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Hitting The Marketdown Racks

NEW YORK -- Despite the flood of pre-Christmas price promotions in ready-to-wear departments, bargain hunters were still piling into stores last week, this time for post-holiday discounts.<BR><BR>WWD visited several locations in New York and New...

NEW YORK — Despite the flood of pre-Christmas price promotions in ready-to-wear departments, bargain hunters were still piling into stores last week, this time for post-holiday discounts.

WWD visited several locations in New York and New Jersey and found traffic brisk in a number of them, including traditional merchants and off-pricers. Stocks had a picked-over look in some spots, but generally there was an abundance of offerings to keep shoppers busy.

THE OFF-PRICE STORES

The discounts are deep at these shops, but bargain hunters must wade through a sea of mixed labels and looks to find a real steal.

Burlington Coat Outlet, Pine Brook, N.J.:

The chain’s no-frills approach, along with markdowns, had the aisles filled with shoppers when the store was visited. Burlington’s price tags don’t carry comparisons with other stores. But they do track the markdowns from Burlington’s original price, sometimes showing as many as five markdowns on a style.

Many of the big names in the coat market were on the racks. In leather outerwear, there were jackets from Izzi marked down to $99.99 from Burlington’s original price of $160, and pant coats from G-III slashed to $99.99 from $200.

Wool coats have the most floor space and included such deals as J.G. Hook’s topper cut to $180 from $340, Perry Ellis Portfolio’s dress coat cut to $249 from $500, Harve Benard’s wool and nylon reefer with leather collar on sale for $219.99, down from $400, as well as wool and cashmere coats from Larry Levine at $239.99 from $350, Dale Dressin for Harlan, $349.99 from $700, and Ilie Wacs, $499.99 from $850.

Other deals were London Fog’s cotton and nylon anoraks at $99.99 from $180 and a fake fur swing coat from Monterey Fashion at $119.99 from $200.

The store also carries a small selection of dresses and suits, also at discounted prices. Among the items were a Jones New York Dress black wool chemise at $139.99 from $200 and a viscose rayon suit from Kasper for ASL at $119.99 from $179.

Loehmann’s, Wayne Towne Center, Wayne, N.J.:

A sign reading “Take an extra 20 percent off all merchandise already marked down” greeted potential purchasers as they entered the well-stocked off-price store. Shoppers were busy snapping up highly discounted merchandise from some well-known makers.

Some notable career looks included Tahari’s long, silk shirtdress ticketed at $69.99, marked down from $320, Theo Miles’s wool and rayon shirtdress at $119.99 from $250, Mevisto’s long rayon print dress at $49.99 from $192, and Gillian’s silk coatdress at $119.99 from $290. A small suit area featured Oleg Cassini’s wool three-piece pinstripe at $99.99 from $199 and Adrianna Papell’s rayon two-piece at $79.99 from $199.

Some evening numbers included Leslie Fay Evening’s acetate, rayon and nylon off-the-shoulder dress at $59.99 from $158, and Depeche Mode’s two-piece velvet evening dress at $69.99 from $198.

In the coat department, the biggest price slashing was on a wool and cashmere pant coat from Anne Klein Collection, marked down to $595.99 from $1,480. Other items included Ashley Scott’s wool trench at $99.99 from $199, Christian Dior’s wool dress coat at $159.99 from $399, a camel hair coat from Marvin Richards, slashed to $199.99 from $399, and Gallery’s thermal-lined polyester and nylon microfiber anorak for $99.99 from $169.

Filene’s Basement, West 79th Street and Broadway, New York:

The store heralds regular discounts of 30 to 60 percent off all merchandise. Price tags highlight Filene’s prices compared with those of other retail outlets.

Racks of dresses in the lower-level rtw department, designated by size rather than label, attracted light traffic. A few eye-catching pieces included a black rayon and acetate dress from Studio 0001 by Ferre for $239.99, compared with $660 elsewhere, ABS’s black and white wool houndstooth dress for $99.99, compared with $250.

The coat and suit selections were small and depleted, but there were still a few big label bargains for the choosing. An Evan-Picone black wool coat with persian lamb trim cost $399, compared with $575, Christian Dior’s military-inspired lambswool coat with black velvet collar and cuffs, $329 at Filene’s and $550 elsewhere.

