Tag Archives: Chloe

Secret Sales at Luxury Retailers & Are Those Gossip Girls Underdressed?

Hello-Hello and welcome to a Wednesday!

We start today with a look at a new phenomenon in online shopping, courtesy of several upscale retailers: the limited-time sale. It generally starts with an email like this:

Courtesy Neiman Marcus

The image above is from a Neimans email we received Monday; it is for the ‘midday dash’ at Neiman Marcus, a two-hour online-only sale.  At the appointed time this is what a savvy shopper will see at the Needless Markup Neiman Marcus site; the merchandise changes with each sale.

secret_600

As described in a July story in the Times:

“Customers learn about the sale mere hours before it begins. This week’s “dash” featured a $697 Burberry handbag, marked down from $1,395. A Carmen Marc Valvo chiffon gown was $575, down from $1,150. And Cole Haan flats were $82, down from $165.”

By no means is Neimans the only luxury retailer trying new ways to prompt consumers to open (re-open?) those pocketbooks.  The following screen grab shows what one sees today after the most recent Saks ‘Fashion Fix’ sale ended.

Courtesy Saks Fifth Avenue

The Fashion Fix email explained “Today, the rush begins. Get Yours. Online Only.” and promoted 50% savings on top brands at Saks like Herve Leger, Alice and Olivia, Chloè, and more.

However, not all ‘secret sales’ are online only, as the Times story details:

“… the benefits of secret sales — whispered discounts and discreet price negotiations between customers and sales staff in the aisles of upscale chains. A time-worn strategy typically reserved for a store’s best customers, it has become more democratized as the recession drags on and retailers struggle to turn browsers into buyers.”

Nor do the higher-end stores want to tell everyone in the world about their discounted goods.

“The conventional wisdom is that the more consumers who know about a sale, the better for business. But that rule does not necessarily hold in luxury retailing.”

The Journal has also written about the relatively new practice; from their October story on Saks testing this method of selling:

“The realm of online “private sales” so far has been dominated by a small number of retail startups that specialize in the brief sales of discount designer apparel. Their Web sites, including Gilt.com, RueLaLa.com and HauteLook.com, have built a following with virally marketed, daily “members only” sales.”

Below, a recent Rue La La screen shows listings for that day’s ’boutiques’.

Courtesy Rue La La

AOL’s Daily Finance has more on how the designers’ perceive these sales:

“The sites are popular with designers, who’d rather have their goods sold there than hung in clearance racks at department stores. Designers know their brands are their currency and they are very wary about cheapening them; it’s a constant point of friction between designers and department stores. That’s why you’ll never find Hermès sold off-price.”

Back to Stephanie Rosenbloom’s story in the Times, with more on the psychology behind selling this way:

“Such discreet sales preserve a brand’s veneer of exclusivity and help create a sense of urgency by limiting the time customers have to score a deal. Additionally, secret sales enable stores to discount their merchandise deeply without angering regular customers who may have bought at full price.”

In many respects this doesn’t seem all that different from what many retailers have been doing online for some time, providing early notice to its better customers of special discounts, sale and promotional events. One issue that may be a concern is overexposure; below, another email received here at the Prepatorium from Neimans, this one touting the Last Call sale currently underway.

Courtesy Neiman Marcus

Some customers may start to feel inundated with ‘special sale’ notifications and promotions.  It’s no secret that we find J. Crew a repeat offender in this category, with the volume of email creating a perception that everything is always ‘on sale’, and if not currently ‘on sale’, it will be ‘on sale’ again very soon.

On the other hand, here at the Princess we have been told we should email customers on our mailing lists more frequently. We only send our newsletters to those requesting them, generally every four to five weeks.  We take your email address and privacy very seriously, and while desirous of offering special savings and sharing new merchandise with you, we want those occasions to remain ‘special’. (If not a subscriber and interested in receiving either our Preppy Planet or Lilly Pulitzer newsletters, just click here for our  home page, and look at the lower right-hand side of the page to sign up.)

BTW, if anyone needs invites to the ‘members only’ sites like those listed above, just email us (thepreppyplanet@gmail dot com) and we’ll get one on its way to you.

