Target, Starbucks have big problem after Stanley cup meltdown


One of the more surprising aspects of the 2020s has been the ongoing water bottle trend. Each year, millions of social media users and influencers flock to a particular water bottle brand, usually brightly colored and vacuum sealed, for seemingly no other reason than everybody else has got one. Related: Yeti acquires major brand to take on Stanley CupsFirst it was Yeti  (YETI)  that had all the fans. Then the tides slowly turned toward HydroFlask. And most recently, water bottle enthusiasts have been liking – or perhaps more appropriately –obsessing over Stanley tumblers made by Stanley 1913. The water bottles have been such a sensation that the brand has enjoyed success from several recent collaborations, namely one at Target  (TGT)  via a partnership with interior decor celebrity Joanna Gaines and another with Moss Oak Camo. But its biggest hit has been its recent January collaboration with Starbucks  (SBUX) , sold exclusively at Target stores. The 40 ounce Quencher models were available in a “Winter Pink,” color, reminiscent of a Barbie hot pink. Since many Targets already have a Starbucks inside their stores, this seemed like a natural enough fit. The cups were marked at $49.95 per unit and, since they were only being sold for a limited time, Target warned customers that once they were gone, they’d be gone for good. “We are seeing an enthusiastic response to the Starbucks x Stanley Quencher and many stores have sold out,” a Starbucks rep said at the time. “It will not be restocked.”Naturally, mania ensued, and social media documented long lines queuing for the cups – and some people even staked out overnight just for the hopes of grabbing a cup (or several.) Starbucks and Target face Stanley cup backlashSince some employees at Target and Starbucks ostensibly had early access to the launch (they would have been the ones stocking shelves with them) some of them were also understandably excited. The cups would make the perfect present for a loved one, or the perfect opportunity to scoop up some extra cash by reselling them online, often for more than triple the original sticker price.At least one Redditor claims on the Target subreddit that some employees had been stashing the water bottles until their shift ended, where they would then purchase the items for themselves. So Target allegedly took issue with this. According to its employee handbook, workers “cannot use their status to gain an unfair advantage over guests when it comes to purchasing merchandise,” claims Business Insider.Workers fired over Stanley cup fiasco Reports of firings over the recent Stanley cup fiasco at Target are rampant, and new postings for open positions at Target and Starbucks inside Targets seem to be ballooning. At least 300 openings for baristas and 60 openings for Starbucks Team Leads around the country have been posted recently. Some still-employed workers claim they have to cover more hours and operate machinery they weren’t previously trained on. It’s not clear how many Target or Starbucks employees had been fired in the wake of the limited-release, though Target does specify that it has a rule that limited-time promotional merchandise must be displayed clearly for guest purchase for at least 15 minutes before an employee is allowed to purchase anything for him or herself.Related: Veteran fund manager picks favorite stocks for 2024

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