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Outlet Stores That Stock Retail Store Merchandise (or Don't)

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Sartorially Challenged, Aug 22, 2006.

  1. VooDooATL

    VooDooATL Active Member

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    So I just registered so I could add some info.

    Way back when it was all overstock from the stores, then as the outlets got more popular they started to buy overstock etc. from other stores. These days they are a victim of their own success and have both types of product.

    Case in point, felines basement is not owned by felines (Federated Dept. Stores) and is owned by the same company that owns DSW and Value City! They don't have any quality lables in those "parent" stores and buy all they can get. Most of the time from the large stores have agreements to send back odds and ends that don't sell on the vendors dime.
     
  2. thinman

    thinman Senior member

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    I was told by a salesman at Neiman Marcus Last Call in Franklin Mills several years ago that they do get merchandise made or distributed specifically for the outlet. How can you tell??

    Easy, look at the tag! If it is white, it came from one of their regular stores. If the tag is beige then it was made for the outlet (or perhaps I should say more accurately that it didn't come from their regular stores and could have been from an alternate 'distribution channel' as discussed in the Polo thread). Don't know if this still holds true but it did last time I was in Franklin Mills several months ago.

    Also, the salespeople usually know and will tell you if you are a regular.

    Certainly the Off Fifth Saks outlet was far superior in the mid-90's compared to today (hey, sounds like I'm just getting old...I believe everything was better back then [​IMG] ).



    I was told the same thing. The NMLC where I shop most frequently has a glut of Hickey-Freeman suits and the sales manager told me "I'm not going to order any more".

    In my experience, Barney's, Brooks, and Polo outlet stores stock very little merchandise from the mainline stores. After stopping at the Barney's outlet several times, I finally saw a selection of Canali jackets. A salesman actually told me merchandise flows *from the outlet, to the mainline stores for sales*![​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  3. Rolo

    Rolo Senior member

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    Location:
    Raleigh, NC, USA
    There was a time when outlets were actually outlets. I may have my history wrong, but I seem to remember that Neiman's Last Call in Austin was the only Last Call center. Things that did not sell at the Last Call sales in the regular Nieman's stores got shipped to Austin (which did not have a Nieman-Marcus). Now, with many (I think 16 or 17) Last Call centers, the merch gets more spread out and there is a need to have enough stock in each store means that special lines are added for sale only at outlets. The same is true for Filene's basement, Saks Off 5th, Nordstrom Rack, etc.

    The success of the outlet malls has resulted in the demise of truly great outlets. On the other hand, there are now opportunities to share in the bargains for those that did not live near one of the great outlets. I don't think I'll ever find another $400 Brioni suit like I did at Lat Call in Austin, but now that I live in Raleigh, I can find so-so bargains at Off 5th.

    Rolo
     
  4. VMan

    VMan Senior member

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    Ebay has almost become the new 'outlet store'.
     
  5. Chris "Italia"

    Chris "Italia" Senior member

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    NJ
    There was a time when outlets were actually outlets. I may have my history wrong, but I seem to remember that Neiman's Last Call in Austin was the only Last Call center. Things that did not sell at the Last Call sales in the regular Nieman's stores got shipped to Austin (which did not have a Nieman-Marcus). Now, with many (I think 16 or 17) Last Call centers, the merch gets more spread out and there is a need to have enough stock in each store means that special lines are added for sale only at outlets. The same is true for Filene's basement, Saks Off 5th, Nordstrom Rack, etc.

    The success of the outlet malls has resulted in the demise of truly great outlets. On the other hand, there are now opportunities to share in the bargains for those that did not live near one of the great outlets. I don't think I'll ever find another $400 Brioni suit like I did at Lat Call in Austin, but now that I live in Raleigh, I can find so-so bargains at Off 5th.

    Rolo



    A Brioni suit for 400 Dollars?!??!?! [​IMG] [​IMG]

    THAT'S BEYOND BELIEF!
     
  6. Sartorially Challenged

    Sartorially Challenged Senior member

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    Yes! I was just at Leesburg Premium Outlets (northern VA), and the BB outlet there was clearing out shoes from the retail stores (Italian-made "hand sewn" mocs at $24 a pair).

    I visited the Polo outlet there also (I don't usually go there, because it never has retail merchandise), and the clearance racks had items with purple labels. (Does that make them Ralph Lauren Purple Label?)
    That's interesting because a Barney's outlet manager told me something similar! The person told me that whatever doesn't get sold gets packed up from the outlet at the end of the season and then gets sent to a "warehouse" sale at a retail location.

    Thanks, everyone. Now I feel cheated somehow.

    BTW, what about Calvin Klein outlets? Same story (outlet-specific merchandise)?
     
  7. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Yes! I was just at Leesburg Premium Outlets (northern VA), and the BB outlet there was clearing out shoes from the retail stores (Italian-made "hand sewn" mocs at $24 a pair).

    Man, I'd love to get a pair of those. Did they have any in, say, 8.5? You could probably buy those and flip them here.
     
  8. Sartorially Challenged

    Sartorially Challenged Senior member

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    Mar 23, 2006
    The sizing ran a bit funny. I usually wear 9 or 9.5 US. But the 10 fit snuggly (I'm sure they'll stretch a bit since they're leather mocs).

    I saw lot of 10 1/2 (9 1/2 to 10 US), a few smaller, mostly bigger (I took the last size 10 in light brown).

    I was at the same store a few weeks back, and it was clearing out other shoes from the retail stores at the time (I bought a pair of Italian-made pennyloafers) at $50 a pair.

    When I returned this past week, those shoes were obviously all gone, but the mocs were being cleared.

    Normally the outlet does not carry any shoes.

    As for buying and flipping, I think that's for folks who are more enterprising and possibly hungrier. I am lazy and full.

