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Stores you'd want to like but hate

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by poorsod, Aug 21, 2006.

  1. Joel_Cairo

    Joel_Cairo Senior member

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    As a general rule, I dislike upscale men's stores that have a fussy, precious feel, as though fussy and precious is a stand-in for "classy." ... I think the store caters to men who really don't know good clothes and can be bluffed/intimidated in ways that don't work when applied to a Wall Streeter who spends big bucks on clothes.

    LOL, this is so spot on. Ahh, the retail experience.
     
  2. faust

    faust Senior member

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    For me the numero uno is Barney's. I'd really want to like the store because it has pretty nice stuff but everytime I go there the customer service is so bad. I get better customer service at the Banana Republic or Gap. I feel that when you are at that price point, you are selling customer service.

    Bergdorf Men's is starting to creep up my annoyance list for the same reason.


    Barneys on Madison? Really? I get THE BEST service there, constantly. Maybe, it's different on different floors, but then again, I don't buy suits...
     
  3. JLibourel

    JLibourel Senior member

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    I've gotten good service at Barneys, Neimans, & Saks when I wanted it....in contrast with others' experiences, at Neiman's Ive always received excellent service, both on Wilshire and at Fascist Island.

    "Fascist Island"?????!!!!
     
  4. Get Smart

    Get Smart Senior member

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    "Fascist Island"?????!!!!

    haha yea that's what it was referred to when I was an idealistic punkrocker undergrad art student at UCI since it was a shopping center for rich yuppies driving BMWs......but now that I'm older I find myself shopping there quite a bit(!)
     
  5. JLibourel

    JLibourel Senior member

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    haha yea that's what it was referred to when I was an idealistic punkrocker undergrad art student at UCI since it was a shopping center for rich yuppies driving BMWs......but now that I'm older I find myself shopping there quite a bit(!)

    My boss' daughter just told me that "Fascist Island" was common currency. Without wishing to jack this into a political thread, I always thought rich, BMW-driving yuppies were more likely to be liberals than fascists.
     
  6. chorse123

    chorse123 Senior member

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    I would probably say Paul Stuart, though I don't hate it. I like the look of a lot of the clothes, but never feel very comfortable in the store, so hardly ever go there.
     
  7. Edward Appleby

    Edward Appleby Senior member

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    As far as Neiman's goes, I've always been happy. The men's people are perfectly polite, though of course not extraordinarily knowledgeable (but that's the case with 90% of stores.) I've always been pleasantly suprised by the salesgirls in the women's furnishings, so to speak, department. I go in always go in around Mother's Day and Christmas to get stuff for my mom, hardly spending anything, and they always help me find something nice in my budget.

    Also, as far as the Needless Markups comments, yes it's a fun pun, but there are far worse offenders (Korshak, Louis, BG, Wilkes, etc.)
     
  8. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    As far as Neiman's goes, I've always been happy. The men's people are perfectly polite, though of course not extraordinarily knowledgeable (but that's the case with 90% of stores.) I've always been pleasantly suprised by the salesgirls in the women's furnishings, so to speak, department. I go in always go in around Mother's Day and Christmas to get stuff for my mom, hardly spending anything, and they always help me find something nice in my budget.

    Also, as far as the Needless Markups comments, yes it's a fun pun, but there are far worse offenders (Korshak, Louis, BG, Wilkes, etc.)


    I hate NM. I've gotten mediocre to poor service at any NM I've been to, and I've been to them all over the country, from LA (mediocre) to SF (a bunch of rude queens) and Houston Galleria (a bunch of rude fat dudes in poorly fitting suits). It's too bad, because the selection at the Wilshire one in LA has some decent stuff and better markdowns than the nearby Barneys and Saks, and the SF sometimes has okay things as well. However, in SF, the Saks Men's store (on the 5th, advanced designers department) has great service and a better selection than any other Saks (the NYC one has more, but are less discriminating) that I nearly always by something there. And I find the service at all the Barneys CO-OP and designer stores to be consistently good.

    Korshak has really high markups - I think that they rely on rich, ignorant clientele. BG is high, but not significantly higher than the NYC average, ime. Wilkes, I haven't been to in a while, but I don't remember their stuff being marked up to much. On the other hand, Louis, with some notable exceptions, has lower markups (about 5-10%) than Maxfield or NYC boutiques for similar items (I am thinking of a specific Cloak piece as I write this.) On the other hand, they tend to carry merchandise over to the next season more than Maxfield, for example, which literally clears everything out. Of course, Debi Greenberg doesn't hold a candle to Tommy Perse as a buyer. I think that in Boston, only Alan Bilzerian is in the same league as the big boys in LA and NYC.
     
