Sunday, February 27, 2011

Affordable Luxury: Kudos to Coach Outlet

A few weeks ago, my family and I took a day trip to the outlet mall. These places are a collection of stores chocked full of last season (and many seasons prior to that) clothing and goods that are sold to the consumer at deeply discounted prices. I only make this pilgrimmage a few times a year (if that) so when I go, I am definitely prepared for all that a trip to the outlet can be with the whole family in tow. Plenty of gas, wipes, money, the stroller, iphones, ipad, water bottles, diapers, etc...
Refer to my earlier blog where I share a bit on outlet shopping.

This trip, as with most to the outlets, was very successful and I was lucky to have snapped up this beautiful day coat from the Coach Outlet. Yes, Coach has an outlet. There are also Fendi and Gucci outlets, amongst others, where you can purchase very high-end bags and accoutrements for discounted prices. Now, $300 Fendi's and $600 Gucci's may still be out of some people's price ranges, but for the fashion savvy looking to add to her collection, luxury outlet stores are sometimes the way to go. Styles may be different than the regular retail purses but quality is not compromised. Purses sold from these outlet locations are 100% authentic.
These types of stores have created what I like to call affordable luxury.

I entered the very busy outlet store and was immediately greeted, and then presented with a 30% gift certificate off of my entire purchase. Great customer service tactic. These purses are already discounted so an additional amount off is great for getting the consumer to buy. This coat retailed for $300 and after discounts and taxes, I paid $130. More than half off. Even after the time and gas spent to travel to the outlet mall, this was a great deal. Some stores just offer a percentage off of one item but at the Coach Outlet, I was going to get a discount on the total spent. This is where quality meets fair prices for the consumer.

Coach is a great brand with awesome name recognition and the staying power to back it all up. Coach has been around since 1941, starting out as a family run company that produced handcrafted leather goods. I prefer classic Coach craftmanship with its rich leathers and subtle tones. I remember carrying my first Coach. It was a small, black leather satchel and I took it everywhere. It had strong, traditional, brass Coach clasps and a supple feel. I loved that bag.

Modern Coach took a departure from its classic approach to play with fabrics and colors which livened things up a bit. They have recently returned to and released some of their older, more traditional designs. But I truly think that this coat blends the old with the new.

Though this coat with its bright flowered lining is a bit of a departure for me, there are a few classic designs blended within it. The khaki color and straight, narrow lines accenting the buttons are reminiscent of the Coach I remember. The bold mauve and bright white buttons
are definitely a more modern Coach design. The fact that it has the ability to function as an everyday coat while remaining very pretty exemplifies the duality that is characteristic of most Coach bags and accessories both old and new. It has become a sophisticated all weather coat for me, even perfect for the many rainy days we have here. Yes. I got a great deal, but the worth of all the pieces in our wardrobes is really measured by its quality and its usefulness or how many times we use it. This piece has high marks on both scales, making it worth quite a bit more than I paid, especially with the big outlet discount.

Outlet shopping allows everyone to shop for high quality goods at low prices. Not every store at the outlet is going to be the place for you and your family to shop. The discounts at many stores may not even be that significantly different from the retail stores and are not worth your time or money. Knowing what regular retail shops sell their goods for helps in determining if a deal is a deal when heading out to the outlets.

Shop with caution and a calculator when venturing to these venues. *Use your calculator to know what the actual cost of an item is before you buy it so there are no surprises. Ask a clerk for assistance or clarification of current sales just to be clear of how these sometimes confusing deals work.
Also, pay close attention to return policies. These are outlet stores and have very different policies than their retail counterparts. In some instances, returns can only be done, if at all, at other outlet locales.

Be sure to sign up to receive in-store deals at checkout. At most places it's as simple as submitting an email address to the clerk. Though somewhat pestering to receive these plentiful alerts in your inbox, they will help you schedule your next visit to the outlets around pertinent sales. Just delete the ones that don't pertain to you.

*Quick Shopping Math Tutorial
A purse costs $75 and you have a coupon for 30% off
Enter 75 X .3 into the calculator.
You will get a total of $22.50 and this is how much you will get off of your $75 item.
So now enter 75 - 22.50 into the calculator to find out how much you will pay
You will pay $52.50 for your purse

That's pretty good...so seek out the deals and shop on!