A few days ago, I stumbled across Target's new "Modern Cottage" line, full of chinoiserie inspired patterns in coral, white, and black. To my delight, the website showed they were all in stock at my nearest Target. As usual, I failed to hear the background music - that ominous DUM DAH DUM that accompanies all assumptions. If I'd listened, I'd probably have recalled another time when this particular timpani and drum roll sounded - the Nate Berkus Collection. On the collection's widely advertised launch date, Target's website listed the Berkus items fully stocked at three of my local Targets, when in fact, they didn't have one thread or stick of Nate Berkus designed items in them, or any employees who could identify (alternatively): Nate "Kurbus," or, my favorite, Nate "Berkshires." I wasn't alone; the web was full of ranting bloggers who were very crabby after getting up at 6 AM and dashing off to the store, only to find it empty. You know where this is leading.

Modern Cottage. Don't you want all of these lovely things? Too bad! You can't have them.

Target did not have a single Modern Cottage item in stock, nor even display space for them. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice... . This time around, I whipped out my iphone, showed an employee the item numbers, and they discovered that the entire collection was still in the warehouse. I poured out my tale of woe to two sympathetic employees, Nadine and Megan (including a lengthy diatribe about the Berkus debacle), showed them the website listing the items in that store (and THREE other local stores, where they were also not actually stocked), and they performed a miracle. They had the goods I wanted transferred to the store within the afternoon. 

So Target, what gives? One employee helpfully told me to call first next time. OK, sure. Then take down the stock finder on your website, and have a local store phone number locator instead. If you can't reliably track your own stock, don't pretend to customers that you can.

Rant over.
And P.S., these ceramic parrots are in the store now. Or, are they?
/Images/ my own/


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