gilt-groupe

Online Discount Shopping

Since writing at Put This On, I’ve made an effort to talk about how men can build wardrobes on tight budgets. My posts on strategic spending and affordable basics, for example, were written in that spirit. With so many blogs and magazines focusing on outrageously expensive items, I think it’s important to talk about more realistic acquisitions. Men can still look well dressed without spending thousands of dollars a year on clothes. 

If you want the most affordable deals, companies such as Land’s End and J. Crew are probably good places to start. J. Crew is a bit expensive at full retail, but much of their company branded inventory (i.e. non-third party stock) is discounted by 50% or so at the end of the season. 

For something a bit better, you’ll have to turn to online discount houses. This is where higher-end brands tend to be sold for 10-40% of their retail value. Granted, given that these items are extremely expensive in the first place, the sale prices can still be somewhat hefty. However, if you’re looking for high quality items at a better price, these are the places to search.

  • Flash sites: This model is perhaps the most well known - discounted items are offered at some site for a limited time only. The biggest flash site is Gilt Groupe, but there are many others. Check MyHabitJack ThreadsBelle & CliveRu La LaIdeeli, and HauteLook. The stock at these places really range. There’s a lot of junk, but also everything from Jack Spade to Finamore. If you sign up for an account, some sites give you the option of receiving emails from them, which means you can more easily stay on top of their sales each week. 
  • Clearance houses: Things that couldn’t sell at retail are often sent here for clearance. Yoox and Three Different are two of the bigger online clearance houses. Again, there’s a lot of junk, and they apparently style their models blindly, but if you know your brands, you can pick up some very good deals. If you don’t, do a little research on StyleForum
  • Online discount boutiques: In addition to the big clearance houses, there are smaller boutiques that acquire their stock through a variety of different means. Malford of LondonVirtual Clothes HorseShop the Finest, and eHaberdasher are very good ones. There’s also Exquisite Trimmings, which focuses on neckties, pocket squares, and scarves. The inventory at these places tend to be better selected than the big discount houses.
  • Discounted footwear: A Fine Pair of Shoes and eBay seller sausages234 are two very good sources for discounted shoes. Grapevinehill is mostly unremarkable, but they carry Ralph Lauren footwear, some of which is decent. Finally, there’s Classic Shoes for Men. The photos there aren’t as nice as the ones at the aforementioned sites, but the stock is just as good (if not better). The proprietor, Mr. Sevan Minasian, noted that he’ll throw in a free gift with your order if you mention our site. 
  • Us: Kind of goes without saying, but there’s also our eBay roundups and Inside Track newsletter. The first includes customized search links to help you find deals on eBay and the second has sales announcements every week. But you already knew that. 

Now, I’m sure few people will remember all those sites next time they’re shopping for something specific, so I suggest you bookmark them somewhere and save them for later. You could save yourself some considerable money if you do. 

(Photo above: An inside look at Gilt Groupe’s warehouse, taken by Notcot)

Mr. Porter has a video on site produced by Nowness. I have to say, they bring the A game with editorial and e-commerce…although, my web love always goes to Gilt Man and the Manual first. Check it out if you have a minute. A true win would’ve been to shop the video with an overlay and not a separate link. I’ll let that slide because the illustrations strike me on an Edward Gorey/Hugo Guinness note.

Stilettos by State: a Gilt Infographic

While working on our headlines-making preemptive shipping initiative, Gilt Principal Data Scientist Igor Elbert got a bit curious about whether certain fashion preferences might be regional or universal (or not). He and Gilt Data Analyst Debbie Chung had some hunches about how favorite styles, colors, etc. might differ around the U.S. and Puerto Rico and, like any good data sleuths, started exploring.

First, they looked at dress colors to see which ones were most popular in which U.S. regions, and found out that black is, um, still the “new black” in every corner of the country. Then they explored how high-heel heights varied among U.S. states, and noticed that the range was pretty substantial. The results of their findings are here in this infographic, created by Rhianon Cha-os.

