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Getting your hands on a "Boom!" sweatshirt or a leopard print skirt at Sunday morning's Phillip Lim for Target launch in Columbia Heights was no big deal. If you wanted a mini-satchel/Pashli or any other handbag, well, that's a different story. Shoppers picked the accessories rack clean within the first five minutes, and then just about mugged a Target employee pushing a shopping cart full of handbags when she tried to restock the stand.
There was a crowd of about 40 people in line when we arrived about 10 minutes before 8 a.m. The group broke into a brisk mall-walk pace when a Target employee opened the door, making a beeline for the handbags at the front of the display. A few people grabbed up to four bags from an already meager selection.
When every single Phillip Lim for Target handbag on display was snatched up within the first few minutes, shoppers refused to believe that was really the end. They loitered, hoping for more bags to be brought out. Miscommunication reigned, with one employee telling the waiting shoppers they had nothing in the backroom, while another employee told those in the dressing room line on the other side of the store that they would bring out bags one by one to each shopper.
Minutes later, an employee wheeled out a shopping cart full of handbags and a group of people actually ran down the aisle toward her, pushing and shoving, and probably terrifying the employee. Every handbag was gone in less than a minute.
About thirty minutes later, a Target manager brought out about 20 more black and gray satchels in both sizes, but this time with a plan. Shoppers had to wait in an orderly line behind stanchions, with preference given to the folks in the dressing room who had been promised a bag. And only five shoppers were allowed at a time, with a limit of one item per person.
Tons of pieces weren't in stock at the Columbia Heights store, including the floral shirtdress, the leopard sweater dress, the scarves, and moto-leather jackets. We didn't see any drawstring bags or peplum tops either. Items like lingerie sets got snapped up fast, but the "Boom!" and leopard pieces, floral shirts, sequin dresses, and the drop waist dresses were plentiful, as were the trench coats for both men and women. If you ventured out of the District to Targets in Virginia or Maryland for the 3.1 Phillip Lim x Target collab launches, let us know if the crowd was less feisty.