they arrived so quickly (yesterday, to be exact) but not so thrilled once I opened the box. It turns out they're made of faux-suede, which wasn't disclosed in the product description... which is another issue I have with Target's revamped website: they now provide few - if any - product details.

Anyway, I'm just not loving them, so I'll be returning them today. I'd rather wait for those Vintage Varsity boots to come in. I noticed these boots by MkLuk on Target's site (available online only) and am wondering if they're the same ones in the TV ad - ? It's hard to tell, but they look awfully similar.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Michelle Obama still hearts Target

The Associated Press reports that the First Lady sneaked out for a little Target shopping trip today at the Target store on Route 1 in Alexandria, Virginia. Trying to look incognito, she was spied wearing a Nike baseball cap, sunglasses and a floral-print button-down shirt with a neon v-neck tank.

The AP reported that Secret Service agents, also dressed casually, arrived at the store 30 minutes before the first lady, who shopped with an assistant. She reportedly spent 30-40 minutes shopping and was only recognized by her cashier.

But we already knew that Mrs. Obama was a Target fan. She was seen wearing a dress from Target in Phoenix back in August 2009, and then wore that same dress in July of this year. And during the 2008 presidential campaign, Mrs. Obama proudly proclaimed herself "more of a Target shopper," saying she preferred the store to Walmart.

The High/Low Project

Reader "Critfur" emailed me the other day to ask if I'd ever seen an HGTV show called "The High/Low Project", hosted by Sabrina Soto and sponsored by Target. Then today, I got the following message from reader "Liz", who asked:

"Thx for your ref to Bulleye's View. The current feature photo, with Sabrina Soto, has her standing in her home office, and I'm dying to find out where I can get the white, low console piece behind her desk--would you have any idea how to source this information?"

Liz, I would try going to the Target page on HGTV's site and scrolling down until you see the "Designer Q&A" section. From there, it looks like you can click a red link to "Ask your question now" to ask Sabrina where you can get that console. Good luck!

And Critfur: you can also poke around the site for more information on "The High/Low Project". It looks like a great show, and I can't wait to watch it!

First Look: Harajuku Mini for Target

The highsnobette blog has posted our first look at Gwen Stefani's upcoming Harajuki Mini line for Target. Based on Gwen’s Harajuko Lovers label, this incarnation will only feature clothes for kids. It’s set to hit Target stores in November, with a second round arriving in January, and prices will range from $3.99 - $29.99.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Giada's Marinara Sauce voted #1

A year and a half ago, I reviewed Giada de Laurentiis' Vegetable Marinara Sauce (available exclusively at Target stores). And, I found it "bland and tasteless". So either I'm crazy, or I stand corrected, as Kitchen Daily just named it "The Best Marinara" (out of 30 brands tested) in a recent taste test. They deemed it "The hands-down winner. Fresh, full flavor" and "Very rich and complex flavor. Love it!" Maybe they've changed the formula, or maybe I need to give it another try. Or maybe I'm just spoiled by my Italian father's homemade recipe, I don't know :-)

The most outrageous Missoni for Target eBay listing...

Are you sitting down, readers? Because I found this story online this morning that made me spit out my coffee.

Tammy Lyn, of Tulsa, Okla., is listing a pair of Missoni for Target rubber rain boots on eBay for $31,000. The proceeds, she claims, will cover her daughter's first year in college.

"We have lived frugally and have some savings, but like most Americans, it's just not enough to cover college, retirement, and life at this point," she explained. "Missoni mania looked like the perfect opportunity for a miracle."

The boots, a size 10, retailed for $34.99, but as we all know are out of stock in Target stores and on Other current listings on eBay for the rain boots range from $60 to $100. Lyn says she bought the boots in a Target store near her home and is hoping to turn them into an instant college fund for her youngest daughter who is a freshman. The "Buy It Now" price - which includes free shipping - is roughly the equivalent of her daughter's college tuition for one year.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Target's Cyber Monday sale comes early

Now that Missoni is almost all sold out, Target's trying another tactic to drive shoppers to their site.
Today - as in right now - they're holding their "Cyber Monday" deals (normally held for the Monday after Thanksgiving) on their website. That means you can score a Nintendo Wii Console for $174.99 (regularly $214.99) or a Kitchen Aid Pro 4.5 qt. mixer for $199.99 (regularly $249.99). Or you can buy what I just put in my cart: these cute "Kasandra" by Mossimo wedge boots, on Cyber-sale for $25 (regularly $34.99).

