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canadian price mark up for shoes (harry rosen)

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
the amount i've learned in a week of lurking on this site is astounding..
so learn me some more:
this simple and elegant oxford cap-toe caught my eye at the flagship harry rosen store in toronto: http://tinyurl.com/fdyoo
(this links to saks nyc but the shoe is 95% identical at harry rosen).
the styling caught my attention first, then the label smacked me in the face..prada .
my question is, the saks site lists it at $470US, while harry has it at $750cdn. after tax it's $855cdn(!!) i'm aware that with prada, i'm paying a premium for the styling and the brand, and not necessarily for the quality of materials and workmanship. granted. but why the huge price difference? the sales associate told me that HR buys all of their prada stock from the US, and that it's cheaper to do so than buying from italy. i was confused by this because i'd imagine that the US still has to buy their stock from italy and would be unlikely to pass on whatever savings to their neighbours. i've only been able to find that specific model at the bloor street harry rosen. holt does not have it and the prada store across the street is exclusively women's fashion.
i really like the styling (don't care for the label) but i'm torn on spending almost a grand for shoes with much of that in the mark-up. i think we're getting ripped-off up here.
post #2 of 25
The simple answer is because they can. The high end shoe and clothing market in Canada is much smaller (even proportional to population) than in the US. This means less competition and higher prices. In addition, the recent increase in the value of the Canadian dollar has yet to be reflected in many goods that are imported from the US.
post #3 of 25
The huge differences between Canada and the US in terms of price amazes me. I think it is simply because they can. I live in Victoria, a city of 325,000 which has 4 privates schools with tutition in excess of $10,000/year, but still only two stores that carry AE.

As to your problem of wanting the shoes but not the price, why not simply buy from Saks? With the Canadian dollar as it is, the shoe would be about $530CDN plus shipping and customs, but still far less than $855.

The vast majority of Canadian cities are quite close the American border. Why not just take a shopping trip for a weekend.
post #4 of 25
After tax, my local Harry Rosen sells AE for $550. Remind me never to buy from there.
post #5 of 25
Ya, I'm not surprised that you're getting gouged on Prada. The ferragamos are more reasonably priced. Then again, when Prada was at holts it was pretty expensive as well (over 600 for sure), although I couldn't tell you specifically because they're really not my style. Anyway, I do quite a bit of shopping there but I almost never buy shoes. The AE lasts are too boring and I'm over Ferragamos.

Not everything is so outrageously priced, however. Some things are a great value imo. Their bespoke offerings (with the exception of the "bespoke" shirts) for example are quite cheap compared to what you'd find in NYC and the Montreal tailor is quite good. The level of finishing is top-notch.

Other stuff like Brioni, armani, zegna, etc. are comparably priced to the US. The high-end brands are actually a bit cheaper compared to the NY stores because the overhead is lower. Then again, NY more than makes up for it with its terrific sales... Ya, canada sucks.

EDIT: It's not just HR that charges more for shoes than the US stores do. Uomo Montreal sells their EG for quite a bit more than they are sold for in the states.

HR has a virtual monopoly on menswear in canada. I know for a fact they crunch numbers and analyze their customers preferences. I'm betting they've determined that most of their customers (good ones anyway) do most of their shopping there and won't be bothers going out and looking for shoes or this or that somewhere else. Consequently, they feel they can tack on an extra hundred bucks or whatever.
post #6 of 25
shoes in canada are ludicrously overpriced. In fact, all luxury goods are pretty much ass rape. I have almost given up on buying watches in canada because of import tax and the idiotic pricing of dealers here. Shoes are hardly different.

Back when I thought Ferregamo and Magli were incredible (and I didn't have such enormous feet), I was paying a lot more than what I see available in the states. Even the Allen Edmonds I wear these days cost like $500 at Harry Rosen which makes no sense at all.
post #7 of 25
I boycott Harry Rosen and Holt Renfrew long time ago. I much rather pay $300 ~ $500US and get a pair of EG from ebay than to pay $750 CAN + 14%TAX and get Canali or Prada shoes.

