posted by: freePOrnaoa in Shoe Trends on September 30th, 2009
In our last post on Saks’ Shoe Heaven, we waxed poetically and lovingly about the lovely summer sales going on. No more, dear shoeholics, no more.
Meet the man who would take away your sales.
What the heck does this midtown-lookin’ businessman have to do with my shoe addiction, you ask?
That ubernice-looking man is the President and Chief Merchandising Officer at Saks. He is the one who determines what is sold, and how long it stays on the shelf.
He wants Saks to become more competitive in a “challenged luxury segment,” so he’s “tweaking the product assortment to include more contemporary brands, ramping up exclusives, introducing private label and expanding elements of the 10022-SHOE salon concept across the chain.”
Love the idea of expanding the 10022-SHOE salon marketing concept across the world.
Love the idea of more exclusives.
Love the private label plan.
LOVE the idea of more contemporary brands…….
DON’T love the plan to stay away from the sort of intense discounts that the Saks salon had last fall!!!
According to Women’s Wear Daily’s just-published piece: “‘That was last fall,’ Frasch firmly stated, adding that the company has no intention of repeating the deep discounts this year.”
New York is the land of the rich. But even the rich folks I know have been bargain hunting like addled old ladies at the flea market. And whereas I used to be able to afford a $300 to $700 shoe once every few months, it’s out of the question now.
So if a middle-class consumer like yours truly can’t afford her $300 to $700 shoe a few times a year anymore, why can’t they keep offering a $175 shoe for me that I would actually buy instead of two pairs of low-to-medium quality shoes at Urban Outfitters?
WWD visited the 10022-SHOE salon recently and testified to zero discounted shoes.
My point of view on this is that people right now still want to feel like they’re getting a bargain because we’re still in a recession. So have a mix of very expensive for the rich to very rich, and keep drawing folks like me in with the quietly-discounted-in-the-corner and the seasonal sales.
Frasch wants to seek out more mid-range shoes.
“‘Prices definitely got out of control,’ Frasch said of the pre-recession world. ‘Now you have a pricing structure where there are shoes that are $795 or more, and shoes that are $195. Where are those designer shoes that are between $395 and $595?’”
Frasch also wants top designers to do more interesting, reasonable styles, and mentioned jelly sandals, but hoped for something more high end.
That sounds great. My thought on this is that we can use new sustainable materials, like a natural latex rubber or gum rubber for boots and quickly-growing bamboo for cushioning and covering interiors. That’s a big selling point. I don’t believe beauty has to be sacrificed. How about those great Chanel camellia rain boots? They could be low cost, high style, sustainable rubber and carry the designer name and make Saks proud.
Also, we’ve seen Zaha Hadid and Vivienne Westwood do some great things with low cost materials with Melissa Plastic Dreams. Isaac Mizraahi, as I will write about in my next post, is making shoes with what looks like leather but is sustainable salmon skin. In Barcelona, I saw a lot of plastic shoes that were very high design in boutiques. I’d prefer sustainable rubber or leather, but it’s nice to see affordable design. Though $365 online, both pairs were discounted below $100 at my local boutique.
You can buy this other style of the VW’s here at Zappos for $154.
Zaha Hadid’s architectural shoes for $365, but look for deals in your local boutiques:
Well, Saks, we look forward to your private label. Like Barneys, that could be a wonderful thing. But please keep the discounts coming, especially at end of season! Don’t drive me away to all sample sales, DSW and online sales! I thought that with Fashion’s Night Out, the industry was leaning toward a more egalitarian, inclusive luxury market, an idea of high design for all.
I am devoted to Saks almost as much as I am to Barneys when it comes to department store giants (I rarely visit Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s and Lord & Taylor, and Bergdorf I only go to for inspiration since its windows are fantastic), but my suggestion is that Saks open up a co-op similar to Barneys’ Co-op. Younger, cheaper, hipper. It could be a small boite within each Saks, not even an entire building or store.
What do you think readers? Are you ready to go back to regularly or even occasionally buying $400 and higher shoes from your recessionista shopping habits?