Sunday, May 18, 2008

Savvy Shoppping - Sizzling Spring Sale

Smart online retailers such as are making the move to mark down prices early as reported by Christina Brinkley in the Wall Street Journal.

In many places, spring styles have been marked down before it's even warm enough to wear them. Finally, fashion's seasons -- which always feel somewhat premature -- have gotten so out of whack that they actually work in shoppers' favor!

The early markdowns are largely a result of flagging consumer confidence. With home foreclosures, sky-high gas prices and financial-industry layoffs making headlines, many middle-class consumers sharply cut back their spending, particularly avoiding splurges on high-priced shoes, handbags and designer fashions. Stores, though, made their purchases of spring goods early last fall, when the luxury industry was still enjoying double-digit sales amid an orgy of interest in such frivolities as ostrich handbags and Louboutin platform sandals.

All the off-kilter fashion timing plays into the hands of Internet discount sites, which are already busy selling designers' current spring and summer collections. Melissa Payner, chief executive of, says this spring's retail slump has enabled Bluefly to sell current-season designer fashions at 40% or more off. Ms. Payner notes that Bluefly is seeing more inventory than usual this season.

While department stores launched spring and summer collections in January, Bluefly waited until March to buy and took the luxury of reading trends when they were already happening. That enabled the site, among other things, to order more blue than yellow after early predictions that yellow would be big failed to come true. And thank goodness, because yellow is a hard color to wear, no matter what the price.

In addition to the regular sale on there is an additional 15% markdown on sale dresses through May 19th. With the scorching heat outside today, I'm liking this cool blue Shoshanna silk dress on sale for just under $200. Naturally, I've found the perfect Judith Ripka blue ring to go with it from

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