  9. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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    Dressing better than the shop assistants aids in service. Of course, dressing in a difficult fashion intimidates them.
     
  10. GreyFlannelMan

    GreyFlannelMan Senior member

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    Another vote for Paul Stuart NY. I do love many of their clothes, and the in-store tailoring is still top-notch (contrast with BB, which has generally crap tailoring in NY in my experience).

    But the whole atmosphere there is stifling, and I guess because I am not in my 40s or 50s, and sport a more contemporary look, I feel as though I am followed around the store without actually being served. It doesn't help that there are usually only two or three other customers in the store when I stop by...
     
  11. Joel_Cairo

    Joel_Cairo Senior member

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    Another vote for Paul Stuart NY.
    But the whole atmosphere there is stifling, ..., I feel as though I am followed around the store without actually being served.



    I have had this experience as well. I felt distinctly as if "my kind" wasn't welcome there, though I have yet to determine for sure which of the "kinds" I belong to was so objectionable. One of the most standofish shopping experiences in memory.
     
  12. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    Dressing better than the shop assistants aids in service. Of course, dressing in a difficult fashion intimidates them.

    I don't dress to impress salespeople.
     
  13. Get Smart

    Get Smart Senior member

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    I don't dress to impress salespeople.

    you mean you dont scope out the salestaff in the morning so you can change into appropriate gear in order to go back later that afternoon????
     
  14. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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    I don't dress to impress salespeople.
    I don't either but then I don't really wear casual clothing.
     
  15. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Senior member

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    I love Neiman Marcus but I think it depends very much on the local store. The store here is like extended family and is always going the extra mile for clients. Sales people are warm, have high levels of menswear knowledge, and will actively influence some of the buying for what the local consumer wants.

    Bergdorf's in NYC and Louis Boston have always provided great service as well.

    Barney in NYC has always seemed rude to me to be perfectly honest. Wilkes seems hit or miss. Lobbs has been great the half dozen times I have been there. Saks in NYC has been rude to me at times.

    Stanley Korshak in Dallas is superb. Beautiful store and very good people. Nice editing as well.

    I would say the service I receive in London has been uniformly excellent. Jermyn Street and Savile Row are especially great experiences. Tokyo was also terrific. Not a bad store in either country from a service standpoint. Tokyo can be quite expensive in places however.
     
  16. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Senior member

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    I know a bit about this since I am a regular customer. Louis consistently has some of the lowest prices in Kiton and Incotex in the country year in, year out. The reason, I am told, has to do with the relationship they have with the factory and a sophisticated buying strategy that manages the exchange rates well. The prices are still high as you would expect for this level of merchandise but I've gotten some great deals there over the years. Louis Boston seems to have classic merchandise that hold through more seasons. The selection is superbly edited, in my opinion the best in the country. They have such a tradition that their events are often the best in the country. They tend to attract a lot of folks from other cities like NYC so their pricing strategy may also factor into that. They also tend to have exclusives on most of their fabrics and some styles.

    One of my business partners lives in Cambridge and besides being a tremendous asset to our small software company, his location is a pleasantly dangerous place for me to shop. [​IMG]
     
  17. jholand

    jholand Active Member

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    Another vote for Paul Stuart here. I particularly remember one time when I went in there, having first bought something at Charles Tyrwhitt up the street. Although there is clearly a big difference in quality between the two, there is no need for comments (by a tall fellow with a bowtie) like "Oh, Charles Tyrwhitt, I bet business is slow over there" and, as I was leaving, "Please come back and see us the next time you want to buy some real clothes". That really turned me off and I will certainly never buy anything from him if I even go back to the store.
     
  18. StevenRocks

    StevenRocks Senior member

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    I don't like J. Press's New York store very much. The clothes are wonderful, but the atmosphere looks like a bad '80s department store.
     
  19. pkincy

    pkincy Senior member

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    San Diego Ca
    I thought John Lobb in New York was rather snobbish, guess my converse sneakers were a tip -off...

    Hey those are neat Converse sneakers. At least the shoe lady at Neiman's last week liked them.

    Perry
     
  20. JBZ

    JBZ Senior member

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    I don't like J. Press's New York store very much. The clothes are wonderful, but the atmosphere looks like a bad '80s department store.

    Per a thread over on AAAC's trad forum (I'm too lazy to go looking for it right now), I believe they're moving sometime soon.
     

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