They didn't meet Hunter's—or Target's—standards.
Target announced today they will not be selling the women's tall rain boots originally included in the Hunter for Target collaboration. After first saying the boots were going to be delayed, the company followed up by saying that the boots simply do not meet their standards.
"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," says Mark Tritton, Target's Chief Merchandising Officer and Executive Vice President. "We are working with a third party to recycle the boots."
Unfortunately for many of us, the Hunter collaboration with Target has been, well, disappointing. Between items selling out in the wee hours of the launch mornings and the debacle with the women's tall boots, it hasn't quite been the shopping spree we planned. In his statement, Tritton seemed to acknowledge that, saying, "The risk of further disappointing our guests is a risk we aren't willing to take."
In the chaos of the eleventh-hour delay on the women's rain boots, a few apparently managed to sneak onto Target shelves—which gives us a sense as to why they were swiftly taken back.
after a closer inspection I see why the tall women's hunter x target boots were recalled lolololol what do I do @Target @AskTarget? I'm not risking my life to go back to my target store again when they are actually released!!!! pic.twitter.com/ssazzyJnhH
— Dina Joanna (@dinajoanna) April 14, 2018
Before the launch, there were concerns that the quality of the Hunter brand was going to be significantly diluted to meet Target's price point. In the initial collaboration announcement from the companies, they did note the boots were to be "unique and exclusive to this partnership," rather than simply marked-down versions of Hunter's boots.
It seems those concerns were realized in a rather embarrassing way. But, honestly, we have to give Target and Hunter credit not only for trying—but also for admitting the mistake and trying to make it right. Now we just hope that Target is going to use this as a learning experience to make the next brand collaboration even better. And when that happens, we'll still be glad to be the first in line.