Shopping with Experts: seasonless buying (or constant sale to you and me)


Lola Rose necklace on sale at Brand Alley for £36


A quick trawl through the high street last week turned up a staggering amount of sales rails still taking up large amounts of room on shop floors everywhere. Signs of desperation by retailers could turn up a bargain for customers, although remember that stock is always in the sale (particularly the VERY END ) of the sale for a good reason. It’s probably rubbish.


However, with the flexibility of the internet, retailers are realising the potential for sticking sale stock up on line permanently, giving the customers bargain prices all year round. Seasonless dressing, ie buying stuff and wearing it all the time rather than discarding it at the end of the season (who actually does this do you think? Apart from Victoria Beckham) is the new buzz word. Retailers are realising that if customers don’t care too much if it’s ‘current season’ stock, then the stuff in the sale could have an extended life. Too right.


There are a few retailers doing this well and by the end of the year we predict this will be a growth market. Cocosa and Brand Alley  work a limited time availability system to maintain a sense of excitement. Both have great stock for sale, mostly designer and mid market, at big reductions. The Women’s Room loved the Lola Rosa jewellery and This Works cosmetic range on Brand Alley, we have bought both before at full price and it’s lovely, great for presents. Cocosa has a Liberty of London sale coming up shortly as well as some lovely Astley Clarke jewellery


 For better pricing there’s ASOS outlet, where the bargains are terrific, with Sass & Bide jeans selling for £50, 60% off full price. Elle Macpherson lingerie at £17 and trendy Gold Hawk dresses at nearly 70% off.


But the sale site everyone is getting really excited about is TheOutnet, run by Net-A-Porter’s team, which promises to bring curated sale stock (that’s stock hand picked by the Net-A-Porter’s taste-savvy buyers) from hot designers as well as current stock (over-makes and cancelled orders) at sale prices. It plans to open later this month and we’ve signed up already. At this rate, with a bit of vintage thrown in for good measure, we'll never have to pay full price for clothes again.

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