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Also on the hit parade today, a follow-up to yesterday’s post showing a rather scantily clad Blake Lively attending the premiere of her new film. It is not unusual for Ms. Lively to be out and about in such apparel (or lack thereof), while Gossip Girl co-star Leighton Meester is generally deemed to be more conservatively clad.  Ummm… perhaps not so much any more.

PHOTO: Splash News

Ms. Meester is seen at last night’s American Eagle store opening party, where she performed several songs from her new album.

PHOTO: Steve Eichner/WWD

Whiles these images may look fairly provocative, the actress’s photos in the December issue of GQ are far racier. The one we show below is the only image not carrying the dreaded NSFW caution.

GQ

We really were amazed at the other pictures.

Speaking of G2, there is word today that Michelle Trachtenberg is doing a jewelry line with Coach.  From the story in today’s WWD:

“Trachtenberg will apply her tough-girl meets sugary-sweet vibe to her first jewelry collection in collaboration with Coach under the accessories giant’s youthful and spirited Poppy line.”

The new line will launch next Spring.

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We close with a special Pretty in Pink, French department store Printemps is all aglow for the holidays.

We loved shopping at this retailer when they entered the US market many years back (ultimately an unsuccessful endeavor), but we have not visited any located on the far side of the pond for years.

On that, may everyone enjoy an evening that is light, bright and filled with fun!

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Filed under Gossip Girl, preppy, preppy lifestyle, Sales & Savings

Tiffany & Cartier for Sale at…Bluefly?!

Hello-Hello!

Because we have an all-afternoon volunteer commitment, today shall be more photos and fabulosity!

We begin by fulfilling a promise we made yesterday: more pictures from Saturday’s Veuve Clicquot Manhattan Polo Classic. On the left, Emily Mortimer; Alek Wek is on the right in the cheery yellow Zac Posen dress.

PHOTO: Steve Eichner/WWDalek-wek

Kelly Klein wore Dolce & Gabbana; Chloe Sevigny was in Chloé.

kelly-kleinchloe-sevigny

It’s possible readers are more interested in pictures of these two gentlemen, but we think not. We’re quite sure you are operating on a higher plane, coming from a much more cerebral place…yes?

PHOTO: Steve Eichner/WWD

PHOTO: Steve Eichner/WWD

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We move on to a rather amazing SOTT (Sign Of The Times): news that discount online shop Bluefly will be selling Tiffany, Van Cleef & Arpels, Bulgari, and Cartier jewels. (Gasp! Oh, the horror!) However, it is not as if Bluefly shall be carrying new jewelry pieces on the site, nor shall they be regularly offering such upscale goodies as a matter of course. This story in today’s WWD (Women’s Wear Daily, subscription req’d.) explains:

“Bluefly has so far eschewed the private-sale format, but on June 8 will hold its first invitation-only, limited-time sale.”

“Prices are about 20 percent less than new. For example, an estate Cartier Love Bracelet will cost $3,080 rather than $3,850 at regular retail.”

We must confess our appreciation of the Love Bracelet; the Queen Mother still wears hers, acquired way back…well, just way back when.

PHOTO: Courtesy of Cartier via WWD

PHOTO: Courtesy of Cartier via WWD

As noted, these are estate pieces, not brand new items coming directly from the jewelry stores themselves.

The sale is a joint effort with upscale estate jewelry wholesale firm Circa. (Come now, we’ve all noticed their ads in the Times discreetly offering ‘assistance’ in generating a little pocket change by liquidating those silly trinkets collecting dust at the estate. Oh, pshaw, admit it, you know you’ve secretly pondered the possibilities created by letting another generation ummm… experience the beauty of  Great-Grandmama’s pearls. And that monstrosity of a ring left from the wedding-that-wasn’t when that new-money-and-no-taste-man was chasing after Aunt Evangeline, you know the one with the 2.8 carat ruby absolutely laden with those garish diamonds?! Beyond Nouveau Gauche, it was an abomination – why not dispose of it? Good. At least we understand each other.)

And who might one see in the next sale of this kind at Bluefly?

“The next sale might feature the moderns David Yurman, Judith Ripka and John Hardy…”

(Pssst… again, that’s Circa.com and their number is 877.876.5493. Not that you would ever consider calling them. Indeed.)

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A few quick sales to share before we scoot:

lilly-11

That’s right, the Lilly Pulitzer Warehouse Sale starts tomorrow!