Saturday, September 24, 2011

And the winner is...

The winner of my latest blog giveaway - for the Missoni for Target Note Card Set - is Elizabeth! Elizabeth's entry was picked by the random number generator over at Elizabeth, I've emailed you for your mailing address so I can get your prize out to you. And thanks again to everyone who entered and for continuing to read my blog!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Missoni for Target actually designed by... Target

The Star-Tribune has an interesting article on the downside of the Missoni-sellout, cautioning that Target’s success with the line comes with a price. Not only were Target’s website issues an embarrassment - especially since Target had just debuted its revamped website a few weeks earlier – but Target is left with precious little stock to sell between now and the holidays. While Target purposely limited the size of the Missoni collection to whip up demand, the goal of the Missoni line was to drive shoppers to the store and create momentum for the holiday shopping season. Now that plan is shot, and with no more Missoni to sell, Target has to scramble to fill stores with goods consumers will want for the upcoming holiday gift season.

But even more distressing is the revelation in the article that most of Missoni for Target wasn’t even designed by Missoni! A spokesperson for the Bullseye reveals that Target - which boasts one of the largest design teams in the country - designed most of the 1960s inspired collection in-house, based on input from Margherita Maccapani Missoni and Angela Missoni. So that Missoni for Target you’re sporting? Yeah, it’s a lot cheaper than real Missoni… but it’s also largely made in China, and wasn’t even designed by the family themselves.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Bullseye View

I can't believe I haven't come across this before now, but Target has a company blog called "A Bullseye View", which you can check out here. Featured stories this week include a recipe from celebrity chef Antonia Lofaso, a profile of Miss Jessie's hair products (which I wrote about way back in June of last year) and top picks from in-house Target home decor designer James Gallagher.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tuesday's Rant: the Missoni mess continues...

On Tuesdays I sometimes take the opportunity to rant about something I do not like about Target… because although I love ‘em to death, they ain’t perfect. Today's rant is an easy one: I was already planning a post on the “great Missoni mess of 2011”. We all have our horror stories from the past week. My latest one is that although I now have several confirmation emails from Target stating that my items have shipped (yay!) they are coming in multiple shipments (boo!) and one of the items needs to be signed for in person when delivered (WTF??!).

But that’s nothing compared to the tales being told over at, citing some poor gal in SoCal whose bank account was charged $1,000 for her Missoni for Target order… an order Target is claiming was never placed! You can read her full story – plus other tales of woe – here.

Stars score Missoni

When the Missoni for Target line went on sale last week, it crashed the Bullseye's website and instantly sold-out in many stores. But Page Six reports that there was one place that had plenty to go around: Jeffrey Katzenberg's Night Before Emmy Party at The Lawn in LA’s Century City. Stars such as Claire Danes (pictured here walking the Red Carpet), Jon Hamm and Sofia Vergara were offered armfuls of Missoni goods. Lucky for them.... but the rest of us will have to wait until the next shipment, or for more customer returns to show up.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Reader Giveaway: Missoni for Target notecard set

It's been a rough week, readers: a few of us scored some Missoni in stores, while others did not. Some of us braved Target's wonky web site, only to get emails stating their shipments have been delayed - or even worse - may not show up at all. Therefore, I think it's prime time for another reader giveaway to say "thank you" to all of you who continue to read my blog. And this time, I'm offering up a Missoni for Target blank notecard set. It contains 12 notecards in 3 different designs - with coordinating envelopes - in earthtones as shown here.

To win, all you need to do is leave a comment on this post along with your email address by Friday, Sept. 23rd. This giveaway is limited to U.S. residents only, and the winner (picked at random) will be announced on Saturday, Sept. 24th. Good luck!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Missoni returns are starting to trickle in...

