There’s something fishy, but also kind of nice, going on in this city’s luxury department stores. Designer clothes hang on racks labeled 60 percent off, but they are actually marked down more than 60 percent. Madison Avenue Spy found, on a sale rack in Bergdorf Goodman labeled 60 percent off, a Gaultier dress marked down from $495 to $149, which is 70 percent off. A Peter Som jacket that was $1,295 hung on the same rack but was marked down to $389 — again 70 percent off. Secret sales pervade over at Saks, where racks labeled 60 percent off contained Jil Sander pants for 65 percent off. Online you’ll find 65 percent off a Dior dress, an Akris sweater, and Alexander McQueen leggings.
Madison Avenue Spy doesn’t advise rearranging your life in the interest of fleeing uptown to scoop this stuff up since it’s fairly picked over. But still, why would stores mislabel? Surely after months and months of tallying losses, these places know how to do the basic math to discount a sweater and a pair of pants here and there. Spy wonders, as do we, if stores are trying to hide their sales from designers who became so upset with last year’s insane winter discounts. Remember how stores were practically giving the stuff away?
Anyway, it looks like the sales will only continue. Shoes at Bergdorf are 30 percent off now but will be marked down again in just over a week. The ninth-floor menswear at Saks will go down again on Friday. Spy suspects the deeper discounts will pour over into the women’s section, too. So maybe stores are dealing with the ongoing recession like a celebrity in rehab. Sometimes it’s better to get the hard part over with in private rather than splashing it all over the headlines, so you can emerge from hiding with a nice facial and expensive new clothes and everyone thinks things are just great even when, maybe, they’re not.
Department Stores Hide Markdowns [Madison Avenue Spy]