Also, Polo Ralph Lauren is taking deeper discounts in their sale and clearance event.

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We leave you with a darling shot of Daisy Duke’s darling godson, Baby Zeke, in his snappyseersucker sailor suit. Miss Daisy is clearly looking after his sartorial needs. (Heh-heh-heh.)

photo

http://www.streetinsider.com/Corporate+News/Highlights+From+Abercrombie+&+Fitch+(ANF)s+Q1+Conference+Call:+Disappointed+in+Quarterly+Loss%3B+Fashion+Headwinds+Remain/4657841.html
lll
* (CEO) There is a price consciousness dictating shoppers’ purchases today unlike anything I have seen before. We’ve spent years building our brands to compete on quality, aspiration, and a unique store experience, not on price.
* There are also fashion headwinds. We are currently in a cycle that lacks a dominant trend in the female business. Trends that appear to have some traction are not the long-term trend of classic, casual, preppy all-American sportswear that is core to our heritage.
* As an update to our specific plans for new store openings in 2009, domestically in addition to the Hollister flagship in SoHo, we now expect to open 10 stores in 2009. This figure includes 2 abercrombie kids’ stores, 4 Hollister stores, 2 Gilly Hicks stores, and 2 outlet stores.

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Filed under Gossip Girl, preppy, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Pretty in Pink, Sales & Savings, Sign of the Times

Unusual Sales at Brooks Brothers, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom; Shorts at J Crew, The Usual Sales at Vera Bradley, etc.

You are aware The Princess is loathe to discuss the “M” word (as you know, it’s just so crass and, well, common), but it seems that economic realities are forcing the issue, at least if we are to let you know about some unusual sales and higher-than-normal markdowns at a few of our favorite retailers. Let’s start with Brooks Brothers which has so many ‘specials’ running, it would be incredibly tedious to list them all, so here are a few highlights:

Online Only, Ending Sunday June 8 (until they extend it again…or not) markdowns to 60% Off, somewhat unusual for Brooks, LOADS of Father’s Day specials and Women’s Shoes & Handbags are 25% off.

Brooks Brothers Home Page 60% Off Online Only Sale

One quick little promotional announcement from The Preppy Princess that is also of the saving variety, a reminder to use the code BLOGDEAL to receive 10% off the PreppyPrincess.com site until June 30, including these fab aprons (can you say great hostess gift?):

Me Too Apron Teal/Chocolate Preppy Princess Meadows Apron

Over at Vera Bradley, that Sale continues as well, with 25% off Retiring Colors, and you know how quickly these can fly out the door. (Or off the site, so to speak.)

Vera Bradley

Vera Bradley Capri Blue Cosmetic Purse Vera Bradley mesa Red eyeglass case

The Princess has always been partial to Capri Blue, and may snap up this little cosmetic case in that pattern. Or the Mesa Red eyeglass case? There are oodles of other sale items, including decorative accessories, lamps, and more soft goods like the microfiber lightweight luggage pieces, including this Garment Bag. There’s also tableware and stationery items, like the Citrus Loose Notes shown below.

Vera Bradley Microfiber Luggage Vera Bradley Loose Notes Citrus

One of the more unusual sales is found at Nordstrom, where there are two oddities from TP’s perspective. The first is that the Shoe Sale and Apparel Sale do not cross paths. As of now however, they do, which brings us to oddity number two, the amount of the discount or markdown: it is generally no more than 40%, but now it is 50% online & in store on select women’s apparel & shoes. More power to them. (In reality it would seem that it is more power to you and your Nordstrom card.)

J Crew Shorts sale

The J Crew Sale continues apace with one addition: selected summer shorts are 25% off, please note this is online only. Now we thought we might take this opportunity to remind everyone the J Crew sale includes their absolutely to-die-for Crewcuts line for children and the Boys and Girls sizes as well.

J Crew Crewcuts sale

Speaking about children’s clothing reminds TP that one of our favorites, Garnet Hill, is having their incredible Semi-Annual Kids’ Sale and Clearance. If you have shopped this before, then you already know. If not, then stop reading and get going, because the merchandise is better than top notch, the styles are beyond delightful and the prices are killer. There are several pages of Kids’ items below $10, always helpful for the pocketbook. Of course, The Princess is always helpless before a bucket hat, especially when it’s for a child and on sale for $6, and Alligator Sandals for Toddlers and Little Boys from ECCO are just too cute, not to mention good for their feet.

