Sep. 29, 2011 at 6:31 PM ET
TODAY staff and news services
Attention Target shoppers: You could have been standing in line with Michelle Obama.
The first lady, hard to recognize in a baseball cap and sunglasses, shopped Thursday at a Target store in Alexandria, Va., just outside Washington, D.C.
Casually dressed Secret Service agents arrived about a half-hour before Mrs. Obama, who walked in through the main entrance with an assistant. She spent about 30 minutes minutes shopping, pushing her own cart. She was recognized only by the cashier who rang up her purchases, reports TODAY's Savannah Guthrie.
Maria Panagopulos, a store manager at the Target in Alexandria, told NBC News that the store was given no advance notice about the first lady’s visit. She said Mrs. Obama checked out at around 3:30 p.m., and that her daughters, Sasha and Malia, were not with her.
“She was very undercover,” Panagopulos said, adding that while the Alexandria Target sees a fair share of famous shoppers, the visit from Mrs. Obama was “exciting.”
Target's corporate headquarters did not issue a formal statement about the first lady's shopping trip, but the discount retailer did send out this tweet: “First Lady Michelle Obama may be incognito but there is no denying those signature @Target red carts!”
Guthrie reports that the first lady bought toys and food for the first dog Bo, among other items. Business Insider reported that the first lady also appeared to have purchased some towels and cleaning supplies. But no Missoni for Target, apparently.
Since coming to the White House, Mrs. Obama has lamented missing out on what she calls "normal stuff," like Target runs, but she does manage to get out "regularly," Guthrie reported.
Mrs. Obama isn't the first first lady to try to go out unrecognized. Hillary Rodham Clinton went for walks wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses, too.