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Target rains on shopper parade with cancellation of tall Hunter boots

By Published on .

Credit: Target

April showers might bring May flowers, but they won't bring some signature Hunter boots from Target.

Target said Friday that it is canceling a key item from its new Hunter design collaboration before it even hits shelves: Consumers will never be able to buy the women's tall rain boots from the "Hunter for Target" team-up, due to "production issues," according to the Minneapolis-based retail chain.

Announced last month, the 300-piece collection originally debuted April 14, but the women's boots that the U.K.-based rainwear brand is known for were said to be delayed. In Friday's note, Mark Tritton, Target's chief merchandising officer and executive VP, apologized for the cancellation.

"After thorough evaluation, we've decided not to make this item available. We're very sorry, but the production simply didn't meet our standards, Hunter's standards, or the standards we want guests to have when they shop at Target," wrote Tritton, noting that Target is working with a third party to recycle the boots.

"We promise to do better next time," Tritton added.

The news landed Target in a puddle of consumer frustration. Many shoppers were caught unaware and unsurprisingly took their disappointment to social media. Some called the boots the "main attraction" of the collab.

Others referenced previous collections in which Target disappointed consumers by selling out of limited pieces.

Indeed, three years ago Target faced similar ire when its Lilly Pulitzer collection sold out in a day, angering consumers who had waited on line for hours.

A Target spokesman declined to elaborate on Tritton's note.

But brand experts don't expect Target to suffer any lasting damage because the limited-run collaborations are still popular.

"Target's designer collaborations have all focused on the key principle of scarcity marketing and are designed to keep customers thinking about what's coming next," says Matt Sargent, senior VP of retail at Magid.

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