Garnet Hills Kids Bucket HatGarnet Hills Kids ECCO Alligator Sandals

Moving away from the ‘standard’ or annual/semi-annual type sale to the rather unexpected, we move to the Neiman Marcus situation. Mind you, as we write this we are not complaining whatsoever about the opportunity to save a few pennies whilst making our contribution to the bigger economic picture, not at all. We just dislike an unhealthy economic outlook from a global perspective.

In a story published in yesterday’s Dallas Morning News, CEO Burt Tansky said that business was so rough last quarter Neiman’s did some unusual things, like extending markdowns from a “One Day Only” Men’s Sale into a second day. Ouch. And he also told the paper the company is buying less Fall merchandise, somewhat unusual in and of itself. But here’s what shoppers want to know: he also told the newspaper the store will be adding more sales in upcoming months, and they are going to have to be more promotional. “More Promotional” is code for sales, or more aggressive markdowns, or both and this is sounding like both to us. At any rate, their Designer Sale is in its ‘Final Days’ at 35% off, and at the Last Call Online Clearance the bargains continue with discounts up to 65%.

Neiman marcus Designer Sale

Neiman Marcus Last Call

While we’re talking upper end department stores, how about Barneys? Yikes! This is unheard of!

Barneys New York Sale Jpg

Really. This just doesn’t happen. The Princess realizes that if you don’t have cause to follow the retail scene or shop here, this truly is one big yawn. Understood. However, it ceases to be a yawner when one gazes upon that hideous orange and realizes that Barneys is doing 40% markdowns, and then furthers gasps, saying, oh my, they’re including Men’s, Baby, Shoes, and Home! I mean, look at this darling little Malina dress for Infant Girls of some of the softest 100% cotton you will ever (I mean, ever) feel. There are some good to great deals on Men’s Zegna dress shirt, A couple of FYIs on the online sale: There is a lot of men’s merchandise, including a lot of Prada, Zegna, while we would recommend skipping the Home Gift section unless desperate as it is slim pickings – in store offerings are much better on that front from what we are hearing.

Barneys New York Malina Infant Girls Dress on sale

PRADA Degrade Ballet Flat at Barneys Sigerson Morrison Mirror Metallic Sandal

Additionally, there is a significant group of Women’s Sale Shoes, with something for everyone (trust The Princess on this), with a good number of Christian Louboutin, Manolo Blahnik, Prada, Miu Miu, Lanvin (including the Satin and Flower Ballet Flat!), Marc by Marc Jacobs, CO-OP by Barneys New York, Robert Clergerie, Fendi, Chloe, Jil Sander, Derek Lam, Yves Saint Laurent, Jean-Michel Cazabat, Sigerson Morrison, and Henry Cuir. We show the Prada Degrade Ballet Flat way above on top, and the Sigerson Morrison Mirror Metallic Sandal, way above on bottom. Now here is what’s known as a tease: you may want to make particular note of the Sigerson Morrison sandal, as our next post will involve Sigerson Morrison and your favorite discount store. Yep. Promise. Cross my heart and hope to die, stick a needle…um, never mind.

Essentially, everyone is having a sale, including Chanel, with their private sale running through tonight, and then their one-day public sale running tomorrow. Talbots has taken an additional 20% off their clearance merchandise online only, so click here if it tickles your fancy, although TP has found very little there of late to get excited about. Net-a-Porter continues their Spring ’08 Sale, with new reductions taken.

Ann Taylor Special Capri eal

We start to wrap up with J. Press, continuing with their sale both online and in their stores, always worth a stop, and then we have Ann Taylor with a Deal of the Week with 25% off Select Pants & Capris Online Only, as well as their ongoing Clearance with prices starting at 19.99. Ann Taylor Loft is offering 30% off select dresses & skirts online only and also 25% off maternity + free returns; use code JUNEMOM for the free returns. Also at Ann Taylor Loft their Clearance continues with new markdowns as well as other deals too numerous to mention.

That is as many as we have time for…happy hunting!


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Filed under preppy, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle