Tag Archives: Neiman’s

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.

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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

Major Papers Talk Preppy Style

Hello-Hello and happy day to everyone!

We’ll jump right in today with a few things we never seem to fit in our daily posts, despite the fact we start out planning to include them every. single. day.  We are so slow in sharing them many readers are likely to have already seen them, yikes! Here they are in completely random order:

1) The Times had an outstanding story from David Colman a few weeks back in their Dress Codes series, “The All-American Back from Japan,” examining contemporary preppy style.  A sample from the article:

“There is madras everything, button-downs everywhere. Nantucket reds — washed-out pink pants — are the new khakis; Sperry Top-Siders are more common on roof decks than top decks; and the Polo pony and the Lacoste crocodile are now but two of the critters in a zoo of polo shirt insignia.”

The story is accompanied by a companion slide show, “Dress Codes: The Preppy Look” with excellent photos from Dean Isidro. Below, the gentleman wears Benjamin Bixby, Lacoste, Trovata, Brooks Brothers Black Fleece, Marc by Marc Jacobs.

PHOTO: Dean Isidro/NY Times

PHOTO: Dean Isidro/NY Times

The article looks at the history of ‘preppy fashion’ in the US (or more appropriately, that particular moniker for the style) as well as what Mr. Colman refers to as “…the Japanese penchant for Americana…”.

Some of the brands cited in the story and slide show are definitely not “your Father’s preppy style,” although again, TP’s family never referred to it this way. If asked and forced to describe the look TQM probably would have merely said it was conservative or classic, perhaps being so bold as to inquire  “why do you ask?” as it wasn’t something one consciously thought of or needed to discuss. The only possible exception might be if one the children dared desire something out-of-the-norm, in the “no, no, that’s not something we wear” category. How did your family refer to their clothing style? Or did they?

We highly recommend the story and slide show, they are great fun and offer a slew of new brands, some of which you have seen showcased in this space, such as Band of Outsiders, and others we probably won’t be sporting.

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2) Also on the radar for quite some time, this story from the Times of London’s online site:

Preppy power

From twinsets and pearls to cashmere hoodies — new fashion tribes are taking their lead from the Sloanes

The story is another fun read, offering a slightly different perspective as it originates from the far side of the pond.

Yet rapidly growing numbers of people are embracing the preppy look — whether it’s stripy boat-neck T-shirts, argyle sweaters, brogues or cotton pea coats. Look closely and you’ll see preppy is having a makeover right under our noses.”

The story breaks the preppy looks into five different styles, including Euro Preppy, Fashion Preppy and Power Preppy.  Prince Harry’s former flame, Chelsea Davy, is pictured as an example of Public School Preppy:

PHOTO: Antony Jones/UK Press/PA Photos

PHOTO: Antony Jones/UK Press/PA Photos

A reminder that in the UK ‘public schools’ are actually what we call private schools here in the States, for example, Miss Porter’s or Choate would be called ‘public schools’ in England.

The article also has scads more details with the writer’s ideas on what brands specific prep types would wear, their ‘best looks’ as well as “A Look Too Far,” our favorite sub-category.  Prince William’s girlfriend Kate Middleton is classified as a Euro Preppy, although the story notes:

“To be fair, Kate is more neo-Sloane ranger, but, for obvious reasons, the Euro preppy holds her in high esteem.”

As to the paper’s suggestions of a Power Preppy, they include First Lady Michelle Obama in this group. Rather than bore you with more recitation of the article’s content we suggest one toddle on over and personally read the story, we highly recommend it. A visit to the fabulous Europa Fox is also likely to provide far better insight than anything we offer.

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True Chanel addicts with pin money (okay, investment quality pins) to spare will be pleased to learn of the 1980’s and early 90’s Chanel jewelry and accessories now being offered at high-end vintage retailer Resurrection.  Some pieces serve to remind us that the development of LogoPhobia is not merely in reaction to recent creations:

Courtesy Photo via WWD

Courtesy Photo via WWD

If interested, the catalog of goodies can be downloaded by clicking here.

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TP is ever-so-excited to learn one of our favorite spots for retail therapy is undergoing a bit of a lift, so to speak.  Fashion Island in Newport Beach (CA) is going to have some work done, adding wonderful stores like Nordstrom to the roster of existing shops, including Neiman’s, Saks, and Bloomies.  Below, an artist’s sketch of the ‘new and improved’ Fashion Island.

Courtesy Photo via LA Times

Courtesy Photo via LA Times

The LA Times has the full story.

We leave you with some of the soon-to-be-out, or already available magazines one will spot at the local newsstand:

Courtesy Time Inc.

Courtesy Time Inc.

There are reports of at least two west coast memorial services, one on July 3rd, the other July 10th.

Courtesy People

Courtesy People

There is also a report that the Jackson family has been denied permission to bury him at Neverland Ranch.

Courtesy Post-Newsweek

Courtesy Post-Newsweek

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Filed under Lilly Pulitzer Paper & Gifts, Obama Fashion & Politics, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Preppy People, preppy stationery, Pretty in Pink, Sales & Savings

Chuck Bass & Don Draper – Need we Say More?

Hello-Hello, and happy day everyone!

We start with a nudge on a must-read story in the Times for fans of the styles seen in Mad Men and/or Gossip GirlFriday’s story looks at the costume designs for popular television shows, including interviews with Gossip Girl’s costume designer Eric Daman and Katherine Jane Bryant of Mad Men.

PHOTO: Giovanni Rufino/CW

PHOTO: Giovanni Rufino/CW

Mr. Daman’s thought on sartorial selections for Ed Westwick’s character, Chuck Bass?

““He’ll walk around the Hamptons in a beautiful mint-green suit and a bow tie if he feels like it.””

Is there a better representation of Betty & Don Draper doing formal apparel?

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We highly recommend the story and accompanying interactive photo piece. Below, some of the Mad Men cast backstage at the Golden Globes earlier this year.

PHOTO: Gavin Bond via INStyle.com

PHOTO: Gavin Bond via INStyle.com

Mad Men aficionados may be intrigued by this story sharing the compromise reached in the ongoing hoo-haa over adding two minutes of commercial time to the hit show when it returns this August. (The 16th of August to be precise, but really, who’s counting?) A wise decision it seems, the two minutes are added but the content is not curtailed; the show will run into the 11pm hour a tad.

And in a final Mad Men note, the show’s style is invoked in this brief review of the new Liz Claiborne Men’s Line.

“The debut collection combines the slim cuts of the Mad Men era with classic preppy pieces–narrow polos and cardigans, bermuda shorts in madras, and two-button jackets.”

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This is the first menswear line created under Isaac Mizrahi; it is created by a designer of whom we are fond, the gifted John Bartlett.

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We also have a few SOTTs (Signs of the Times) to share:

  • Lots of speculation that Eddie Bauer may be filing for bankruptcy as early as this week; for more info, head for the story in USA Today. This one frustrates us no end, as this was once a great American company; now reduced to a B-school case study in what happens when a brand loses its way.
  • Neiman Marcus will cut the hours it is open in some locations to trim expenses; the story in yesterday’s WWD explains that the changes in hours will vary by location. For example, the underperforming Galleria store in Houston will now open at 1pm on Sundays (instead of noon), while another location will close at 8pm Monday-Friday, instead of the more standard 9pm. Hours at premiere sites like Northpark in Dallas and the Beverly Hills store will remain the same. And as we’re speaking of Neimans, don’t forget their sale continues. The new promo code for complimentary shipping with any purchase amount is JUNNM.

promo1

In other Sales & Savings news, Lord & Taylor’s Friends and Family sale offers an “Extra 25% Off Almost Everything,” with “10% off Cosmetics and Fragrances.” Use the promo code FRIENDS at checkout.

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Online Shoes is doing their Summer Sale:

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And J. Crew has decided to throw in Complimentary Shipping with their Extra 20% off promotion.

Yes, they call it Free Shipping, but TP refuses to use that term; it isn’t really ‘free’ by our definition.  It is complimentary, or included, or no charge, but not free. (Ooooh, do we have a reappearance of Crankenstein Princess?!) The promo code remains the same, EXTRA20.

And to continue our tedious whine-athon, we’re curious to know if anyone else finds it almost laughable/borderline offensive when a retailer puts an item “on sale” by taking approximately 13% off the original selling price? The issue came to mind with the Crew Perfect-Fit Short-Sleeve tee:

J Crew

J Crew

We don’t mean to unfairly pillory J. Crew, and we adore the tee, there are more than we care to think about a few here at the Palace.  Nor is J. Crew the only company pursuing what seems an insane practice, but 13% barely covers the sales tax in some locales these days. Can someone help us understand?

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Okay enough of our insanity, it’s time to perk up with a few Pretty in Pink items, our first from Polo Ralph Lauren, also holding a sizable Sale and Clearance event.

The Fairway Print stretch polo is now $69. While not for us, the shorts hold potential. (This could be attributed to our Logophobia, but it seems a high proportion of the womens items we surfed had the logos-on-steroids issue.)

The second is a discovery by our good friends over at the Pink and Green Scene:

The Company Store

The Company Store

The letters are just too cute, available at The Company Store.

Happy hunting, if that is your task today! Until next time, g’bye.

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Filed under Gossip Girl, Help Me Understand, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Pretty in Pink, Sales & Savings, Sign of the Times

Le Wintour, Preppy Sales #34

Hello and Happy New Week everyone!

Did everyone watch the goings-on over at Roland Garros leading up to this photo?

PHOTO: Christophe Ena/AP

PHOTO: Christophe Ena/AP

We’ll cut to the chase and simply say we were ever-so-pleased to see Roger Federer win the French Open, completing his career Grand Slam, tying Pete Sampras’ record of 14 major singles titles.

Now, we don’t want to offend anyone by discussing something not entirely devoted to what took place on the court, but we simply must lower ourselves and wallow in some idle gossip, rumor and innuendo. (If you’re doing one of those, why not all three?)  What magazine editor recently profiled on Sixty Minutes suddenly disappeared before the Jason Wu resort show even started last week? And where do we think said editor went in such a rush?

PHOTO: Benoit Tessier/Reuters

PHOTO: Benoit Tessier/Reuters

Presumably you spotted Ms. Wintour in the photo, one row behind and to the right of Mr. Federer’s wife, Mirka.  Yes, she scooted out of the Wu show and headed to the far side of the pond, making it in time to see the finals.

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We have lots of offerings in our Sales and Savings category today, beginning with Bergdorf Goodman continuing their Designer Sale.

Next, J. Crew is taking an additional 20% off their Sale prices. That means one of our faves, the Super 120’s Blair dress is now roughly $112; its original selling price was $188.

J. Crew

J. Crew

The darling Girls’ Spring Court Tennis shoes are approximately $39.60 when factoring in the additional discount; marked down from $60, that’s a reduction of about 33%.

J. Crew

J. Crew

Not what some might refer to as a ‘screaming deal,’ but in These Challenging Times, any savings is nothing to sneeze at, oui? To receive the discount at Crew use promo code EXTRA20 at checkout.

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Also offering fiscally friendly pricing, Neiman Marcus with new additions to their Sale and Clearance sections in store and online.  Many readers know of our insane obsession fondness for the Stella McCartney Sail Print dress:

This treasure is now $597 at Needless Markup Neimans; the company is also offering complementary shipping, no minimum purchase required, a beautiful thing IOHO.  Just enter promo code NMSHIP during checkout. (Net-a-Porter has the same dress on sale; their price is currently $696.)

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No one is ever surprised when hearing one of our online favorites is LL BeanLLBean.com

There are loads of goodies on sale at Bean as well; don’t dawdle too terribly long or someone may snag your size.

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We want to mention Talbots as well; they are taking 40% off their already reduced sale items. This includes their Petites sale merchandise, as well as all sale items in both Woman and Woman Petite sizes.

In other news about Talbots, word today they have *finally* managed to unload sold J. Jill.  A private equity firm is purchasing the women’s clothier for a reported $75 million; Talbots paid $517 three years ago.  According to Reuters:

“Talbots will close 75 J. Jill stores within 60 days. The remaining 204 stores will be transferred to Golden Gate Capital.”

Is there a J. Jill in your corner of the globe….?

With that, we say “tune in tomorrow,” as we have a bit of an announcement scheduled for this space.

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Filed under nautical, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Sales & Savings

The Good, the Bad, and The Preppy.

Happy Friday everyone, direct from Princess HQ in “the country’s frozen midsection.”  (Is it just us, or does this sound like an area of the body desperately in need of cosmetic surgery?)

Having ripped off completely borrowed liberally for the title of our post, let us do The Good first, shall we?

The Good would definitely cover the delightful person responsible for surprising us with this:

Thank you Miss Breaking News!

Now, there are some rules associated with this honor:

  • Put the logo on your blog or post.
  • Nominate at least 10 blogs which you think are fabulous.
  • Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
  • Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
  • Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received your award.

Here are ten more blogs that we just adore (not to mention Breaking News!) and read almost every day:

Down the Line Tennis

Fashion Herald

Imelda Matt (his logo is so fun)

Imelda Matt

Imelda Matt

Lilly P. Wannabe

Misadventures of a Newlywed

Muffy Martini

The Pink Tutu

Puttin’ on the G.R.I.T.S.

The Roaming Southerner

Steak and Cakes

Now we do the Five Addictions:

#1. Silly Tilly & Scooter-the-Wonder-Cat

#2. Literature. Of any kind.PHOTO: Somos Images/Corbis

#3. The fabulosity that is Mad Men.

Mad Men, amc-tv

Mad Men, amc-tv

Mad Men courtesy AMC-TV

Mad Men courtesy AMC-TV

#4. At least we’re not alone with this next one:

GaylesChocolates.com

GaylesChocolates.com

#5. Our issues with #4 require vigilance; one of these is clipped on as soon as we are dressed.

Pedometer

As far as The Bad is concerned, regular readers won’t be surprised to see news of 1,100 layoffs at our favorite retailer, that isn’t making us feel any better about the future at Saks.  As the Financial Times put it:

“Saks’ cost-cutting follows news on Wednesday from its rival Neiman Marcus that it was shedding 375 jobs, or about 3 per cent of its staff, after seeing December comparable sales fall by almost a third.

Tiffany, the jewellers, reported a 35 per cent fall in comparable sales at its US stores in November and December, and has said it is considering further cost-cutting measures, having already offered early retirement packages to some 800 employees.”

Or as the Jewelry Designer Extraordinaire Wendy Brandes put it:

Saks is still having its crazy sale. If you buy something, they might also throw in some store fixtures and a few sales associates.”

Ouch.

And double-ouch for anyone employed at Circuit City, or holding a giftcard from the latest in the liquidation line.

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Are we the last one on the planet to learn that The Preppy Potato closed?  Just above the “Spring Coming Soon” graphic on their home page is the following message:

“We have decided to close shop. Thank you for your years of business. We have enjoyed working closely with all of you.”

For those unfamiliar with the company, the Potato offered belts with classic icons; they could also be monogrammed.  (Two shown below.)

preppypotatobeltimg_2210

What a shame.

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Frankly, we should have put that little item above in with The Bad. Oh well.  Thank you again Miss Breaking News, we are ever-so-grateful for your generosity!

With that we say “Adieu” until the next time. Do enjoy your weekend and stay warm!

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Filed under preppy