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23 October 2017

Dear Sample Sale Organizers, Here's Some Advice You Didn't Ask For

From the light traffic at Manhattan sample sales to the reduced interest in flash sales, it’s been  a lackluster year for this niche of retail. True, this news might not come as a surprise to the non-fashionista considering the other events of this year: a whopping nine retail bankruptcies were filed and scores of stores closed their doors forever. But… we are fashionistas, so to our trained eyes: we’re still surprised this retail niche was affected. Why? Because history has evidenced time and time again that retail misfortunes often translate into good news for sample sales. But this time around, sample sales seem to be losing their appeal. As we’ve been around the sample sale block more times (and for more years) than we care to admit, we know enough to have developed our own theory. (OK, we kind of borrowed it from the finance industry, but hey… )

We believe the sample sale market has become an efficient market. If you are a finance person you are not going to need an explanation for that term. If you are everyone else, then here’s a definition, courtesy of Investopedia:

The efficient market hypothesis is an investment theory that states it is impossible to ‘beat the market’ because stock market efficiency causes existing share prices to always incorporate and reflect all relevant information.”

In our case, flash sales websites provide the consumer with so much information that it is nearly impossible for any sample sale organizer to surprise shoppers and get them excited. Most sample sale shoppers are knowledgeable and pragmatic. They know the brands. They know if prices are a true bargain. Brands have access to the same information as the consumers—if not more—so they align their prices with other discount outlets.

So… if we may be so bold… here is some advice you didn’t ask for, sample sale organizers: sample sales are not just a chance for you to rid of excess inventory at the highest price the market can absorb. Rather, they are a unique opportunity to tap into a new market of aspirational shoppers. Use it wisely. Instead of focusing on how much money you will make with that sale, consider how many more new customers will become obsessed with your brand, brag about it, and serve as a walking advertisement for you.

And speaking of that opportunity… that opportunity is now. Without any further adieu: we are finally in sample sale season! Boys and girls, check your balances on your credit cards, mark your calendars, and head to these upcoming sample sales that are sure to kick off the season right:

Starting Monday: Rebecca Minkoff Sample Sale
Starting Tuesday: Halston Heritage Sample Sale
Oscar de la Renta Sample Sale
White + Warren Fall Sample Sale
Starting Wednesday: MCM Sample Sale
Elie Tahari Sample Sale

And that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Here is the complete list of sample sales for this week.

Happy shopping!



Posted by Bindra at 12:30 AM
New York | Trackback |


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16 October 2017

Time Out for Social Media Celebs, Time In For NYC Sample Sales

Alert! Alert! We like these sale events this week: Wolford, James Perse, and SoulCycle. But hey, don’t call us “Influencers.” We’ve never been fans of the term, and frankly a handful of people are unhappy with the concept too…

Unless you yourself are one of said influencers, you likely don’t know that the FTS recently sent letters to popular social media celebrities, informing them that they’re in violation of the new stricter guidelines requiring that any sponsored content be “conspicuously disclosed” in “unambiguous” language “within the first three lines of text.”

Who are these violators? Not a bunch of nobodies… among the celebrities and brands who’ve failed to disclose paid collaborations are names you’ll recognize: Kourtney Kardashian, Victoria Beckham, Adidas, Chanel and  Yves Saint Laurent. And not that they need it, but they’re making a pretty penny too.

The world of sales is undergoing a major makeover—and it’s definitely the YouTube, product-flashing, tutorial kind. Instagram influencers and bloggers with enough followers are the new all-star sales people that brands want to hire; they bring in as much as one full third of the traffic for companies like Net-A-Porter. But the relationship is different than any typical employment. These influencers are constantly courted and wooed by companies that spend less and less money on sponsoring traditional campaigns. These brands prefer to throw money at new mediums in an attempt to attract the ever-elusive millennial. The irony is that these bloggers are coming full circle when they themselves start reaping the benefits of the model that they have tried to eliminate. And we get it; when someone throws money at you, it’s easy to make decisions from a personal place rather than one of principle.

So in the spirit of transparency: no one is giving us any pennies—pretty or otherwise. No one is paying us to share our opinions. We stand on this soapbox for the sheer joy of standing on it (and perhaps because it feels like a catwalk?)! So listen up because we’re about to wax poetic about sample sales…

Nothing says California beach like the soft cotton James Perse t-shirt. You will find men’s and women’s apparel, accessories, footwear, and home furnishings at up to 70% off MSRP at the James Perse Sample Sale. Fun fact: the company once ran a campaign featuring Maye Musk, the mother of none other than Elon Musk, in an attempt to appeal to customers of all ages.