...which allowed me to score two of these Missoni for Target etched-glass wine tumblers at the Sunnyvale Target store this morning. I also saw two of the martini glasses, which were lovely but I didn't need so I passed on them. I can always use more wine glasses; martini glasses, not so much. My husband (who was with me) joked that I should have bought them to sell on eBay, to which I shot him a dirty look. I will not join those eBay trolls!

Other than that, all I saw was a few lingerie pieces and two pairs of tights out of the package (???!) hanging where the Missoni womens' wear would normally be. A few of you have written in to say that you've seen returns start to show up at your local stores, too. I think the returns we're seeing now are due to legitimate "buyer's remorse", by people who overbought for themsleves. Give it a couple of weeks and the eBay scum who don't get the prices they'd hope from online sales will start returning their stuff as well.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Chances slim of Target restocking Missoni

Depending on whom you listen to on the Interweb, Target either will be - or will not be - restocking their Missoni collection. Tipster "E. Clemens" left a comment here saying s/he has it from a reliable source that "chances are that there will be no more shipments of Missoni clothing coming to stores....(they) will get a bit more of the non-clothing items and-or stuff that had yet to be delivered, but other than that, it was pretty much a one-time thing."

And even if you ARE able to find a store that's been restocked, you'll likely face the same sort of "feeding frenzy" from Tuesday. reports that there was Missoni for Target restock in West Hollywood yesterday, but if you weren't there by 7:30 in the morning and ready to brawl, you walked away empty handed. They describe the scene:

'There were already about 30 people gathered around the door waiting for them to open, and when they did, they ran, full speed to the Missoni areas. A few greedy people filled their carts with all the items that were still there.... The best part of it all was that when everyone went charging in, one of the employees actually yelled “It’s all gone and we’re not getting any more!” She then referred to the customers as “a bunch of wild animals.” '

Thursday, September 15, 2011

"There's a delay in your order"

You don't ever want to get an email from Target with the title "There's a delay in your order". Yet that's exactly what I got this morning, regarding the additional Missoni for Target order I placed after my early Tuesday shopping trip.

My iPhone cover (shown) and my coveted black & white sweater coat (now sold out) are delayed until the end of the month. Will these items ever actually show up? Honestly, I don't have much faith that they will. With the multiple site crashes on Tuesday, I'm sure that Target's orders are all screwed up, and they potentially put through more transactions than they actually have inventory for.

The "missing" Missoni items...

Have you noticed that there are several Missoni for Target items that must have been available in-stores only and not sold online? Case in point: the travel pillow and eye mask (shown here) which I've seen all over eBay, but could never find on Likewise, a friend of mine keeps looking for the Missoni makeup brush set, but I don't think it was ever offered for sale online. Did any of you out there score any of these "store only" items?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Missoni backlash....

The NY Times published an article late yesterday regarding Target's web site issues, calling it an "unusual fumble for the large retailer" as they were "unprepared for online shoppers’ hunger for the items." They report that on "Twitter and other social media sites, thwarted shoppers posted furious messages and commiserated about the site’s failure, with a few bragging that they had made it through in the brief periods that was working."

One shopper posted on Twitter: “Seriously so mad at @TargetStyle. Why did you not prepare for the Missoni for Target line?” And the actress Mindy Kaling (from The Office) posted “@target broke my heart today when I could not access their site once in 9 hours for Missoni.”

The site is back up today, but most items seem to be out of stock. And some items look like they're available, but when you go to put it in your online shopping cart, you get the error message "this item is out of stock online".

The article went on to cite complaints from consumers - as I've already been voicing here on this blog - about the rampant number of Missoni for Target items being resold on eBay at a huge markup. Case in point: 24 hours ago, there were about 270 Missoni for Target items on eBay. When I left work yesterday, that number had jumped to over 9,000. And now, a quick check shows the total at over 24,000. This is just plain wrong, IMO. And buyer beware if you bid on these items, as in checking these eBay listings I found that MANY are from sellers who have only 0-5 feedback ratings. Meaning: they clearly just set up an eBay account in the past few days, and only to cash-in on all the Missoni mayhem.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Missoni Madness!

Dear readers, I have never been so exhausted from a shopping trip in my life... especially one that took a grand total of 20 minutes! This morning I arrived at my local Target store at 8:02am. To my horror, the parking lot was already 3/4 full! I walked into the store to find that the women's section was well ripped apart, with most racks already empty. There were probably close to 30 women fighting over the goods; it was surreal. Across the aisle in accessories, I searched frantically for the laptop case and the umbrella (two items I really wanted) but there were none to be found. I was able to nab the last silk scarf and last pair of purple knit gloves, and then the section was bare. I was also able to get the tights shown here, as well as a pair in more neutral tones.

I turned around to see Target employees replenishing some of the women's wear, and quickly grabbed a long cardigan (similar to the one shown here, only in tans and browns). The women around me had their carts completely filled with what I estimated to be hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in merchandise. Quickly moving along to the housewares section, I discovered that all the rugs, throws, shower curtains, and towels were gone. I was able to grab one of these gorgeous vases before they all went; there were only a handful left when I arrived. A quick scan of the area told me that all of the kitchenwares - the dishes, glassware, etc. - had been picked over, except for a scant few zig-zagged tumblers.

I raced to the stationery section, grabbing the last two wine gift boxes (at $9.99 each, which are being marked up to $69.99 on eBay!) as well as two packs of notecards and a soy candle. As I turned to make my way to the checkout lanes, the endcap had pretty much been picked clean.

I would say that by the time I arrived at the store - again, two minutes after opening! - the Missoni for Target collection was 70% sold out. By the time I left - at 8:20 - it was probably 90% sold out. I overheard some Target employees telling frustrated shoppers that they'd already put out all the merchandise they had in inventory, and that they didn't expect any additional shipments for several days.

When Target's web site finally got back up & running, I was able to also order an iPhone cover, the black & white zig-zag coat I'd been coveting, and a knit scarf to match the gloves I had bought. But a quick scan of their site showed numerous items already sold out, including the laptop bag I'd hoped to nab this morning. [Warning: the site keeps going up & down. It took a couple of hours for me to actually be able to "check out" and complete my transaction].

Overall, I'm happy with what I bought, and I think Target did a good job with this collab, although they probably underestimated the public's demand. My advice for anyone who went shopping today and was disappointed at the limited supply is to be patient. Do NOT give in to the disgusting markups on eBay by people trying to make a fast buck. Let all the fanfare die down, wait for the additional shipments to come in, and watch for customer store returns by people who "overbought" on launch day.

Target's website currently DOWN

Target's website is currently down this morning, replaced by their cute mascot dog dressed as a construction worker (shown here). is reporting that it's been down for about an hour already, leading to speculation that perhaps the Missoni for Target madness crashed the site.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Target takes aim at college consumers

The New York Times had an interesting article their business section yesterday about how key brands - including Target - are aiming to convert college kids into future customers. At the University of North Carolina, Target went so far as to sponsor a welcome dinner on the Friday of move-in weekend. Then on Saturday, for the first real social event of the year, it hired buses to ferry students to a Target store in Durham for a midnight shopping trip. Shown here is the Target mascot line-dancing at the event; you can read the full article on the NYT's site.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Missoni for Target shoes spotted at my local Target!

That's the good news. The bad news is that I wasn't that impressed.

While at Target today - and purely by accident - I found an endcap in the shoe department with the signature zig-zag Missoni boxes. This was mid-day, so there were only a few left; size 5, 6 1/2, 10 and 11 of these pumps (shown here) and one child-size pair of the ballet flats. At $22.99, I felt the flats were a better buy, even for kids' shoes...though in inspecting the quality, I could tell that these would only last a kid one season (if that). As for the pumps: perhaps I just came upon a bad batch, but each one had flaws -- poor stiching, heel scuffs, glue globs, etc. And at $39.99, I wouldn't have bought them even if they'd had my size.

