Consumer Confidential: Target down, Whole Foods discount, minivan probe
--Apparently Target shoppers can't get enough of designer Angela Missoni. Target's website crashed on the same day that the retailer launched a new fashion line called "Missoni for Target." The company's Twitter account has been apologizing to customers for hours for the difficulties with its website. Target has been working with Italian luxury knitwear design house Missoni for the past year to develop the line of 400 items. Missoni's hallmark, colorful zigzag stripes, appear on everything from melamine appetizer plates (starting at $2.99) to a four-piece sectional furniture set ($599.99.) Most items are less than $40 and include knit dresses, tights, cardigans, rain boots, bedding, luggage, dinner ware, even iPad and iPod covers.
--Meanwhile, over at the LivingSocial site, people are flocking to a sweet offer from Whole Foods. The high-end grocer is offering 50% off, giving LivingSocial users $20 worth of groceries for $10. As part of the deal, 5% of proceeds will go to the Whole Kids Foundation, which supports schools and aims to inspire families to improve children's nutrition and wellness. There's a limit of one voucher per person. This is the highest-profile deal on LivingSocial to date following a similar discount with Amazon earlier in the year. The Whole Foods deal is poised to surpass the more than 1 million vouchers it sold for the Amazon deal. Anything that makes shopping at Whole Foods cheaper is OK by me.
--Heads up: Auto-safety regulators are opening an investigation into complaints that Chrysler minivan headlights can go out unexpectedly. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has received more than 1,500 complaints from consumers about the problem, including two reports of crashes, one of which caused a minor injury. Drivers have reported that the headlights turn off and stay off indefinitely. Toggling the headlight switch can sometimes get them to come back on, but not always. Additionally, vehicle owners have complained that the lights sometimes blink and flicker. Vehicles included in the investigation are the Chrysler Town and Country, the Chrysler Voyager, the Dodge Caravan and the Dodge Grand Caravan.
-- David Lazarus
Photo: Target's website is having a dog day. Credit: Jose Carlos Fajardo/MCT