Target Corp.'s limited-time collaboration with Finnish design house Marimekko hits stores and its website in the wee morning hours on Sunday.
The question is whether it will inspire the kind of pandemonium that the retailer's Lilly Pulitzer design partnership did last year.
As the Minneapolis-based retailer has learned from doing more than 150 of these sorts of limited-time collaborations, demand is hard to predict. But the company is not taking any chances. Dozens of Target's technology, social media and guest relations employees will work through the night Saturday to monitor the online launch and to help troubleshoot any problems.
Last year, Target.com nearly crashed from the mob of customer traffic for its Lilly Pulitzer collection. By the time frustrated fashionistas were able to get into the site, many pieces were already sold out.
"It's all hands on deck making sure the [Marimekko] launch goes as smoothly as possible," said Joshua Thomas, a Target spokesman.
If traffic does begin to overwhelm the site, Target will likely put shoppers into queues as it did on Cyber Monday last December, when its website was also swamped.
But the company hopes it won't have to do that. In the last year, it has been working to increase the site's capabilities to handle larger amounts of traffic during big shopping events.
"Every exclusive collection is always another test run for the volume and pace of the holiday season," said Amy Koo, an analyst for Kantar Retail.
The Marimekko for Target collection includes more than 200 items, from swimwear for women and girls to brightly patterned plates for a picnic and even paddleboards and other summer gear.
Most items are under $50.
Like a fair-minded parent, Target doesn't like to compare its design partnerships, often noting that each one is unique and special.
Executives have also learned their lesson about trying to figure out in advance how popular any particular collection will be after being burned. After a blockbuster Missoni collection in 2011, Target thought it had a home run with its Neiman Marcus collection a year later and bought too much product.
The result was a flop with many items marked down on clearance.
"These things can be like magic in a bottle," Thomas said.
Still, Marimekko has one of the special ingredients that has been part of Target's biggest hits when it comes to these collections: bright, distinctive prints and patterns.
Those also were part of the winning formula for Missoni and Lilly Pulitzer collections.
But there are signs this one will not reach the same frenzy of Lilly Pulitzer. For example, when Target held a pop-up shop in Manhattan's Bryant Park last year in advance of the Lilly Pulitzer collection hitting stores, long lines formed and it quickly sold out.
Last weekend, Target once again gave New Yorkers first dibs on the Marimekko collection.
It rolled around carts with a selection of items for sale on the city's High Line park, where the retailer had a couple of art installations to create buzz about the collection. But this time, the products did not sell out.
Thomas cautioned not to read too much into that since they were totally different events. And he added that the weather last weekend in New York was colder than expected, putting a damper on things.