What about suits .. $1200 + Tax for fused Higo Boss suits? For that money I can get handmade Borrelli or Kiton suit on ebay!
post #8 of 25
Harry is full blown retail, there are better places to get Italian stuff and other high end then Harry. He also charges a premium based on his name, just like holts. Look at made in italy, for isntance, you can get high end stuff much cheaper..
post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by yellman
Look at made in italy, for isntance, you can get high end stuff much cheaper..

The best kept secret in Toronto, though I like to promote it so they can stay in business longer. I have bought 3 Corneliani suits there for less than the price of one Hugo Boss at full retail. They haven't received much new men's stuff lately and you have to hunt for the good deals but there is no comparison with Rosen or Holts. I wish they had shoes though.
post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by EL72
The best kept secret in Toronto, though I like to promote it so they can stay in business longer. I have bought 3 Corneliani suits there for less than the price of one Hugo Boss at full retail. They haven't received much new men's stuff lately and you have to hunt for the good deals but there is no comparison with Rosen or Holts. I wish they had shoes though.

Does made in italy carry Borrelli, Attolini, or Isaia items?

Thanks
post #11 of 25
If you have access to one the Holt Renfrew Last Call stores are great. I have bought almost my entire wardrobe there at an average of approximately 85-90% off retail price. You have to do a lot of looking and sometimes a fair amount of waiting, but you can get great deals there. That's just for clothes though. Shoes are another matter entirely and I only by over the internet (although duties then become a bitch).
post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by MilanoStyle
I boycott Harry Rosen and Holt Renfrew long time ago. I much rather pay $300 ~ $500US and get a pair of EG from ebay than to pay $750 CAN + 14%TAX and get Canali or Prada shoes.

What about suits .. $1200 + Tax for fused Higo Boss suits? For that money I can get handmade Borrelli or Kiton suit on ebay!

I basically agree, but in relation to their US counterparts, they're not really overcharging for Boss, regardless of what you think of the quality. I'll probably be buying most of my jackets & suits through Lance and Ian for the rest of my life since they make hand-made clothing so affordable, but HR's bespoke really is quite good and worth the money imo. I've seen some absolutely stunning pieces made there. And I still maintain that Samuelsohn is quite fairly priced, whose MTM program I will continue to use for my pants. RTW just doesn't compare in fit and buying solely online can make it hard to get everything you want.
post #13 of 25
Wow, a lot of these prices are rather shocking. As for taking a shopping trip to the US, remember that leather goods made in North America are exempt from duty as per NAFTA. Living in a border state and having worked much retail, this question came up every weekend over and over.
post #14 of 25
Thread Starter 
i've just been convinced a hundred times over. time to get my deposit back from HR. hahaha sometimes being wishy-washy is good.
it's funny because i might be heading to nyc to visit my brother soon. hopefully, i'll come back with some shoes. thanks again.
post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by MilanoStyle
Does made in italy carry Borrelli, Attolini, or Isaia items?

Thanks

Never seen any Attolini or Isaia there. Attolini is only in the store across the street from Rosen on Bloor AFAIK (forgot the name) and Isaia is at Holts.

Made in Italy had lots of Borrelli shirts and other stuff like bathrobes...but no suits. They haven't gotten any new ones in at least a year. They are reduced to $79 now and are on rolling racks at the back of the store. I bought a beautiful cream colored FC Borrelli a few months ago but there are mainly sport shirts and BDs left as well as some formal shirts - very few dress shirts and mostly in extreme sizes.

They still have some Corneliani suits left but it's mosty Zileri, Cerrutti, some Canali and other more fashion brands like Ferre for suits. Last time I was there, they said they would be getting large shipments in soon for the fall but I haven't been lately.
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