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Target Corp. bonanza gets botched

MINNEAPOLIS, Sept. 22 (UPI) -- U.S. retail giant Target Corp. is watching a major sales coup crumble into a potential fiasco, a retail analyst said.

Target's coup was to offer merchandise from Italian designer Missoni -- famous zigzag patterns -- with a sale that went so well the store's Web site crashed, The Boston Globe reported Thursday.

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That was over a week ago. Now, some customers are finding delivery on some products delayed and others are finding orders canceled.

The backlash on the Internet has been fierce. "The BP oil spill of fashion," one posting on Facebook said.

Some consumers are calling for a boycott of Target stores. Others are saying they will boycott Target themselves.

"The lessons here are to plan and forecast these events very carefully, and not go for the big bang," said Brian Walker, an industry analyst at Forrester Research in Cambridge, Mass.

"The big bang may be great to generate market hype and buzz, but can be a nightmare in serving customers, both online and offline." Walker said.

Target said in a statement that "unprecedented demand," caused the Web site to crash.

"This demand impacted our Target.com site and affected the shipment and delivery of select guest orders," the company said.

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Another retail analyst, however, figured the mess would go down as an event in which there is no such thing as bad publicity.

"This isn't so horrible," said Mike Tesler, president of a consulting firm, Retail Concepts.

"In spite of what the geeks and techies are saying, I think it's a good thing for Target," Tesler said.

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