Tag Archives: Lilly warehouse sale resellers ebay

About That Lilly Warehouse Sale & Stephen Bonanno Sandals

Hello-Hello, it is a glorious Friday here at The Prepatorium, we hope you are enjoying warm breezes and sunshine at your Palace.

Today we have a follow-up on our quick preview of the Lilly Pulitzer Warehouse Sale last week.  Not only did Racked Philly do advance coverage of the event, London’s The Daily Mail covered the sale.

The Daily Mail June 7, 2013

The Daily Mail June 7, 2013

The Daily Mail piece borrowed heavily from a Racked story about the sale. The Racked article featured text and lots of wonderful photos from Julie Davis, below, the line waiting for the sale as of 5am Thursday morning, the day the Sale started.

Julie Davis/Racked Philly

Julie Davis/Racked Philly

I was confused by the Daily Mail story, it spoke about people camping out ahead of time, talking about info posted on Lilly’s site.

The site revealed that shoppers had been lining up outside the 240,000 square-foot venue in Oaks, Pennsylvania, since last Sunday so they could snap up the best bargains when doors opened Thursday.

Julie Davis/Racked Philly via The Daily Mail

Julie Davis/Racked Philly via The Daily Mail

The confusion comes because I thought camping out ahead of time was against Lilly’s “rules” for the Sale.

At any rate, Julie’s photos show that once inside there was a lot of merchandise available Thursday morning.

Julie Davis/Racked.com

Julie Davis/Racked.com

Things looked well-organized by item, size, etc.

Julie Davis/Racked Philly

Julie Davis/Racked Philly

And prices seemed clearly marked.

Julie Davis/Racked Philly

Julie Davis/Racked Philly

From the Daily Mail:

Dresses started from $79, marked down from $178 to $348, and wedged shoes were discounted from $198 to $99.

The section for ‘seconds’ really had people ‘going nuts’ as merchandise dropped as low as $10.

But not everyone was/is happy. Why not? The headline from another story about the sale should give you an idea.
Racked Philly

Racked Philly

Julie Davis also wrote this story, asking if those purchasing sale merchandise solely for the purpose of re-selling it have ruined things.  It is a solid follow-up piece, noting two primary themes among those responding to stories and posts online about the sale:

1) People were aghast that anyone would wait in line for five days for bargain bin clothing (“Nope, nope, nope. This makes me rashy and panicky just to think about,” said a commenter on Jezebel, who picked up on the story); and

2) Swarming eBayers are the devil for hoarding the event’s merch with the intention of resale, keeping the goods from Lilly’s “real” fans.
There were also multiple threads on Facebook on the topic. Some were happy with their experience at the sale, others were not.
Additionally, there was a third group of comments from those who prefer a return to former warehouse sale practices, like invitation-only shopping. Many reacted to photos like the one just below, noting that some customers were clearly not “Lilly lovers,” and were purchasing only for purposes of reselling.
Julie Davis/Racked Philly

Julie Davis/Racked Philly

Back to the follow-up story by Ms. Davis:

Multiple commenters left accounts of run-ins with resellers, including this tale of woe on our sister site: “Woman came out with 10 trash bags basically trashing Lilly saying they were dizzy and wanted to vomit with all the color of the horrible clothes, my friend asked why they bought so much and they said they were ebayers. My friend said it was horrible because she had to leave without getting in and the woman handed her a card saying you can buy from me I’ll only charge you 2 times the price I paid.”
There were also many who felt that Racked and other media “ruined the sale,” clearly not the case. The Lilly Pulitzer brand continues to generate enormous revenue for its corporate owner, Oxford Industries and the reality is that Oxford/Lilly is primarily interested in selling merchandise.  The company, and the Warehouse Sale, have moved (by design) beyond the more collegial days of yore.
Oxford Industries

Oxford Industries

As noted in a previous post, Lilly sells an awful lot of goods on the Rue La La flash sale site. I see more and more discounted Lilly inventory on Rue La La each month, not less. It is a far more cost-effective means for disposing of merchandise than renting and staffing a warehouse.  This is the first year in quite some time LP is limiting itself to only one warehouse sale, I wouldn’t be surprised if we continue to see it kept to one a year moving forward.
The online-only Endless Summer sale is due to be repeated this year. There was some sentiment expressed in comments on the Racked story suggesting this be the only type of sale in the future, below we share a sampling of those comments:
  • “I hope Lilly wises up and cancels the warehouse sale and makes it an online sale instead so we all get a fair shot at the goods.”
  • “I have to agree with the poster above, move the sale online and discontinue Warehouse Sales if it is not going to be fair to all.”
  • “They should can the Warehouse Sale and take those funds and put the money into the Online Sales and everyone will have a fair chance at the Lilly. Limiting items in online shopping carts can deter the Resellers.”
  • I”f Lilly corporate doesn’t want to lose their core customers and still wants to preserve their “cash cow” the smart move would be to have Rue La La handle their sales. Let the liquidation experts handle it.”
Back to the Racked Philly story:
Even if it can be successfully argued that resellers have put a damper on this event, we doubt Lilly Pulitzer will revert back to inviting VIP shoppers via mailer only. True, the mailer kept resellers at bay—but it also prevented the sale from becoming the cash cow that is today. And while signs posted around the warehouse noted that the brand reserved the right to limit shoppers’ purchases, but we never saw (or heard of) anyone being flagged. What do you think? Has the Lilly Pulitzer Warehouse Sale jumped the shark?
No one with whom I spoke could report any instances of Lilly limiting purchases.  What are your thoughts…? Have we moved beyond the days of the Warehouse Sale, would you prefer it all be moved online?
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Our other tidbit today involves Stephen Bonanno, the sandal maker and seller.
Stephen Bonanno

Stephen Bonanno

All is not peace, love and happiness for the fabled company. Apparently the company was overwhelmed by the volume of orders received during its one-day 50th anniversary sale. Customers have been waiting almost five months for the sandals purchased at 50% off during the sale. Below, a graphic from the Stephen Bonanno website:

StephenBonanno.com

StephenBonanno.com

The company’s Facebook page is filled with posts from concerned/perturbed/irate customers. The company says the orders will be filled, more from WPEC-TV:

“Everything will be delivered, it’s just going to be delivered late,” said Lisa Simone, an employee of the sandal company and the owner’s fiancée.  Simone says the company was flooded with orders during that one-day sale with some women buying 8 or 9 pairs.

The company had a whopping 4,000 orders in just one day. Simone says in an average day they get 50 to 75 orders for sandals. She claims they were so overwhelmed they got behind.

For more information, the Bonanno Facebook page may be found here.

Until next time, may everyone enjoy a simply splendid weekend!

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