While doing this research, Igor had to learn more about women’s shoes than he’d otherwise like to admit—addressing the heel-height aspect of “ballet flats,” “booties,” “boots,” etc. and figuring out their differences. But Debbie and Igor’s hard work (and Igor’s slight discomfort) paid off: Now we have a look at how tastes in high heels differ across the U.S. and in Puerto Rico!

Women: In the market for some new shoes? Visit Gilt’s Shoe Guide Shop!

A toast to our friends at Gilt Groupe and Band of Outsiders for this amazing product offering: a women’s pajama shirt for men. As you can see, it’s a perfect pairing for chinos whenever you’re looking for that, “I just rolled out of bed, and I wear women’s loungewear in public” aesthetic. (You can tell it’s a women’s shirt, by the way, because the buttons are on the left side of the garment.)

The price, if you’re wondering, is $99. Before you say: “isn’t that kind of a lot for a women’s pajama shirt being sold to men without the pajama bottoms?” just remember that the “Original Price” was $200. So really, this is a bargain. In my mind, the only true question is: how did this not sell at retail?!

So: if you’re tired of going to Bergdorf’s or Wilkes Bashford for your women’s pajama shirts, or paying through the nose for custom women’s pajama shirts from Ascot Chang or Turnbull & Asser, here’s an affordable alternative.

Five stars!

(Thanks, Trey)

vimeo

take a look at deborah’s christmas list.

NYT: Amazon Plans Its Next Conquest: Your Closet

Amazon’s getting serious about apparel, but it means stepping into a particularly dangerous minefield. Their focus has been price - offering commodity products for less than their competitors. The fashion business is distinctly uncomfortable with that prospect.They want fancy presentation and pricing that preserves their mystique (and margins).

Still, this is big news for consumers. I had no idea, for example, that if I type “Jack Spade” into the Amazon search bar, I’ll find hundreds of products. Their flash sale offering, MyHabit, is catching up to industry leader (and category creator) Gilt Groupe, as well. Today, for example, it’s offering sales on Gant Rugger and Luciano Barbera. We’ll see where it’s heading, but it’s tough to see it breaking bad for those of us who like to shop online.

Gilt Groupe Home is currently running a MAJOR sale for kitchen accoutrements.  By major sale I mean a $500 pressure cooker is going for $149.

I somehow limited myself to a microplane and a digital scale, but considering my birthday is on the horizon, I may just treat myself to a few additional items.

Go get your SALE on!

Could it be the End of the Flash Sale?

For the last several years, shoppers have impatiently waited by their inboxes each day for an email from flash sale websites announcing their daily deals.

But are the days of dominance coming to an end for sites like Gilt Groupe, Rue La La, and Ideeli?

Reuters’ Allstair Barr explains that these flash sale sites, which offer big discounts on luxury items for a limited amount of time, are losing their grip  and changing their business models to try to stay afloat.

These websites came into vogue when the recession hit as a way for fashionistas to rummage through virtual bargain bins and for labels to get rid of large quantities of unsold items.

While these sites and the brands were relishing in what seemed like a match made in fashion heaven, they missed two problems looming on the horizon: the number of shoppers looking for flash sales was growing and designers began cutting production at the same time.

More simply, demand was higher while supply was lower.

Barr explains:

By September 2009, Gilt had 325,000 unique monthly visitors to its website, while HauteLook had 433,000. Ideeli had 312,000 and Rue La La had 206,000. A year later, unique visitors to these four websites had more than doubled, according to ComScore data.

While that growth was happening, retailers and manufacturers cut production by 10 percent to 15 percent. By early 2010, there was a lot less inventory.

So how have these sites responded? By branching out beyond fashion to bolster what they can call inventory to keep up with the demand:

"With high-end retail, there’s only so much inventory to work with. Scarcity is part of the high-end fashion brands’ strategy," said [Gilt Groupe] Chief Executive Paul Hurley. "I’m not the most popular guy at parties in New York because all our friends are after high-end brands. But the opportunity is much larger elsewhere."

Gilt has branched out into travel, home decor, food, wine and daily deals. Rue La La has expanded in a similar way.

Click through to read the full article on Reuters.