Saturday, April 17, 2010

Wholesale at its finest?

As soon as you walk in the door, you already know what to expect when you're in COSTCO.

Fresh Food: Check!

Middle- aged Filipinos comparing prices and looking for cheaper deals:  Check! Check!

Reasonably- priced electronics: Check!

The sea of clothes labeled as Made in the US of A, but we all know those are made in Bangladesh: Check!

But there's more...

And... There's the Chanel and Louis Vuitton Bags.
Yes, you read it right. Last November, Costco's Warehouse Shopping Club in NYC made a transition from being a wholesale giant of anything and everything an American family needs to selling your beloved designer bags at a bargain!

Chanel Classic Flap handbags are available for $1,999, with a price tag of $1,795 to $2.495 anywhere else.
The best- sellers are the LV Speedy bags, regularly priced from $665 to more than $3,000, and sold for only $589!!!

And it doesn't stop there! A fan of Burberry?: Check! Ferragamo?: Check! Coach, Tod's and many, many more brands? Check! Check! Check!

For a store that doesn't specialize on high- end fashion and accessories, I do admire Costco for bringing in brands that are timeless and aspired by many. Most people are actually amused that they can actually use Chanel and Costco in the same sentence, and it makes perfect sense. Or does it, really?

When somebody wants a  good deal, they go to Costco. There's not much thinking required. You put on your favorite tracksuit, match it up with your comfy Birks and you're good to go. If you look around the store, everybody is searching for the best deal. For this specific type of customer, they don't mind the generic or unknown brands. As long as it's cheap and looks decent enough to last or consume, they would give their purchase a go!

But for the Chanel, Louis Vuitton or a Birkin fan, it's different. They have a deep loyalty to the brands they adore. Most of them know the season's latest collection by heart, even the classics. And unlike the Costco loyal customer that scans every single flyer in search of a bargain, a bag aficionado would base their purchase depending on factors like the material used, color, size, shape and popularity, but NEVER the price. How much she spends is the least of her worries; it's how she can get her hands on those Limited or Special Edition bags straight from the store that's driving her crazy!

The thing is I'm a little bit of Costco a little bit of Coco. I like the fact that I know now where I can score cheaper bags and do my groceries the next time I'm in New York. On the other hand, I have too much respect for the name of the brand that I actually feel bad that these bags are not in their proper "home"; with proper racks, with proper dust bags, and you can talk to sales people that know and love the product as much as you do. Most importantly, I know that somebody who understands and loves fashion would never, ever place a rack beside a designer product that says "Their Price/Our Price". It's not toilet paper for crying out loud, it's a Chanel 2.55 Reissue Alligator Flap Bag!


No comments:

Post a Comment