    My wife already thinks that I am wasting my time going to outlets. She thinks that I should just walk into retail stores and buy what I want and save the hassle and time. But having grown up considerably less fortunately than she did, I have an almost pathological desire to "save money" if not necessarily make more than what I have accumulated.
     
  9. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    Location:
    Moscow, Idaho
    Armani General Stores carry regular merchandise from 2 seasons ago (and beyond) and lower the prices from the 40% off retail (the ending price at the regular store sales) as the season progresses. You can sometimes get really good deals, if you are partial to the Armani silhouette.

    Space (Prada, Miu Miu, Marc Jacobs) has older merchandise from the stores as well, and sometimes you can pick up a piece that you wanted from the stores a few seasons back.

    I have to admit that living in Boston has spoiled me for deals though, with the Filene's Basement in Downtown crossing. Dries van Noten shirts for $36, down from $395 retail, C&J for Barneys shoes turning up regularly at under $100 (I flip these - I've gotten them for as low as $50 apiece), Band of Outsiders ties for $15, Borrelli and Charvet shirts in the $70 range that I can't even be bothered to pick up...), Prada and neil Barrett suits occasionally turning up for about $200. Man, that is one thing I'll miss.
     
  10. Rolo

    Rolo Senior member

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    Location:
    Raleigh, NC, USA
    A Brioni suit for 400 Dollars?!??!?! [​IMG] [​IMG]

    THAT'S BEYOND BELIEF!


    What's truly unbelievable is that I didn't buy it. At the time I didn't know a Brioni from a hole in the ground, but I remember it dearly because the fabric was so wonderful (and I'd never seen a suit that had an original price of, if I remember correctly, $3,800). There used to be some great, great bargains in Austin. Pretty much everything that came into the store started at 50% off list and then they kept marking it down depending how long it stayed in the store.

    On that same visit, I also remember passing on a silk tuxedo for $150 that was so much nicer than the one that is currently sitting in my closet. My only purchase that day was a sportcoat that had been marked down from $795 to $40.
     
  11. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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    Constantinople
    I remember being in the Neiman Marcus Last Call outside Las Vegas, and seeing a $20,000 Fendi baguette for sale there.
     
  12. Joel_Cairo

    Joel_Cairo Senior member

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    Filene's Basement in Downtown crossing. ... Band of Outsiders ties for $15

    wow, i gotta start browsing more carefully!
     
  13. FidelCashflow

    FidelCashflow Senior member

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    Location:
    Canada
    I was shopping at an outlet mall overseas and wandered into the Burberry outlet. I snatched up one of their classic novacheck ties and didn't think twice about it until today when I wanted to wear it to a wedding.

    When I tried to put it on, I realized it was made from pretty flimsy silk with a plastic-like interlining incapable of forming a proper knot. Upon closer examination I noticed the pattern was printed instead of woven. I stopped by a local store and picked up another novacheck tie from Burberry at full retail, and it was like night and day. It's hefty, forms a very good knot, and the pattern is actually woven in.

    I had heard stories of outlets carrying low-quality versions of their regular stuff before, but this is the first time I encountered it myself. I guess the crappy knot is like the scarlet letter for all the tourists buying it at the outlet.

    I also tried on a polo shirt at the outlet which fit like crap. I haven't tried on any of them here, but I've seen other people wearing them and the retail ones look much better.
     
  14. mr monty

    mr monty Senior member

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    There was a time when TJM and Value City received goods directly from NM and Saks.
    This was before NM and Saks got a ton of outlet stores. [​IMG] With both stores having just a small amount of outlet stores in the 90s. The result was seeing high end shoes in NM and Saks outlet stores. Doing that same time period, Polo outlets sold high end clothing and shoes.
     
  15. rssmsvc

    rssmsvc Senior member

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    Mar 10, 2006
    A Brioni suit for 400 Dollars?!??!?! [​IMG] [​IMG]

    THAT'S BEYOND BELIEF!


    I thought Shikar just bought a 400 Brioni from Kigoure Trout(sp)
     
  16. ppllzz

    ppllzz Senior member

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    the polo outlet at the round rock outlets is ridiculously good, all the mens stuff is straight from the retail stores, though nothing is marked down a crazy amount

    i agree that the destination shopping sites wont have good outlets--most of the stuff is made for outlet, and the stuff that isnt gets picked through too fast, eg san marcos
     
  17. antirabbit

    antirabbit Senior member

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    Yoox has very little made for it!
     
  18. username79

    username79 Senior member

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    I have been there many times. I live in Southern Maryland-I love it. NM has Etro, Polo, Robert Graham great stuff. Off 5th has Armani stuff-Polo etc.. Overall Arundell is great.
    NMLC: I used to go there weekly as it is near BWI. Now I go there once a month or two. Inventory of decent clothes hasn't changed in 4-5 months and they've brought in a lot of crap. Off 5th: Don't even bother going in.
     
  19. Woodman

    Woodman Active Member

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    Aug 30, 2007
    Last Call can still yield some interesting things, if you watch for the main line store tag with previous markdowns.
    Regular store stock now comes in at 55% off (it used to be 60%). But it goes down from there as things that don't sell are marked down.

    My visit two weeks ago yielded a Brioni sportcoat (in a wool/linen/silk blend) listed at $3695., marked down to $1662, then a 50% off sale, and another 20% off coupon (from a Last Call postcard) and the 5% off with the NM card got it to $630.
    And for my wife, two Loro Piana short sleeve cashmere blouses from Bergdorf's that were marked $910, down to $275, then 50% off.
    I passed on a half dozen Isaia sportcoats and a cashmere Kiton in baby blue that was just too much.
    You need to know what you're looking for, but amazing things can still turn up.
     

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