It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that Target’s latest designer collaboration with Finnish design house Marimekko was not the grand slam that was last year’s Lilly Pulitzer collection.
Three weeks after the launch, Target stores still have plenty of the distinctive patterned stuff lying around. And some of the pieces went on sale Sunday, discounted at 30 percent. (For the record, it hasn't been marked down -- yet -- as steeply as Target's Neiman Marcus collaboration a few years ago, when prices were slashed 50 percent.)
That is in stark contrast to Lilly Pulitzer for Target's debut in April 2015, which pretty much sold out immediately and never sat around long enough to go on sale.
Nonetheless, there are signs that Marimekko for Target was a success. Ecommerce analytics firm Slice Intelligence says the merchandise helped bring new customers to Target.com and increase spending on the site. About 38 percent of those who shopped the collection online had not shopped Target.com in the previous six months. (For Lilly, about half of the traffic was from new customers.)
Slice data also shows that the Marimekko release boosted Target’s online marketshare by 10 percent with Marimekko accounting for 21 percent of Target’s online revenue that week.
Yes, Lilly Pulitzer drove even more sales, about one-third of Target's online sales that week, yielding 41 percent more sales than Marimekko. But Marimekko’s online sales surpassed those of other limited-time designer collaborations Target has had in recent years such as Peter Pilotto, Altuzarra, and Faribault Woolen Mill.
The Slice Intelligence take away was this: “While Marimekko’s market debut is undoubtedly a sales success for Target, the release is a distant second” to Lilly Pulitzer.
For its part, Target spokesman Joshua Thomas said there was a lot of buzz and excitement about the collection (which is one of the main reasons Target does these partnerships in the first place) and most of it is sold out online.
He added that these programs are never intended to sell out in one day as Lilly Pulitzer practically did. Rather, they are designed to stay around for 4 to 6 weeks, with markdowns being part of the plan to make room for new products.
"With the exception of Missoni and Lilly (Pulitzer), all of our other designer collaborations went on markdown," he wrote in an email.