Wednesday, October 23, 2013

It's that time of year! Good , Bad or Ugly it's here!!

It's been a while, but I'm back. So many things have happened in the last year, professionally, I made a huge career change. I entered back into the business that I swore I would never enter again. That's right I'm back in the rat race. I figured I couldn't beat them from the outside so I might as well beat them from the inside. So this is what I am going to do, I'm going to help you beat them too. Who's the "them"? The retailers that take advantage of the consumer. So i'll do my best to help. There may be things you don't want to read or even believe but get ready you'll read a lot, and after a while it will start to make sense! Think about this, a major department store offers 50%, you say WOW time to shop, well if they can afford 50% off why not just price the product at 50% less at the beginning? Don't let them tell you its a great deal, they are still making a lot of money off the 50% off. At least another 50% of that. Pay full price, think twice

Monday, January 31, 2011

Speak and they will listen!

The much improved dress code hit the red carpet again with last nights SAG Awards. I am thinking that the press tore into all of those poorly dressed actresses that they either fired their stylist, hired a stylist or got off their thrones and picked out their own dresses.
Immediately there was a new and fresh look in the air.
Annette Bening found her misplaced comb and tamed the main, she actually is a pretty woman, and her dress more natural than death. The natural colored beaded gown was age appropriate and beautiful!
Another wonderful dress worn by January Jones, beautifully tailored black and gold accented her coloring, now if she could only take that puss of her face every time the camera showed her, I wonder was she mad because her lines have been cut on Madmen because Don is remarrying a younger woman who her kids adore!
Hilary and Marishka two best friends, 2 not so great dresses. I like Hilary, a great actress manly features and trying to wear a very feminine frock and banana curls well she should have been wearing the jumpsuit.
Angie Harmon, pink and ruffles, YUCK!!!! And she said Tye Diggs gave her the best compliment ever, I am thinking it might be something like, You are so lucky to have married Jason Seymore.
The point is that for the most part the garments changed drastically and for the better. So who told these actresses that they made huge fashion faux pas?
I don't think it was their stylists, maybe their husbands or significant others came clean.
Or better yet, maybe they saw pictures of themselves at the supermarket checkout line and then ran to self check out to get the hell out of their before anyone else sees.
Let's face it, if you picture is on a magazine at the checkout line it can't be good!
I am glad they came to their senses and we shall see how long this will last, the Oscars are next.
Who do you think they should wear. Please feel free to post a comment and picture. Lets play dress up, we can't do any worse than what we have already seen!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The queen wears McQueen..but not so well

Cathryn Horn of the New York Times wrote an article about Mrs. O and what she wore to the State of The Union Address.She criticized the CFDA about criticizing Michelle for wearing a foreign designer. Well most of the designers on the CFDA are foreign. And I'm ok with that. But the bigger issue is not that Michelle wore a foreign designer the bigger issue is that when she took office,oops that would be when her husband took office, she came in all gang busters about wearing clothes that the average Americam mom and women would wear. Hello, Michelle we don't wear Alex McQueen, not even at resale!
What ever happened to wearing JCrew, did you get tired of the ruffles too!
Yeah, I don't think so
You got tired of, well being an average American. It sucks doesn't it, having to watch your budget every week. But don't worry there's still 3 years that you get to make grand purchases from our tax dollars!
It reminds me of the Marie Antoinette movie, they came into power, lived the life of riches and then the castle was stormed by the commoners. And I also believe she told "her" people "let them eat cake all while she was eating meats and drinking wine"
In this case the commoners are the designers on the CFDA
Mr O stated he wanted to have more product made in the USA, brilliant idea, can we get those factories up and running, we have enough people that need jobs! I don't think that there would eb a problem finding help!
And Mrs. O, live by your words your a mom, you understand the lifestyle of the average American, actions, actions speak
louder than words. And I would bet JCrew and Macy.s would even give you a discount! However, you can do what we do sign up for their e mail news letters and get coupons!
Yes, and there we have it the queen wears McQueen, sumptuary laws are back we just don't call it that today!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Welcome to my store

