Target's Lilly Pulitzer line results in shopping frenzy online, in stores

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Social media buzz. Plenty of chatter in the press. 'Sold Out' alerts. And a website crash.

The launch of Target's collaboration with summer fashion icon Lilly Pulitzer got off to a dramatic start early Sunday morning, as high demand for the bright-colored beach themed merchandise caused some issues with its website right off the bat.

The items were meant to be available online at 3 a.m., but the launch was delayed until about 5 a.m. because of the massive demand, Target spokesman Joshua Thomas said, according to FOX 9.

Target.com never crashed, but "there was extreme traffic" to the site, said Thomas, and so the company intentionally shut down the site for about 15 minutes around 3 a.m., USA Today reports.

Once it was back up and running, almost the entire collection was sold out online by noon, Thomas said.

It was a similar story at Target retail locations across the country, as shoppers lined up in advance of stores' opening to get the first chance at the much anticipated merchandise, according to the Star Tribune.

Those who didn't get there right away were out of luck, as many stores sold virtually all their merchandise within just a few hours.

Many frustrated shoppers vented on Twitter.

Many of the Lilly Pulitzer items have already made it to the online bidding site eBay, according to FOX 9.

Target doesn't plan to make more of the products available because it was designed as a limited-time collaboration with Lilly Pulitzer.

Target had a similar experience a few years ago when it collaborated with Italian clothing designer Missoni. The company's website did crash several times during that episode and merchandise in the stores sold out within hours.

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