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The CM Graveyard: First Sartoria Partenopea... next J. Crew?

smittycl

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Good read, thanks for posting. Always liked J. Crew. My daughters favorite store is Madewell now and my son is more into Brooks Brothers. I bought J. Crew for them when they were younger but they seem to have moved on.
 

Gus

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gdl203

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All these big retail guys keep going bk and pulling everyone down with them. It's their incredibly stupid pricing strategy of devaluing the products they sell by having them constantly on sale. I mean, the process of a garments from Barneys > Barneys on Sale > Clearance sale > B Warehouse > B Warehouse Sale > B W Clearance is so Kafkaesque and long that they always have to start sale earlier and NEVER EVER sell garments at regular when customers actually want/need them most. And they all (Saks, Nordstrom...) try to beat the other to the punch by having the earliest deepest sales - in the mean time, they force this absurd calendar on everyone else (including customers) and they kill margins so much that they go bk every 10 years. Can someone put these CEOs in a room and slap them behind the head with an Econ 101 book (bookmark at the basic supply/demand chapter)?
 

smittycl

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All these big retail guys keep going bk and pulling everyone down with them. It's their incredibly stupid pricing strategy of devaluing the products they sell by having them constantly on sale. I mean, the process of a garments from Barneys > Barneys on Sale > Clearance sale > B Warehouse > B Warehouse Sale > B W Clearance is so Kafkaesque and long that they always have to start sale earlier and NEVER EVER sell garments at regular when customers actually want/need them most. And they all (Saks, Nordstrom...) try to beat the other to the punch by having the earliest deepest sales - in the mean time, they force this absurd calendar on everyone else (including customers) and they kill margins so much that they go bk every 10 years. Can someone put these CEOs in a room and slap them behind the head with an Econ 101 book (bookmark at the basic supply/demand chapter)?
I do feel like a rat in a cage getting deep-sale food pellets sometimes. Seriously. It’s hard to gauge what is a real value or what even “normal” pricing is anymore. I’m happy to pay retail on many occasions but it’s very hard to spend coin knowing the inevitable sale is coming up.
 

jrd617

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These guys are egging on Neiman Marcus to fail. Aurelius Value. Kind of cool. They bought fire insurance that will pay out several times what they bought it for

 

othertravel

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To @gdl203 ’s point, RL returned to profitability a few years back after they started limiting discounts. You can see that when they do have sales, the high-end stuff doesn’t go below a certain threshold.

The effect was lower overall revenue, but improved profit margin.
 

Loathing

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To @gdl203 ’s point, RL returned to profitability a few years back after they started limiting discounts. You can see that when they do have sales, the high-end stuff doesn’t go below a certain threshold.

The effect was lower overall revenue, but improved profit margin.
Is the sales model really such bad business? Plenty of people, including Ralph Lauren himself, have made billions from the business model.
 

pleatedjeans

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I wonder if it isn't a result of a change in the way the perpetual "race to the bottom" of sales has started to work. It isn't just seasonal sales getting earlier and earlier, its also flash sales, micro sales, insider coupons, randomly emailed discount coupons (either % based or a flat $ amount) etc etc. Consumers are bombarded at seemingly random, yet constant intervals with "deals".

It sucks because even when I finally decide to pull the trigger on something, inevitably 2 weeks later the price might be even better. There's minimal satisfaction and the idea of "waiting for it to go on sale" is kinda laughable - it will go on sale, the question really is how much effort you put in to maximize the value of the discount(or something to that effect).

I think the net result is that people are buying and returning more than ever.

Maybe there's a weird correlation with the increased interest in acquiring via used/consignment. By the point you've bought something you kinda expect its already been purchased, worn, and returned a few dozen times by different people
 

clee1982

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All these big retail guys keep going bk and pulling everyone down with them. It's their incredibly stupid pricing strategy of devaluing the products they sell by having them constantly on sale. I mean, the process of a garments from Barneys > Barneys on Sale > Clearance sale > B Warehouse > B Warehouse Sale > B W Clearance is so Kafkaesque and long that they always have to start sale earlier and NEVER EVER sell garments at regular when customers actually want/need them most. And they all (Saks, Nordstrom...) try to beat the other to the punch by having the earliest deepest sales - in the mean time, they force this absurd calendar on everyone else (including customers) and they kill margins so much that they go bk every 10 years. Can someone put these CEOs in a room and slap them behind the head with an Econ 101 book (bookmark at the basic supply/demand chapter)?
I believe that would be called collusion or price fixing?
 

IJReilly

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I remember when sales (in Sweden) came at the end of the season and only odd garments and sizes were left. Now it feels like everything is priced with the intention to go on sale, which happens earlier every year, and at random points during the season. I personally find the system stressful and annoying, and it’s partially responsible for me moving more into MTM. Maybe it’s the inevitable consequence of competition over the long term, but it doesn’t seem like sustainable model to me.
 

smittycl

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I remember when sales (in Sweden) came at the end of the season and only odd garments and sizes were left. Now it feels like everything is priced with the intention to go on sale, which happens earlier every year, and at random points during the season. I personally find the system stressful and annoying, and it’s partially responsible for me moving more into MTM. Maybe it’s the inevitable consequence of competition over the long term, but it doesn’t seem like sustainable model to me.
I shopped at Sid Mashburn over the weekend in the store and online. Seems like only the seasonal stuff was on sale and mostly in odd sizes. That's the type of sale I remember. Best to buy at retail as your size will likely be gone come sale time. Same with NMWA. My sizes usually go fast.

Like Greg mentioned earlier the entire process is corrupted by the big guys. I never buy retail at Barneys anymore. Odds are whatever I want will be there at 25 then 40 and maybe even 75% off.
 

StockwellDay

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The Barney's BK is going to be driven primarily for their ability to renegotiate leases, especially the one on Madison. I can't see Richard Perry closing it down, where else would his wife sell her line?
 

gdl203

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I believe that would be called collusion or price fixing?
No, that would be a far cry from price fixing. If they all sold the same widget and agreed on price, it would be. But all those retailers sell a smattering of various products and having some sore of agreed upon sales calendar/discipline would be the normal type of work that trade associations do.
 

comrade

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As I recall, Paul Stuart was one of the hold-outs in having two
end of season sales with modest discounts like the Mashburn
approach. By their current website however, it seems that PS
has joined the race to the bottom. I haven't been in the store
in a few years. The merchandise, at least on sale looks less and
less Paul Stuart and more and more mainstream "Italian for the
American market"
 

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