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Big Apple Diary: Christmas ’09….T’is the Season to Not Overspend!!


NYC is "On Sale" but how low can it go? In the "old days" of 2008 this was saved for the day after Thanksgiving known as Black Friday. You can blame the advanced kick off on the daily news reports touting economic demise; predicting that the current financial crisis, the worst in seven decades will produce the US's worst recession since the 1981-82 downturns. So retailers are racing to capture the customer while they are still in the "frame of mind" to spend money and flick their credit cards!

Designer Sale in NYC

I spent time in a plethora of department & specialty stores in New York City and on Long Island the past few days; Macys, Bloomingdales, Nordstroms, Saks, Kohl's, J Crew etc etc just scoping the deals on "new receipts". Suddenly I realized that 20% – 25% off meant nothing anymore and unless the deal was 30% or more I was not interested. At Macys, there was % off signs at a low of 40% up to 75% off in moderate, bridge and designer sportswear. Biggest markdowns at 75% off were in bridge / designer brands; Hugo Boss, Magaschoni, Max Mara, Calvin Klein.  I must admit that I was shocked by the savings ….in my many years of shopping, I have never experienced 60% or 75% off until now. It's really amazing that the customer is being trained by the retailer to expect bigger savings. Retailing as we knew it has been re-defined and will never be the same again.

Luxury stores in particular have stepped up the timing and have taken deeper markdowns in couture, designer and contemporary apparel. Designer collections, which are never big margin producers anyway, are being sharply cut before Thanksgiving; at Saks: 40-70% off designer collections for him & her starting Sunday 11/23. Advertised in the 11/23 NY Times; Neiman's  is 40% off biggest names in fashion…designer, couture, contemporary sportswear, designer coats & shoes.

Designer Sale in NYC

Admittedly, it is difficult to be in a cheerful, holiday state of mind with all these surrounding financial circumstances.  But let's face it…this is an economy where the sales racks in every store have never been so appealing, so someone has to support the local economy. So, let it be"the fashionista" as she galvanizes both friends & family on her gift list with her uncanny ability to impress for less.  One finds themselves carefully scouring stores and looking for those overhead signs with the % off deals that seem to be put up daily on branded merchandise be it apparel or accessories.

So how does the  fashionista lay the groundwork to successfully complete this mission? It's really easy thanks to the barrage of daily newspaper ads, email blasts from brick & mortar stores and catalogs, shopping advice from US fashion magazines and TV. Of course, one can always consult their psychic, for financial advice as well as smart shopping predictions.



After Thanksgiving dinner this Thursday 11/27 most will be watching football games & dozing in front of their flat screen TV's. But the real adventurous consumer will be conserving their energies in preparation for the long night & early morning ahead as the shopping genes "kick in". There are so many choices, but if strategically planned they can hit "Midnight Madness" at the outlets then be first in line at 4:00am Friday when the doors open at Kohl's and JC Penney!!!   

JC Penney

Till next week,




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