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What is your favorite brick-and-mortar discounter?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Ambulance Chaser, Nov 1, 2004.

  1. Ambulance Chaser

    Ambulance Chaser Senior member

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    Although their prices are not the lowest, Filene's Basement gets my vote for their excellent stock, which is constantly replenished. Â I have gotten into the habit of visiting the two good FB stores in D.C. (Connecticut Avenue and Mazza Gallerie) every Saturday. Â I am a sick, sick man. Â [​IMG]
     
  2. VMan

    VMan Senior member

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    I voted for Saks Off Fifth just because I've gotten the most good deals there on high-end things, but Filene's would be a very close second due to the sheer number of high-end pieces as well.

    Marshalls/TJ Maxx have the lowest prices, but the clothing is never in the same tier; rarely there will be a few very surprising pieces, but it's not consistent.
     
  3. johnw86

    johnw86 Senior member

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    Before the Schottenstein family bought Filene's Basement, their merchandise made it into their self-named small local chain here in Columbus, which sold high-end merchandise for 80-90% off retail.

    Now the same suits are available at Filene's but the discount isn't anywhere as deep. Still, Filene's has a range of stock that's hard to beat. (And I've gotten some great ties on closeout.)
     
  4. arvi

    arvi Senior member

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    i agree...my taste's a little rarefied for daffys but from time to time i find some really nice,wellmade italian garments..most of their items are a little too fashion forward though well-priced..one can also find the occasional piece of kiton or isaia
     
  5. von Rothbart

    von Rothbart Senior member

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    Anyone remember Dollar's Bill? Used to be at Grand Central Terminal then they moved across the street. Now they're out of business. They had the best price of Zegna during their annual sale in the Fall. At the height of their popularity, people started lining up at their door around 5am for their annual sale, late comers had to wait more than 2 hours to get in. Many out-of-towners made their annual pilgrimage to NYC just for their sale.

    May be it's bad feng shui at their new location, or the "causal cancer" that killed it.
     
  6. aybojs

    aybojs Senior member

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    Last Call, because of the range of quality and the opportunity to get such quality products at a reasonable, even very low price. Of the other high end outlets, I have never seen an Off Fifth that offered merchandise even close to the median of Saks' selection, and the one Barney's outlet I went to (Woodbury) was less than exciting.

    TJ Maxx and Marshall's are fun stores, if only because they offer the occasional thrill of finding a gem in the rough for a low price.

    I have to ask about Filene's though. I've heard so much hype, and when I finally got to check one out (in Elizabeth, NJ), I found the selection to be total crap: it was even worse than the Marshall's in the mall there. Is all the good stuff concentrated among the big city stores or something?
     
  7. Sevcom

    Sevcom Senior member

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    Probably. Most of the suburban Filene's stores (mostly in NJ) I've visited have had pretty poor selections. The ones in Atlanta and in NYC (esp. the Union Square one) have had better goods. Surprisingly, a couple of salespeople at the Atlanta branch have said that their store sometimes got better goods and sold to more customers than the Boston flagship.
     
  8. NoVaguy

    NoVaguy Senior member

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    Ambulance Chaser - What's the best D.C. area Filenes? I just went to one location - the National Press Building, I think, one actually seemed to be in the basement - and was not that impressed (the stuff was ok but bland, and the prices didn't seem rock-bottom at all too me). Are the two other locations better?
     
  9. PeterMetro

    PeterMetro Senior member

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    I go to the basement whenever I go to Boston. Picked up a two-ply cashmere v-neck for 35 bucks. Gotta love that.
     
  10. Ambulance Chaser

    Ambulance Chaser Senior member

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    Originally Posted by Ambulance Chaser,01 Nov. 2004, 09:51
    Although their prices are not the lowest, Filene's Basement gets my vote for their excellent stock, which is constantly replenished. Â I have gotten into the habit of visiting the two good FB stores in D.C. (Connecticut Avenue and Mazza Gallerie) every Saturday. Â I am a sick, sick man. Â [​IMG]
    Ambulance Chaser - What's the best D.C. area Filenes? Â I just went to one location - the National Press Building, I think, one actually seemed to be in the basement - and was not that impressed (the stuff was ok but bland, and the prices didn't seem rock-bottom at all too me). Â Are the two other locations better?
    The Filene's Basement in the National Press Building is by far the worst of the three, although I did find a Brioni formal vest and Ralph Lauren Purple Label cashmere sweater there. Â My favorite is the Connecticut Avenue store, which is located 1/2 block north of the Farragut North metro station (L Street exit just past the Mayflower hotel). Â The entire second floor is devoted to mens' clothing. Â Suit selection is great -- lots of Oxxford, Corneliani, and Hickey-Freeman -- and they regularly get shipments from Barney's, Mitchell's, and other high-brow stores. Â Tailored clothing I have seen there includes Kiton, Brioni, Belvest, Oxxford, and Canali; sportswear includes Armani, Prada, and Dolce & Gabbana. Â (They just recently got a shipment of Vivienne Westwood.) Â The Mazza Gallerie store, located at the Friendship Heights metro station (Maryland exit), gets similar merchandise, but the suit selection is a lot poorer.
     
