The Future of Sample Sales & Weekend Shopping

May 17, 2020 by Lila Delilah

The adrenaline rush while approaching a favorite designer’s sample sale feels like a very distant memory but the excitement is undeniable. Even as the world slowly awakens, it’s hard to imagine the day where hundreds of customers will swarm racks of clothing.

Jimmy Choo Sample Sale Oct 2019

This week, we reached out to several leaders in the NYC sample sale business to see what the future might look like. Elsa Assouline, the co-founder of Eclipse and the host designer sample sales in LA and on West 14th Street, said that the company has completely converted to online sales and that she has no plans to reopen physical sales right now.

Following a few bumps with their first online sales, Elsa realized that they still have a lot to learn. “I am pretty confident about online sales. I think we are facing lots of new challenges. We have to think about ways to please customers in a different way,” Elsa said.

The largest organizer of sample sales in NYC also started online sales but is looking to reopen their stores to the public but only after they ensure that his staff and customers will be safe. It’s most likely they will implement a phase-in program where the merchandise will be online and then available for curbside pickup.

If online sample sales are to be successful they will have to create an element of excitement and create an experience that is different from shopping any other online markdown. Creating an experience online is difficult but not impossible. Sample sale organizers can implement the strategies used by Supreme, Yeezy, or Ticketmaster to create experiences that differentiate themselves from retailer discounts.

Finding success in online sample sales is not impossible but could take a considerable amount of time to create a winning formula. In the meantime, there is an abundance of overstock merchandise that will need to be liquidated. That means: Sales, sales, sales.

Tessabit, in Italy, most recently made its markdowns public. Discounts range from 30% to 70% off depending on the item and designer. Most of the selection are items we’ve seen through various private sales but there is still merchandise worthy of attention. Over this way, we found a Burberry dress reduced to $770 from $2570, Balenciaga double B-knife shoes are $500 from $1000, and Off-White pumps are $365 from $725.

Earlier in the week, Nordstrom began offering deeper discounts on a variety of products. Gianvitto Rossi sandals are $318 from $800, an iconic Off-White leather tote is $572 from $955, and this dress from Sea is $152 from $380.  You can read all the details and see what else we found in the original post, here. 

Italist also started a new round of markdowns where discounts hit 60% off. Check out this Prada belt for $157 from about $500 US retail and this beauty case is $230 from $380 US retail. A Saint Laurant bracelet is $188 from $375 US retail and sneakers with stars are $300 from $545. More finds are this way. 

This coming week we should see an explosion of Memorial Day sales. Keep your eyes on Net-A-Porter, Moda Operandi,  and Farfetch.

Until next week… Same time, same place?


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