Hello-Hello, it is good to be back in action following a little market trip to Chicago. (Yes, we have new things we will be introducing to the shop, pictures and info to come shortly!)
As is so often the case this summer, the time needed to deal with business mandates a shorter visit today. (Perhaps this is the new normal here at the Prepatorium…?) We begin with big news for bargain hunters: you may not need to drive to the outlet mall anymore… kinda’ sorta’.
An online outlet mall is opening next month with many of the stores currently seen at brick and mortar factory outlets, offering the same merchandise found at existing outlet stores. Women’s Wear Daily has the exclusive story today.
“EBay Fashion Outlet will operate round the clock and year-round, sell women’s and men’s apparel, handbags and shoes generally at 20 to 60 percent off the retail price, and will primarily target 25- to 44-year-old women.
Readers will recognize many of the brands participating in the new endeavor, like Neiman Marcus’ Last Call. Other names are new to the online factory outlet trend, like Brooks Brothers. More from WWD’s exclusive story:
For Brooks Bros., eBay marks an outlet launch online. “We are very interested in significantly upgrading our direct business and making a number of investments in people and platforms,” said Ken Seiff, the founder of Bluefly.com, who is advising Brooks Bros. on its multichannel strategy.
There are already eBay outlet malls for eBay UK and eBay Germany; as one might expect, the pages look much like standard eBay sites.
There is also discussion that some of the brands currently being sold on the eBay UK outlet may also be available on the US outlet site. Yours truly would love to see some of those brands available here, LK Bennett, Karen Millen, and Ted Baker would be near the top of our list. According to David Moin’s story, shoppers may be able to click links to the outlet right on the retailers’ own sites.
This is an interesting development, one we’ll keep an eye on, especially in terms of what other stores join the endeavor.
A few quick tidbits, the first about a new book, at least one we weren’t familiar with, LL Bean The Man and His Company. Your faithful scribe wasn’t completely familiar with how Leon Bean originally started selling his products:
Orphaned in his teens, Bean started selling a boot of his own devising by way of a three-page mailer sent to holders of Maine hunting licenses. Over time, he added things like a field coat, a chamois shirt and a canvas boat bag to his mail-order inventory. All still available—along with much, much more.
The Journal carried a review of the book this morning, thus our interest in it; the book looks at how the company has managed to not just survive, but thrive.
“The company has handily outlasted not only other independent camping suppliers like Eddie Bauer—who built an empire on a down jacket and went through several incarnations before and after bankruptcy—but also later haute-preppy catalogers like Land’s End, which has twice gone through bankruptcy.
The book is available at Amazon for about $14.
Our other morsel involves another classic brand, although one not quite as quite as old as LL Bean.
Maybelline’s Great Lash is celebrating its 40th Birthday, we didn’t realize the original pink and green packaging was inspired by none other than Lilly Pulitzer. Here is more from a HAPPI story (Household and Personal Products Industry) about the mascara:
“Great Lash’s history is rooted in fashion. In 1971, Lilly Pulitzer, a then up-and-coming designer known for her bright and cheery fabrics, inspired Great Lash’s legendary pink and green tube. The unique color palette has become instantly recognizable and the symbol of an American beauty icon.
Color me clueless about that aspect of the brand, what a fun little sidebar. In honor of the anniversary three special packaging designs are being released at Target, they were created by(left to right) Tracey Reese, Max Azria and Vivienne Tam.
We’ll make that our Pretty in Pink and Green for today. While not our more standard fare, it’s an iconic brand and we’re happy the product is still around.
On that note, goodbye until next time!