WSJ-Marketwatch, early indications of demand for the designer collection looks to be less than stellar.
“We had high expectations following a warm reception at a NYC one-day pop-up shop on Nov. 29, with over 6,000 attending,” said Citigroup analyst Deborah Weinswig, adding she visited the Target store in New York on Saturday when the collection was officially launched. “We were disappointed by in-store execution. The collection was tucked in the back of the store, shelves were full and messy, and we saw little traffic.”
She added her contacts across the country relayed “similar accounts of in-store experiences.” While J.P. Morgan analyst Christopher Horvers had a more positive note, he noted disappointing sales. “It appears that the collection clearly was a traffic driver to the stores, but product sell-through from our small sample set seemed soft,” he said. “The collection clearly generated less excitement than the Missoni launch.”
But Horvers is still giving the collection some benefit of the doubt. He noted the launch took place at a time when it’s typically a lull during the holiday shopping period. “There’s a long way to go before Christmas,” the analyst said. And as an indicator of future demand, the analyst noted several items on Neiman Marcus’s website were listed as sold out. On Monday morning, Neiman Marcus’s website showed sold-out items including a $59.99 Judith Leiber compact mirror, a $50 Diane von Furstenberg yoga mat and $8 Rodarte wrapping paper. They were all listed as still available on Target.com, indicating that Neiman Marcus’s “customer may have a greater affinity for the designers,” Weinswig said.
Target's spokesman Joshua Thomas responded to say that anywhere from 20 customers (in Miami) to more than 150 (in Minneapolis store) lined up outside of its stores before the opening on Saturday. Online traffic also was “on par” with that of Black Friday when the collection was launched, he said. It “wasn’t intended to be a one-day shopping event,” he said, adding the discount retailer “more than doubled” its inventory for the collection, as compared to Missoni for Target, to meet “anticipated demand.”
Meanwhile, I've noticed that all my local stores still seem to be pretty fully stocked with merchandise from the collab, as is the case at this downtown Chicago store (shown here, courtesy of Racked.com). People just don't seem excited about this stuff, which has me wondering if - and when - the merchandise will go on clearance.