A Jones New York rayon and polyester one-button suit cost $119 ($230), Albert Nipon’s white wool pantsuit cost $189 ($420) and Saville II’s woven rayon suit was $109 ($260).

DEPARTMENT AND SPECIALTY STORES

The retailers seemed to be cleaning out lots of inventory, as they prepared for the beginning of spring selling.

Lord & Taylor, New York:

The flagship was jumping with post-holiday shoppers last week, running a special sale event calling for “20 percent to 50 percent off and selections specially priced.”

In the eighth-floor coat department, traffic was busy. Discounts of 25 percent were offered on such labels as Perry Ellis Portfolio, Anne Klein II, Christian Dior, Bill Blass and Studio by Searle. Original prices of $325 to $935 were marked down to $189.99 to $699.99. Two items included a Studio by Searle camel hair wrap coat at $499.99, marked down from $670, and Anne Klein II’s wool and cashmere shawl collar coat at $349.99 from $470.

Also on sale were rainwear and active outerwear, which offered 25 percent off names such as London Fog and Forecaster. Among other labels, J.G. Hook’s fur-trimmed nylon iridescent anorak was priced at $99.99, originally $119.99, and Gallery’s fur-trimmed polyester microfiber down jacket, originally $200, was $149.99.

In the dress and suit departments, savings of 25 to 50 percent were offered on career, day-to-dinner and evening dresses and suits. Among the labels on sale were Liz Claiborne Dresses and Suits, Jones New York Dress, Evan-Picone Dresses, Kasper for ASL, Gillian, Leslie Fay, Tahari, Chetta B, Black Tie by Oleg Cassini, Rimini and Dianne Freis.

Bloomingdale’s, New York:

Women looking for special occasion dresses were taking advantage of 30 to 40 percent markdowns on nearly everything in satin, bugle beads and lace.

A group of Nicole Miller’s fit-and-flare polyester and triacetate dresses with double-chain shoulder straps were marked 40 percent off the ticketed price of $305. Other styles on sale included a pleated acetate and rayon Empire dress that was flagged 40 percent off $275.

A variety of colors and styles was marked down across the way in the Night Glamour section. Rounders of Black Tie Oleg Cassini dresses spotlighted an additional 30 percent reduction off the ticket price. The looks included a bugle-beaded silk tunic over silk flared pants ticketed at $369.99 and a strapless polyester and rayon gown with beaded lace top at $429.99, marked down from $640.

Bloomingdale’s suit department had customers going through racks of markdowns, including Albert Nipon’s black wool crepe pantsuit at $249.99, down from $338, and Gillian’s gold acetate and rayon herringbone suit at $239.99 from $340.

Although the coat department had markdowns on a host of items, the traffic was light. A sampling of items on sale included Regency’s wool cashmere blend at $499.98 from $675, Christian Dior’s cashmere coat at $599.98 from $1,000, and Placenza of Italy’s cashmeres at $299.98 to 499.98, marked down from $499 to $699.

Saks Fifth Avenue, New York:

The specialty store’s flagship heralded the after-Christmas “Great Coat Event,” with nearly every name and style marked down. Coats take up nearly half the seventh floor, which bristled with customers trying on everything from basic wool trenches to fur-trimmed designer coats.

On the racks were such items as a Perry Ellis wool and cashmere coat with persian lamb trim, marked at $679, down from $850, Calvin Klein’s merino wool and cashmere trench, $595 from $795, Ilie Wacs’ black-dyed camel hair double-breasted coat with persian lamb trim at $999.90, originally $1,299.90, Anne Klein II’s hooded wool coat for $367.90 from $460, and Steve’s camel hair robe coat at $279.90 from $399.

Although a majority of evening dresses were still carrying their original prices, the dress department at Saks, which takes up nearly the other half of the seventh floor, had a number of items marked down.

They included Gillian’s black lace knee-length dress with cap sleeves, $173.90 from $290, Rimini’s black velvet halter dress with embroidered neckline and straps at $137.90 from $230, and Laundry’s black velvet tank tunic and pants for $147.90 from $220.

Almost the entire suit department on the fourth floor was filled with racks of reduced items. They included Christian Dior’s teal worsted wool suit with gold novelty buttons at $222 from $298, Saville’s button hook worsted wool at $155.90 from $208, and PSI’s tan wool with fake brown leopard fur collar and cuff trim at $234.90 from $470.