If all indicators are correct, however, quality won't detract this line from selling out. is reporting that there was a 4-hour wait to get into the Missoni for Target pop-up shop at NYC's FNO on Thursday and that it completely sold out. And a quick web search shows that some of the goods are already showing up on eBay.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Sonia Kashuk how-to videos

Sonia Kashuk (whose makeup line is sold exclusively at Target) has created some brand-new how-to videos. These videos are extra special because she demonstrates all her tips & tricks on herself, walking you through her entire morning makeup routine. The videos are broken into categories by foundation, cheeks, lips, brows and eyes, and can be viewed on her youTube channel, SoniaKashukInc, and on her website under "Make-Up.TV".

Rachel Zoe hearts Target

Look who hearts Target: none other than celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe, shown here at last night's exclusive party celebrating the Target for Missoni pop-up store in New York City.

Zoe, excited by the Target collab, was quoted as saying "my house is Missoni, my life is Missoni, I love they they are such a family run business....they're just incredible."

Missoni for Converse

Missoni for Target isn't the only Missoni collab the brand is launching this month. Today, Converse launches its fourth collaborative series with the Italian textile and fashion house. These Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars are done up in a zig-zag palette of tan, olive, black, brown, grey, and blue, and sadly, won't be available at Target. [I said Converse; not Converse One Star]. These beauties retail for $200, and will be avaialable at Missoni boutiques in New York City, Malibu, and Beverly Hills.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

FNO's preview of Missoni for Target

Fashion editors got to preview the Missoni for Target collection last night - 24 hours ahead of tonight's Fashion Night Out. reports that the goods they inspected "definitely looks like Missoni, but if feels a little like in, you can tell it shouldn't be priced at over $1,000."

They also reported that "the clothes seemed pretty good. Some pieces appeared to be doing better than others, like the poncho-style sweaters and the pajama-like short shorts. On the other hand, things like a mustard coat and a pink turtleneck were kind of just sitting there, but maybe people only wanted to buy things that were blatantly zig-zag...... The real gems seem to be the housewares, all inexpensively priced and all very cute. Keep your eyes peeled for vases, shower curtains, throw pillows, dishes, and trays..... Other notables included the rainboots, the ballet flats, the tights, and laptop cases. "

And the WSJ advises that those of us on the east and west coasts (and a few select cities) are more likely to get our hands on Missoni than other areas of the country. They report that "Target will apportion the 400 items in the Missoni collection more heavily to urban stores and those on the east and west coasts. Stores in Birmingham, Ala.; Fort Union, Utah; and North Jackson, Miss., also will get large selections because they have had high sales rates for past collections."

Monday, September 5, 2011

Double-Take: Target vs. Pottery Barn

This double-take is for my friend Meg, who asked me the other day whether she could score barstools cheaper at the Bullseye than at Pottery Barn. The answer most definitely is "yes, you can!"

One of these saddle-style barstools is from Pottery Barn, and will set you back $119 each. The other, from Target, is less than half that amount, at just $49.99 each. Can you guess which one is which? The answer appears in the comments section below.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Target parts ways with longtime ad agency

This is old news (which broke back in May) but it's news to me. Target has ended its longtime relationship with ad agency Peterson Milla Hooks. The Minneapolis-based shop (with only 50 people) has been responsible for many of Target's most beloved campaigns over the last dozen years, including "Sign of the Times," "Color My World," "Design for All" and "Hello Goodbuy." It also produced campaigns to promote the retailer's popular design partnerships with labels such as Liberty of London, Michael Graves, Sonia Kashuk, and most recently, Missoni.

Back in 2009, Wieden & Kennedy was tapped as Target's lead agency, as the retailer made major changes to its agency structure. It had long relied on a roster of primarily boutique agencies, including Peterson Milla Hooks. Still, even with Wieden on board, PMH maintained responsibility for much of the retailer's style and design-focused marketing. Now all that business will be consolidated under Wieden & Kennedy.

To me, this news is puzzling, and I wonder if there were "corporate politics" behind the move. I work in marketing, and when managing creative agencies, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Meaning, if your client/agency relationship is good, and the agency is delivering what they promise, you don't go switching agencies. PMH put Target on the map and into the hearts and minds of consumers with intriguing, compelling TV spots. Their campaigns established the Bullseye as an advertising icon and further honed Target's status as the master of "cheap chic". I'd hate to see that status ruined with a change in creative direction.