I tried not to write about it, knowing that most people tweeted and Facebooked their reactions bright and early on Sunday morning. Even I dusted off my twitter account with this tweet, which found its way onto Mashable:
But you know me-- I've never been current with anything, as evidenced by my stirrup pants in the mid-90's.
I want to share with you the bizarre experience (non-experience) of hitting the Lilly Pulitzer sale at Target Sunday morning.
I am not a Lilly girl.
I've never had a stitch of Lilly Pulitzer clothing, although I must admit I've admired the cute and colorful little girls' shifts for a long time, and I like preppy clothes. When Margaret began plotting and planning for the Target sale several months ago, I learned that Lilly is reaching a new generation.
Margaret made a wish list, counted the money she had saved up, and even negotiated with me an advance on the 3 remaining baby teeth she has left to lose.
She read blogs for sale day strategies: "Hang out near the dressing rooms to find what others have discarded," and found the store phone number so we could call ahead to check the store hours.
As a parent, I enjoy getting into what interests my kids. With Jack that meant listening to the ins in outs of Legos and the Harry Potter series. For Margaret, lately, it has been learning new makeup techniques, finding out that full brows are back in, as long as they are "on point" and yes, getting up extra early on a Sunday for a special sale at Target. And, if a cute and colorful Lilly Pulitzer home accessory or bangle came my way, I certainly wouldn't spurn it.
Well, you probably know how this tale goes. We got to the store before it opened, joined a surprisingly long line in the parking garage, and waited our turn to enter. The doors opened at 8:00 and our feet crossed the threshold at 8:03. Though the glass doors at 8:02 I could see patrons mouthing something to us. Were they really saying, "It's all gone?" What?
It was kind of like when a nice old man stands on the side of the road waving wildly and saying something to you, but you don't understand what he means until 100 yards further up the road when your path is blocked by a fallen tree. He has tried to warn you, but you don't put two and two together until you see it for yourself.
What Margaret and I saw was one small, empty rack in the women's department and one in the girls' department. We saw maybe 8-10 people checking out, floral items piled high on the conveyor belts.
"We might as well try the dressing room thing," said my defeated girl, but when we made our way there, no one was trying anything on. It had gone straight from the racks, to the lines, and was making its way out the door, before 8:05 a.m.
I had been thinking of how smart Lilly Pulitzer was to court teens with low priced items (the shorts Margaret wanted were only $12) and establish a relationship with them while they were young. It would have been a great move on their part, especially for young, label-conscious teens whose moms never introduced them to the brand and are not willing to pay boutique prices for clothes. Perhaps when those same teens grew up, they would already be loyal customers.
Margaret was most peeved at the ladies dressed head-to-toe in Lilly, who heaped the clothes on the belts, "They can afford them already; why do they need to buy the stuff I can afford?" she asked.
But as I stood there, a different thought came to me: that there was never any intention of having supply meet demand. To do so would dilute the designer brand. I'm not sure what the intention was, but the experience left me annoyed and Margaret mad and feeling foolish. I wanted to refuse to ever let her buy anything Lilly Pulitzer.
First world problems, for sure.
After a cup of tea, we headed to church for a little attitude adjustment. Later that evening we found out that a friend had a Lilly shift dress that her daughter had outgrown, so now Margaret is rocking the pink and she didn't have to spend a dime.