As an above average knowledgeable consumer I feel that I know a thing or two about how a customer should be treated when a guest in a store. It's very similar to when you visit a friends home or are invited to a dinner party, minus having to take off your shoes or leave your coat at the front front.
As you enter a store like any home someone should be there to say hello or greet you, one usually does not enter a friends home by just walking in and making themselves comfortable and then announcing that they are there, do they?
It should be the same, I like someone to welcome me, say hello, welcome to,,,, And that's it!
Please don't tell me about all of the sales that are going on, many to me are meaningless. Unless your going to tell me that the entire store is 60% off, or I'm the millionth customer and have won a new car. I'm OK with you just saying hello!
I stopped in a furniture store the other day (Bob's) and I was all but accosted. No sooner did I walk in a balding, man immediately came up to me, said his name ( I blocked it out, I always to in furniture stores) and proceeded to ask a million questions before the answer for the first one could come out of my mouth. As i continued to walk to try to escape (literally) he kept up right on the side, I can't even remember how many times I said thank you just going to look around. Well I was looking around alright, everywhere I turned there he was, a few steps behind. I was being stalked in a furniture store, Zip right out the door I went!
I feel oh so violated when I am in a furniture store, they ask questions about your style, what room, If I wanted them to see the inside of my house I would invite them over for drinks.
I truly truly hate shopping, yes it is a huge part of my life, hell I teach fashion and retail, but I don't teach customer service otherwise those big boys would all be FIRED!
Now on to a more delightful experience, ZAPPO'S.
You have to love when you can log on, see something you like, place an order, get a shipping confirmation all within 3 minutes and then within the next 24 hours, salespeople free, no tax, no shipping you mdse arrives, nicely boxed at your front door by the man in brown!
No one followed me around, told me about unnecessary items that I am not looking for or do not interest me, no tax, no shipping and if for any reason in 365 days I can return the item no questions asked and free shipping back! You just have to love Zappo's
Now Amazon just acquired Zappo's and I am hoping that they keep a great thing great. Amazon is considering doing away with the shipping too. not that it is expensive anyway and if you have prime it's free!
Can you imagine an Amazon and Zappo's store? Where you go in sit at a computer, key in what you want, and then 5 minutes later a computerized mannequin comes out of the stockroom door and hands you your mdse. Says thank you, turns and goes away! Ah, I think I am on to something here!
The point is, we get better service from a computer system than we do from human beings. You know those that have hearts and feelings. but yet the computer gets us what we want, when we want it and truly asks for nothing in return.
We used to say I love my sales person, their the best. I don't think we say that anymore. we may show feelings for them but I can guarantee it's not love!
Now off to shop ebay!

Monday, January 17, 2011

The papers are saying what they wore not who they wore and I know why!

The much anticipated Golden Globes was last night and the highlight of the evening was Ricky Gervais introducing Bruce Willis as Ashton Kutchers dad, and the priceless non remark of Bruce.
Other than that BORING!
until we get to talk about the "gowns" well can you say eighties, bad eighties.
Here's the rundown;
Scarlet Johanson, beautiful girl dowdy dress, what was she thinking, just because your going through a divorce doesn't mean you need to dress in flesh colored mourning
Annete Bening, Edward Scissor Hands (hair) crosses paths with Mortia from the Adams family, not good so not good
Julianne Moore is probably one of most beautiful natural beauties, and her rose red dress with high fan collar only on one side did not do her figure or face any justice. It definitely could be construed as the red flag of justice.
And lets talk about America's newest darling, Anne Hathaway, now just because you make good movies doesn't give you the OK to wear reptile based shoulder pads, this could be homage to Alexander McQueen or Isabella Blow but I am thinking a Rachel Zoe pick
And by the way Halie Berry did you forget to put your dress on over that slip you were wearing last night?
OH Oh Oh, January Jones, OK slash, slash slash, ace bandages dyed in crimson red, Blood bath!
And one of my all time favorites of the night, Olivia Wilde, also known as the chocolate cake topper!
On a brighter note Hailie Seinfeld from True Grit, age appropriate and beautiful, Helen Merrin, damn she looked great, she is English after all,
Angelina Jolie in that green seen it on her last year dress, looked fantastic except for the times she was laying on top of Brad, oh that would be all night! Ugh
And the worst representation of a gown, Jennifer Lopez, what they hell was that, Off the shoulder, gauzy beaded, white wedding dress. Now I know she's now married and has two kids, but honestly darling you have it flaunt it!
it was a complete and utter mess. Nothing wonderful for designers to knock off. And why do they headline pages, what they wore and not who they wore, well why would any designer want to be associated with those dresses!
Hollywood glamour is gone well at least taste...We need to get it back so bring on the glitz and glamour we're ready and they need it

