With the dismal retail sales of the last few years, many high-end department stores have become desperate to clear out their unsold merchandise.
With the dismal retail sales of the last few years, many high-end department stores have become desperate to clear out their unsold merchandise. This clearance-mania first manifested itself as a flood of sample sales, then as a glut of pop-up shops, but has now taken on a newer form: the outlet off-shoot. Recently, Nordstrom’s The Rack has done extremely well, outselling their parent company by 3% , and even announcing plans to take over the former Virgin Megastore space in Union Square.
Taking a hint from Nordstrom’s, Bloomingdale’s has decided to open their own series of outlets, with more expected in 2011.
According to Michael Gould, Bloomingdale’s chief executive:
Bloomingdale’s Outlet stores are an opportunity to expand our presence in new and existing markets, as well as to remove clearance from full-line Bloomingdale’s stores in a timely manner…
And if Bloomingdale’s does well, it seems they can expect more of their compatriots to jump on the bandwagon: Macy’s Inc., which owns Bloomingdale’s will also consider dipping into the outlet pool with their namesake company.
According to Racked.com and Terry Lundgren, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Macy’s Inc.:
“To me, Bloomingdale’s was the first priority and a natural opportunity, as we learn the business with Bloomingdale’s, it could be something we consider.”
One place to open a retail outlet with minimal risk is literally right before your eyes: on the computer screen. While group outlet sites like giltgroupe and ideeli have been doing extremely well, Swedish clothier Acne has gone the extra mile and created their own online outlet site, something which more brands are expected to do as they find themselves at a loss on how to deal with excess merchandise. However, in the meantime, for those looking to score a deal you can scour pre-existing outlet stores like DSW, which have become a veritable hunting ground for formerly unattainable luxury goods. And as always, be sure to check back frequently at your favorite department stores, some of which have resorted to the most primitive of sales: the haggle.
[image by the justified sinner]