The Genius of Lilly Pulitzer

Hello everyone! This article is basically my Ode to Lilly Pulitzer; not even to the clothing, but the company itself. From working  in retail since I was 16, to having a marketing internship last year, I have learned the in’s and out’s of marketing and merchandising…and let me tell you, Lilly Pulitzer takes the cake every time. I’m going to do a listicle on how and why their marketing and merchandising strategies are ingenious and if I ever started a business I’d want to be this good at my job.

Their exclusive patterns every season. Now most stores have exclusive season releases and other items that come out once a year, yet the way Lilly Pulitzer does it is more direct. They only have a few patterns come out a season and a limited number of clothes they come out with. This creates a consumer demand of urgency which, in turn, makes people BUY BUY BUY.

Their “gift with purchase” promotions. Again, many stores have this promotional tactic; however, Lilly Pulitzer has a better reward with the higher price spent. Sometimes this gets up to $2,500!! Spending that much in one store just concerns me honestly, but people buy into the promotion and spend like crazy so it works. People see that if they get a coaster set for spending $25 but a suitcase for $1,000 they might be like “okay well I can just get Christmas and birthday gifts now” and other things similar. This and the fact that you get the suitcase PLUS previous gifts, so the more you spend the more you get for free. Genius.

Lilly Pulitzer gift with purchase memorial day.png

Their exclusive release of a new item or pattern. They release a certain amount of patterns and items a season as I previously stated; however, sometimes they release an exclusive pattern halfway through which I know must boost sales a whole lot. New item = Urgency. People will think that it is even more exclusive and will be more likely to buy it but they will also believe other people will think the same thing and that it will sell out faster.

424 Custom Color_DESKTOP

Lilly Pulitzer for Target. Nuff Said. But really though, this was the best idea anyone ever thought of. This line released at like 8am on a Saturday morning and by honestly 9-10am every single target across the country sold out of every clothing and home good item that was created. Lilly Pulitzer made their clothing and items affordable and teenagers like me FLOODED to the stores to purchase the uncharacteristically cheap items.

Their sales. Lilly Pulitzer has sales twice a year that start at 8am(?) and it is a momentous occasion. Almost every store I know has a “sale”or “clearance” tab on the right hand side of their site or the drop down menu; however, Lilly does not. This makes the sales like unicorns in a desert and causes people to go CRAZY in order to get these items. To get people to come back throughout the sale, Lilly Pulitzer releases new items throughout the duration to get people to come back. EVEN MORE GENIUS. People can get $200+ dresses for $40-$50. People stock up and then re-sell items, purchase birthday gifts, or just treat themselves. Regardless, Lilly Pulitzer is a marketing genius with these sales.


I hope this fangirling of the business aspects of Lilly Pulitzer at least somewhat fascinated you all. I love merchandising and promotion because I am a business and clothing nerd but I feel like everyone needs to know about their genius.

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Senior Fashion Merchandising/Apparel Design major at Georgia Southern University! This is my blog where I post about lifestyle, fashion, and make DIYs for you to copy! I would love to connect so give me a follow (:

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