  11. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Senior member

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    I personally like Nordstrom Rack alot, and have a fair amount of success with Marshall's, but much of that may be because of the area that I live in.

    I used to go to Filene's a fair amount when I was in Cambridge though.
     
  12. Ambulance Chaser

    Ambulance Chaser Senior member

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    I completely forgot about Nordstrom Rack, probably because the D.C. version (located in Potomac Mills Mall, the most overrated outlet shopping center in the country) is so lousy.
     
  13. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Senior member

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    The ones here are quite good, you can get Zegna suits for $450-600 and Collezioni and Gucci suits for $500-600 as well, if you are into that sort of thing. Some decent outerwear as well, but it's probably best for shoes, you can sometimes get AE shoes for $80-120 and Prada/Gucci shoes for $130-170
     
  14. kabert

    kabert Senior member

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    NoVaguy,
    If I may answer the question too, the other two DC Filene's are much, much better than the Nat'l Press Club. NPC Filene's sucks, honestly speaking. Also, you need to read the A Section of the Washington Post to keep an eye out for when Filenes will be getting in the good stuff from Barney's and Bergdorf's, etc. When it's one of those two, for example, the ad in the Post will say something like "We've just received a huge shipment of men's clothes from a glamorous, high-end NYC department store. Sale to start tomorrow...." Or, you can get on the Filene's mailing list. When the store is between big shipments, sometimes the good stuff become pretty thin. There's still some good stuff at the Conn. Ave. downtown store. I was there last week and saw they still have Incotex and Oxxford slacks, for example.
     
  15. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Senior member

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    What are the prices on Incotex and Oxxford slacks at FB for the most part?
     
  16. von Rothbart

    von Rothbart Senior member

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    One thing I don't understand.  If NM/BG, Barneys, SFA, Nordstrom all have their own outlet stores, why don't they ship their own stuffs to their own outlet stores, instead of to their competitors like Filene's Basements?
     
  17. justlurkingthanks

    justlurkingthanks Senior member

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    Anybody ever go to the Filene's in Towson, Md.? Is it any good?
     
  18. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Senior member

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    By selling it to competitors they (1) get it out of there space, which in itself costs money; (2) assure themselves that it gets purchased, as Filene's, etc. buys it from them; (3) gives the impression to customers that customers can't wait around for goods to hit the store's outlets, which would require less search costs on the part of the customer presumably.

    Neiman Marcus does use their own outlet, however. I have rarely seen a NM good in a Filene's type place. Same goes with Saks goods. Bergdorff doesn't have an outlet. Barney's gives their "junk" to Filene's -- if you put that in the outlet, it would give it a shoddy look. Filene's has a warehouse feel. Stores definitely wouldn't want their outlets looking like that -- even Off Fifth and Last Call look better than FB.
     
  19. bigbadbuff

    bigbadbuff Senior member

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    tough call, as I have yet to hit the jackpot IMO at any store. I've gotten plenty of GOOD deals thru Last Call, Off Saks, Filene's, etc. but nothing amazing- nothing like what many folks here have gotten. Of course, I live hours from these places so I only get to check them out a couple times a year and can rarely plan them around known 'good' shipments of items.

    My ranking, from experience:

    NM: best selection of desirable items I've seen on clearance- no outright steals but compelling prices overall. If you can hit a well stocked NM on its 1st day of LC presale, you're loving life. I don't live anywhere near a Last Call unfortunately.

    Saks: the store itself, during its semiannual clearance, is better than any Off Saks I've ever seen. Again, not rock bottom prices but very good prices, and usually a good selection of items/sizes.

    Filene's: great prices, decent at best selection of items and sizes. High odds for steals though, if you can wade thru all the junk. The Mazza Gallerie store in DC is the only one I've been to.

    Off Saks: extremely hit or miss. I've seen Borrelli, Kiton dress shirts for $120, and then I've gone 4 visits in a row and not seen anything decent at all.

    Nordstrom Rack: excellent prices, crap selection- at least the ones I have been to. Again, a pretty high potential for steals. You need to get lucky and hit them on a day they put a lot out, as they get picked over quickly. Have seen some nice ones here, cashmere Loro Piana sportcoat for <200, Ferragamo/To Boot/AE for $125, etc.
     
  20. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Senior member

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    I think Last Call is REALLY spotty. They have good stuff but not really good deals on them IMO (well, 60-70% off, but that's not a great deal IMO) You have to really search to find the great deals there, which I have from time to time.

    Some things I've gotten from Last Call..

    Oxxford slacks $50
    Gucci jet black suit $90
    Tod's oxfords $30
    Polo Purple Label Linen suit $120

    However, about 80% of the time, it's just overpriced IMO.
     

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