Turns out, those particular customers can really throw down. In recent months, two Lilly Pulitzer events have turned into wildly chaotic disasters.
Last week, the company hosted its annual warehouse sale. Brand devotees took off work, forwent sleep, and courageously stood in multiple-hour lines to buy discounted Lilly dresses that normally sell for at least $200.
Unfortunately, the masses got a tad too rowdy and the company decided to shut the sale down early. The decision did not go over well:
Some of the outraged shoppers are reported to have driven 10 hours across state lines in hopes of buying the preppy clothing, which rarely goes on sale.
Reps for Lilly Pulitzer gave out fair warning about the long lines, and many in attendance were not sympathetic to the complaints of their fellow shoppers.
Last week’s disaster is the second time in recent months that Lilly Pulitzer has inspired a retail firestorm. When Target produced a designer collection with the brand earlier this year, shoppers quickly bought out all the merchandise and then resold the pieces with massive markups on eBay. The collaboration also inspired some kvetching from Lilly’s snobbier fans—they were upset with the perceived decline of the brand’s luxury image in collaborating with the mass-market retailer.
Surely, the wild, violent overreaction of Lilly Pulitzer fanatics can’t be helping that image issue.