The city is still sale-obsessed, and nobody can seem to forget last November's 70% off frenzy. The mere inkling of price breaking for Spring seems to send those who follow such things into feverish frothing at the mouth. Add to that the torrent of sample sales that seem to be proliferating at a stunning rate, and it's a wonder that anyone buys anything at full price. Once strictly controlled, Friends & Family events have practically become public sales offering blanket discounts throughout entire department stores, and now that those are mostly over, the "Private" sales are starting, which will lead to first markdowns sometime later this month, which is a few weeks earlier than normal.
If you are waiting for the deep-discount-free-for-all that happened last fall, don't hold your breath. That affair (spurred by Saks) angered vendors and destroyed margins throughout the industry, and this season, the retailers have much less stock to mark down. The other unplanned effect was that when it came time for After-Christmas sales, there was nothing left for customers in January and February. don't expect retailers to give away the store this early in the game again. They'll some merchandise to sell through the Summer.
Here's what we know (and we have to give a great deal of credit to The Choosy Beggar and Madison Avenue Spy for tirelessly chronicling every markdown)
Saks is reportedly running a 2-day sale for Mother's Day Weekend with pre-sale (that means reserving of sale merchandise) starting Monday May 4th as well.
Bloomingdale's Private Shoe Sale begins this Thursday, April 30th to May 4th with discounts from 30% to 40% off, and an additional 20% if you buy 2 or more pairs of shoes.
Is this all starting to sound more like Walmart? We are less concerned about finding things for ourself to buy than whether these stores are ever going to be able to get customers to buy full price again.
And here's just a small selection of the mountain of Sample Sale notices we get, including some we don't often see:
10 am-6 pm, 575 Madison Avenue, 8th floor between 56th & 57th
Spurr menswear, April 30th - May 3rd
Thursday & Friday, 12 pm – 7 pm, Saturday & Sunday, 12 pm – 5 pm
at Starworks, 5 Crosby Street, Suite 3D between Grand and Howard Streets. Cash and major credit cards accepted.
Barry Kieselstein-Cord Jewelry, handbags & Acessories (Have we ever heard of a BK-C sample sale before), May 7th - 9th
Thursday 12 pm – 7 pm, Friday 8 am - 7 pm Saturday 9 am – 4 pm
The Warwick Hotel, 65 West 54th Street, Essex Suite on the 2nd Floor. Cash and major credit cards accepted.
Delman, May 5th - 8th
Wednesday - Thursday 10 am - 7 pm Friday 10 am - 3 pm
at Savvy, 145 West 18th Street between Sixth & Seventh Avenues
Domenico Vacca, May 6th - 8th
10 am - 6 pm
14 East 60th Street, Suite 900
Fred Perry (Incl. Raf Simons for Fred Perry) May 11th -17th
Weekdays 10 am - 7 pm, Saturday & Sunday 12 - 5 PM
547 West 27th street. 3rd floor between 10th & 11th Avenues, CASH ONLY
To Boot New York May 1st - 3rd
Friday 8:30 am - 6:30 pm, Saturday 10 am - 6 pm, Sunday 12 - 5 pm
603 Washington Street between Morton & Leroy Streets CASH ONLY
And let's not forget about GILT GROUPE, which allows us to forgo the hassle of waiting in line and squeezing into a cramped showroom. This week, the ever-growing website is featuring limited time sales from, among several others: Milly, AG Jeans for men, Jack Spade, Alexander McQueen RTW & Accessories, Alice Ritter, Alexandro Ingelmo, Vince for men, Gianfranco Ferré, Miguelina, J Brand, Bonpoint and our favorite upscale naughty store, Kiki de Montparnasse. Click HERE now for your personal invitation.
Got any money left now?