Are you a member of the SoulCycle cult-following? Then get ready to spin (no, not that kind) with joy because they are organizing a sample sale where you can find the usual club attire at discounted prices.

And though we’re no influencers, we are self-proclaimed psychics—our sample sale crystal ball reveals the Woldorf sample sale is going to be an exceptionally good one. The Austrian hosiery and lingerie company has recently lost its designer and has reported financial losses, so we can expect to find hefty discounts on everything: tights, apparel, lingerie, bodysuits, and accessories.

Feeling… influenced? Well, we promise our influence comes at no benefit to us—other than the pure joy we get for having assisted in the betterment of your closet. 😉



Posted by Staff Writer at 12:30 AM
New York | Trackback |


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9 October 2017

Is Amazon Responsible for the Slow Sample Sale Season?

It’s nearly impossible to try to internet-stalk any business these days without stumbling across an Amazon-related article. Is that a reflection of Amazon’s efficient PR office? Or of their identity as a big bad wolf that terrifies the retail industry? We don’t know. But there’s no doubt that Amazon has recently made inroads into luxury, beauty, and fashion with 3-D body modeling technology and one-hour-catwalk-to-doorstep-deliveries like a slow bad news drip for competition. And those inroads are just the start. Drip, drip, drip; Amazon’s territory is growing exponentially. Is it possible that sample sales are part of that newly-conquered territory? Is Amazon really getting the eyes (and wallets) of our sample sale lovers?

You, as readers and sample sale aficionados, should be able to answer that question for us. Time for a multiple-choice pop quiz! If you used to love sample sales, but didn’t buy anything at a sample sale in 2017, was it because:

  1. You couldn’t make it to any sample sale.
  2. You were not impressed with the selection of items.
  3. Prices were high; the discounts were not big enough for a sample sale.
  4. Your tastes changed and you now prefer retail sales to sample sales.
  5. You buy everything on Amazon, and can’t be bothered with sample sales

OK, so it’s not much of a pop quiz if there are no right answers… but if you are genuinely curious, feel free to see the answers of the poll.

For those of you readers who are still sample-sale-devotees, here’s another multiple-choice pop quiz. This week, will you head over to the:

  1. Hugo Boss Sample Saledetails here
  2. Milly Sample Sale details here

For this quiz, you can’t go wrong with any answer. Although the Hugo Boss sample sale promises to be a better sale for men than women we still recommend it.  The German luxury company means business with their clothes and the event organized at Soiffer Haskin. No photos, no children, no strollers rules apply. Sorry.

The other sample sale is coming from Milly, the beloved New York based advanced contemporary brand celebrating its 17th year, and promises to have samples from the Fall/Winter collection: tops, skirts, pants, dresses, jumpsuits, outerwear, special occasion dresses, and more.

Save a bundle and bundle up!



Posted by Staff Writer at 01:03 AM
New York | Trackback |


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2 October 2017

The Future of Fashion Is Hazy... So What About The Future of Us Sample Sale Lovers?

As editors, buyers, and celebrities escaped to Milan this week for the Italian Spring 2018 Fashion Week, and retailer executives returned from the National Retail Federation Conference at Shop.org, both ends of the industry spectrum were preoccupied with the same question: how does a brand embrace innovation and save itself from extinction?

Turns out it’s a question we should be asking too, dear shopping extraordinaires… because these industry changes will likely affect the way we shop. (How much longer till we drop?!)

Here’s a highlight to shed some light on our potential answer: Gucci has emerged as a success story, having been able to captivate the minds and wallets of millennials. As a consequence, Gucci has decided to follow suit (or in this case, bag?) of Louis Vuitton by eliminating presales, private sales, all sales—making everything full price always. Even the overstock inventory will be sold through other channels, mainly their outlet. Of course, they still have a wholesale division (unlike LV), which means they can’t control everything. So there is hope: you might still be able to get your latest biannual Gucci style on sale from a retailer. And—please don’t shoot the messenger (us)—but should this experiment work for Gucci, it is only a matter of time before other brands will follow.

Sigh. That means it’s also only a matter of time before all of us are actively preoccupied with another universal question: why aren’t we rich? Full disclosure, though: we were already asking that question last week when we visited the Loro Piana sample sale, and pined for a $1769 pair of slippers.

So before you worry about striking it rich, focus on striking while the sales are still hot; Cinzia Rocca, an Italian luxury designer known for its (reasonably priced) outerwear, is hosting a sample sale this week. Throw in the Hanky Panky Warehouse Sale and the Diesel Sample Sale, and maybe you’ll be shopping enough to save fashion’s future singlehandedly…

Cheers!



Posted by Staff Writer at 01:08 AM
New York | Trackback |

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