It’s a rare event when the local evening news in New York’s lead teaser is about a retail collaboration story. Today, nearly everyone was talking about how quickly the Lilly Pulitzer collection sold out at Target. It almost feels as if it was gone before it got here. We wouldn’t be surprised if Target cut their production numbers after a series of several collaboration flops.
Before you panic, however, remember that most of those opportunistic eBay sellers will promptly return their hauls when they realize that most consumers aren’t willing to pay a pretty premium for Target-manufactered merchandise. As a matter of fact, many retailers have an average return rate of 33%, according to The Retail Equation. If you factor in the “limited-edition” psychology, the novelty of a collaboration, hyper media engagement and the inertia of mass hysteria, you can expect that the return rates will be even higher than the average.
That is good news for me and you because Target shortened their return policy to just 14-days for these types of limited edition collaborations. So you’re likely to see a lot of Lilly come back if you stalk your local Target customer service department.
The best news is that Lilly Pulitzer is always available at, yes, Lilly Pulitzer. Be sure to take a look because many items are less expensive than you would imagine and the quality is much higher than anything found at Target. This little girl’s shift dress is just $48 or about $20 more than the shift dresses from Target. Women ‘s shift dresses are still affordable at $138 and maxi-dresses are under $200. Take note, Lilly Pulitzer has bi-annual sales (see our review here) where a large assortment of merchandise is reduced 50% to 70% off.
If you’re looking for the real deal on sale items now, you don’t need to go any further than Saks Fifth Avenue. The designer is one of the few included in the store’s friends and family sale and is all now 30% off. Neiman Marcus has this print dress on sale for just $32
Before you have a preppy beach party of your own, be sure to read our interview with Lilly Pultizer’s fashion director, Janie Schoenborn. It’s from 2010 but the content is still classic.