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London sale

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by sloaney, Jun 25, 2006.

  1. sloaney

    sloaney Senior Member

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    The summer sale in London is now in full swing! I was told that the sale would end at the end of August. The markdowns can be quite substantial, about 30 - 50%. One thing I found odd is that even high-end shops (e.g. New & Lingwood, Hilditch & Key, etc.) do not seem to mind having their sale prices (usually handwritten) displayed in large type on pieces of cardboard next to their items. There can be as many as fifty of these "price cards" in their display windows. I think it's quite traditional, but isn't this be terribly vulgar?

    I spent the earlier part of the evening in Jermyn Street today, and bought a few items. How did I do?

    Church's Balmoral Custom Grade Shoes in Black (these are very standard black captoes), GBP190, originally GBP265

    A pair of shoe trees from Church's, GBP 22

    (In the store, I saw a notice offering bespoke shoes from GBP 350 and up ... the shoes I bought fit me quite well so I didn't bother asking further)

    Two Hackett City-Collar shirts, GBP 39 each, originally GBP 69

    A Charles Tyrwhitt raspberry cashmere-cotton vest, GBP 45, originally GBP 70

    The stores were rather quiet and pleasant to shop in, even for a Sunday. However, I can't help but notice some really regrettable tourists. At Charles Tyrwhitt, I saw a horribly dressed man (short sleeved shirt, faded jeans worn high on the waist, and white trainers) hardly catching his breath as he literally ran from one part of the store to another, touching this and that, as his attending salesman struggled to maintain compsure.

    I found shopping in London a very civilized experience if you avoid Oxford Street and the major departmental stores. Especially Harrod's. A tackier store could not possibly exist. I was very dissapointed.

    I was uniformly treated with respect and even deference. I initially found this rather odd, because the British are known for being snobs. The truth is that I've never enjoyed shopping in New York because of the attitude of the staff in the stores. I brought this up to my intercultural trainer, a rather aristocratic middle aged woman. She pointed out that in London, what matters is class. "Your postcode says everything," she points out, after describing how tattered Prince Phillip's suit was when she last met him at a tea party. In the US, salespeople evaluate your race, your age, and so forth. But when you walk into a store in London, the salesperson could care less. They are thinking "OK, this is a middle class person .... he's probably not going to rob the store ...."

    The UK is still very class conscious, despite what some might want to believe. For good or bad, expatriates are usually placed on the upper echelons.

    Till then, I need to make myself some dinner now.
     


  2. Mike C.

    Mike C. Distinguished Member

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    The truth is that I've never enjoyed shopping in New York because of the attitude of the staff in the stores. I brought this up to my intercultural trainer, a rather aristocratic middle aged woman. She pointed out that in London, what matters is class. "Your postcode says everything," she points out, after describing how tattered Prince Phillip's suit was when she last met him at a tea party. In the US, salespeople evaluate your race, your age, and so forth. But when you walk into a store in London, the salesperson could care less. They are thinking "OK, this is a middle class person .... he's probably not going to rob the store ...."

    The UK is still very class conscious, despite what some might want to believe. For good or bad, expatriates are usually placed on the upper echelons.

    Till then, I need to make myself some dinner now.


    I'll have to disagree here. Anytime I've ever heard about bad service in New York, it's from people who perceive it to be that way, not from people who actually shop in the stores. Also, you whole bit about class, it seems that the only people who talk about such things are usually paranoid about where they fit in (ie: check out the Ask Andy Trad board). To the rest, it doesn't really phase the conscious.

    btw... what's an "intercultural trainer."
     


  3. Mike C.

    Mike C. Distinguished Member

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    I found shopping in London a very civilized experience if you avoid Oxford Street and the major departmental stores. Especially Harrod's. A tackier store could not possibly exist. I was very dissapointed.

    It cannot possibly be tackier than your post.
     


  4. sloaney

    sloaney Senior Member

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    I'll have to disagree here. Anytime I've ever heard about bad service in New York, it's from people who perceive it to be that way, not from people who actually shop in the stores. Also, you whole bit about class, it seems that the only people who talk about such things are usually paranoid about where they fit in (ie: check out the Ask Andy Trad board). To the rest, it doesn't really phase the conscious. btw... what's an "intercultural trainer."
    Everyone is of course welcome to believe whatever he or she chooses. I am just stating from my experience as someone who has shopped in both in New York and London that I have received much better service in London. Class affects every part of society in the UK. It's not just something that the insecure obssess about. In fact, I wonder if dismissing its existence, is a way to cope for some. There are people who get very upset whenever certain issues e.g. wealth, class, etc. are brought up. If you don't like to discuss these issues, then please abstain from the conversation. But please do not try to stop people who are interested to explore the topics.
     


  5. sloaney

    sloaney Senior Member

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    It cannot possibly be tackier than your post.

    Are you alright? What is it about my post that offends you so much?
     


  6. Lord Denning

    Lord Denning New Member

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    Are you alright? What is it about my post that offends you so much?

    Perhaps it was one of these statements:

    "I think it's quite traditional, but isn't this be terribly vulgar?"
    "I can't help but notice some really regrettable tourists."
    "I saw a horribly dressed man"
    "I initially found this rather odd, because the British are known for being snobs."
    "The truth is that I've never enjoyed shopping in New York because of the attitude of the staff in the stores."
    "They are thinking "OK, this is a middle class person .... he's probably not going to rob the store ...."
    "The UK is still very class conscious, despite what some might want to believe."
     


  7. sloaney

    sloaney Senior Member

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    Perhaps it was one of these statements: "I think it's quite traditional, but isn't this be terribly vulgar?" "I can't help but notice some really regrettable tourists." "I saw a horribly dressed man" "I initially found this rather odd, because the British are known for being snobs." "The truth is that I've never enjoyed shopping in New York because of the attitude of the staff in the stores." "They are thinking "OK, this is a middle class person .... he's probably not going to rob the store ...." "The UK is still very class conscious, despite what some might want to believe."
    Mike C. and you "Lord Denning", might disagree with what I have to say, but you didn't have to attack me personally now did you? And for someone who calls himself Lord Denning, even if you really are a Lord, I hope for your sake that you can spell hypocrisy.
     


  8. Matt

    Matt [email protected]

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    just my luck. Miss the sales by a week[​IMG]
     


  9. sloaney

    sloaney Senior Member

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    just my luck. Miss the sales by a week[​IMG]

    As you may already know, there are two major sales in the UK, one in the summer June-Aug and one in the winter Dec Jan-?.

    The markdowns here tend to be 30% and above, which I believe is more than the average markdown in the US. Also, you often have very presentable items (i.e. not offsizes, irregulars, etc) marked down. For example, virtually all shirts at Hackett, Pink, etc were marked down 30% or more. All this may be old knowledge for you, but I found this quite delightful.
     


  10. Matt

    Matt [email protected]

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    it was my first trip there, but RJMan had warned me the week before that he thought I would be missing the sales - and yup...I did [​IMG] enjoy them though. if the jealousy-of-others could be used as a currency, I alone would be able to fund you buying up Burlington Arcade.....
     


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