- John Lamparski / Stringer / Getty Images
- Target teamed up with preppy clothing brand Vineyard Vines to launch an exclusive collection on Saturday.
- Fans lined up early outside Target stores to snag the Vineyard Vines garments, and some observers compared the scenes within the stores to “Lord of the Flies.”
- Frustrated shoppers also took to social media to complain that the collection sold out too quickly.
- Visit BusinessInsider.com for more stories.
Target unrolled its hotly anticipated collaboration with Vineyard Vines on Saturday, and fans of the preppy clothing line rejoiced on social media.
Vineyard Vines is live! pic.twitter.com/qCwl3mfIWB
— Alexzandra Reyes (@ReyesAlexzandra) May 18, 2019
Eager customers even lined up outside of stores to snag the garments.
The target Vineyard vines collections releases in 20 minutes & I expected everyone in line to be teenagers/young adults… nope everyone in line is 40-50 and wearing their Vineyard vines shirts as if it’s a concert
— Brooke (@Brooke_ls22) May 18, 2019
The most civilized madhouse is target 8am for the debut of the vineyard vines line
— Eye Vee (@keepisisweird) May 18, 2019
Why yes I am at target at 8am for the vineyard vines release
— angela (@ARod1003) May 18, 2019
And that level of enthusiasm reportedly didn’t fade once these shoppers got inside the store.
At the @Target vineyard vines launch and within a second upon entering this girl swooped with her arm an entire section into her cart lmao
— Tom (@toberpretz) May 18, 2019
I roll upbto targer to get a broom and checkout the seasonal Oreo selection and no bullshit, there was a line there 30 min before opening, all people waiting for the introduction of vineyard vines in the store, there is currently a frenzy in the section ???????????? pic.twitter.com/bOU2gIeHuM
— Juan Adams UFC (@chosenjuan285) May 18, 2019
FYI THE VINEYARD VINES RELEASE AT TARGET IS LIKE LORD OF THE FLIES WITH AN ALL SOCCER MOM CAST
— Russell (@FarmerRussell) May 18, 2019
But the word through the grapevine is that this much-sought-after collection has also prompted complaints about long lines and sold-out merchandise.
@vineyardvines so what is the deal with Ladies plus sized #shepshirts and #polos at @Target online/instore? At midnight, they either said "unavailable" for shipping or "not in store". It's frustrating. Did they sell out in a milisecond??? #EDSFTG
— Hustle Bunnee (@HustleBunnee) May 18, 2019
the two things I wanted from the vineyard vines for target sold out…it went live 6 minutes ago @Target
— Queen K (@OHPrepster) May 18, 2019
seriously, @Target?! it's not even 6:30 am and ALL the plus-size clothing for the new vineyard vines collection is sold out. were there only like 5 of each size? ????
— Kimberly Ross (@kimmerkims) May 18, 2019
Such complaints aren’t too out of the ordinary in the world of retail. When customers encounter a tantalizing deal, only to find that it’s no longer available, they’re likely to get upset. And that frustration is going to be compounded by the fact that they’ve just woken up early to drive to the store or stayed up until midnight awaiting a launch.
“With any limited-edition partnership, we aim to strike a balance between offering enough inventory so guests can purchase the items they want, while keeping the collections limited in nature,” a Target spokesperson said in a statement to Business Insider. “With Vineyard Vines for Target, we’ve seen a considerable amount of excitement from guests sharing their purchases on social media and lining up at Target stores across the country. “
It’s happened time and time again, whether shoppers are railing against retailers’ websites crashing on Black Friday or people blasting Walmart’s swiftly-snapped-up line of video games on Cyber Monday.
Read more: 8 celebrities who love to shop at Target
Target in particular is vulnerable to this phenomenon, given its frequent and limited collaborations with exclusive designers. In fact, a situation similar to the current Vineyard Vines controversy happened last year, when Target partnered with British clothing line Hunter.
And it sounds like folks who missed out on the Vineyard Vines launch are likely out of luck. Target’s official Twitter account did inform one frustrated customer that the “popular” Vineyard Vines items “sold out quickly.”
“Since this collection is available for a limited time only, it will not be replenished,” the tweet said. “We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.”
But there’s still some hope for late shoppers.
“Across the board, we’re thrilled with the response to this collection, and there are still items available in our stores and on Target.com for those who haven’t had a chance to shop it yet,” a Target spokesperson told Business Insider.