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Missoni madness swept store shelves and crashed Target's website Tuesday as the retailer launched its latest designer partnership. Missoni for Target includes everything from cardigans and ballet flats to sheets and luggage from the Italian fashion house known for its bold zig-zag and geometric designs.
And it was gone before you could say "What's Missoni?"
Fashionistas hauled away the high-style goods in carts as soon as store doors opened at stores at 8 a.m., and orders jammed and crashed the company's website, which was down for three hours Tuesday morning. Target issued this statement mid-morning, shortly before programmers got the website back up, although with limited access:
"Due to an overwhelming amount of traffic to Target.com as a result of the Missoni launch this morning, guests are unable to access the site. Providing a positive shopping experience to our guests is important to us and we are working to get the site back up as soon as possible. We apologize for the inconvenience."
The line at the Edina SuperTarget near Southdale started shortly before the doors opened at 8 a.m., said Haley Sando, executive team leader at the store.
"I think we were a little bit blown away," Sando said. "I just don't think we were prepared for how fast things were going to go. Guests had full shopping carts, full baskets."
The hottest items: clothing and accessories, followed by towels and bedding. By 9:30 a.m., her store was "wiped out," Sando said. "People were shopping right off the flats we were bringing it out." The shopping was congenial, she said, but it left a lot of people frustrated.
The store might get more product to restock the shelves as early tonight, she said, but there were no promises.
"I heard one guest saying to another guest that she should load up her cart because she could sell it for twice as much."
Frustrated shoppers flocked to Twitter and Target Style's Facebook page to complain about people grabbing the merchandise and reselling it on eBay