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Oye Vey

As I mentioned a few days ago on FB, January is a boring time in retail. Well I spoke too soon, as stores magazines website just announced that Sears has placed a bid to buy the very successful (sans ruffles) J.Crew. I had to re look and re look at the posting before I nearly fell off my seat.
How can J Crew even consider the bid, SEARS, hardware, appliances, electronics but never cashmere sweaters made in Italy with beading ad grommets.
I ask what has this industry come to... An end I say a drastic end.
I am all for the big guy helping the little guy out, but in this case it's role reversal. Sears is by no means the little guy, but when it come to brand equity on the scale of things J Crew definitely has them beat out. So is Sears making an offer to build a better image for themselves. Could be! but it won't work. Sears already has brand recognition, hardware, a man's man store, a store to go to if you need a refrigerator or air conditioner or even a lawn tractor. But not a 200 or 300 hundred dollar outfit.
I truly hope that JCrew pushes that offer aside and says "thank you, we're flattered that your thinking of putting on your trophy shelve along with KMart, but no thank you!

And then the point can be made, well why hasn't any other reputable company come knocking on the doors of J Crew? Good question. But I think I know the answer... MICKEY and again not the mouse. I bet he still wants to have the majority of control, and well we know how that all works out when you have two kings trying to run a country. One goes to the guillotine and very quickly. And I have a feeling ti won't be Mickey. He has clout, what he touches turns to gold..
But with J Crew up for sale what does that mean...why are they up for sale, they are doing well, product has quality, design well depends(ruffles you know), talent, well yes they have that in design, merchandising (sales, well except for previous students, it;s questionable)
This may take some investigating and I am all for that.

So what's next:
Kohls running Hermes
Walmart running LVMH
Ocean State Job Lot running Macy's (well OK)
it's reversal of brand equity. Lower level company's trying to buy high level company's to build their portfolio's. Maybe it would work!

No, I don't think so!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Please leave well enough alone!

WWD just posted an article that stated that Pendleton clothing company, one of the few valued US company's around brought in three new designers to create a younger, edgier bridge collection.

I am a big fan of US made products and I hope they continue to grow in numbers and prosper. But when a mistake is made someone needs to stand up and tell them.
Dear Pendleton,
Your making a big mistake!
Pendleton like Talbots has a following, and well its not the new generation!
I have seen many companies in the past bring in young, talented, eager, out to change the world designers, offering to bring in a new target market and increase sales like never before. And well, it doesn't work. Pendleton is grandma's clothing, and I mean that in a nice way, grandma always looked good, dressed to the nines no matter where she went. have you looked at the younger consumer lately. She is into wearing Pendleton. She's busy, active, on the go, multi tasking and that means clothing of comfort. But that is just part of it. Pendleton already has brand identity and once you have it it is hard to erase and start anew. When I was growing up anyone who wore Pendleton had money, they were stuffy and well rigid. They went to lunch with the ladies, bridge with their husbands business partners wife's and dinner at opposite ends of the table.
Todays modern women doesn't have lunch with the ladies(she has lunch on the run between text messaging, she doesn't play bridge (she goes to yoga or pilates) and she doesn't eat at opposite ends of the dinner table(they go out to eat)
If Pendleton wants to gain a new target market then do so, but don't call it Pendleton. It will not help with sales, give it a name and call it a division of Pendleton.
And sorry to say, make the word Pendleton very small!
In a world when retail and fashion are trying everything imaginable to stay alive, they are sometimes digging their own grave. Some things are better left alone. Focus on what you are good at. Tweak what you have, create more loyalty to your already existing consumer.
in a heartbeat I could liven up the old Pendleton, grandma wants to look and feel younger. The younger don't want to look and feel like grandma!
Just a thought!!!!