MadaLuxe, along with operating partner Skye Associates, has launched what may be the first wholesale site for luxury designer handbags, clutches and wallets at discount prices.
The handbag site is under the name Tronc Company. MadaLuxe is the North American distributor for many U.S. and European luxury fashion houses to the full price and off-price markets. The company, based in Seal Beach, Calif., buys across men’s, women’s, children’s, ready-to-wear, footwear and accessories categories. MadaLuxe’s parent is Mada LLC, and what distinguishes MadaLuxe from other multibranded showrooms is that the company will take an ownership position in the goods it purchases.
According to Adam Freede, co-owner and president of MadaLuxe and Tronc Company, said, “We are a very large wholesale buyer. We buy legitimate product from the logistics centers in Switzerland and work with the brands on where the products are distributed.”
Excess inventory that MadaLuxe owns, plus any that is bought near the end of a season, tends to move to the off-price channels. Because of the volume it buys, the company has a little more leeway in terms of pricing for its Tronc site, which is operated by Skye Associates. That said, not all designer brands will be carried on the site. “The rules shift by season. It also depends on the inventory that’s available. Each brand has its own set of rules and guidelines. Some brands do not want any of their product sold in the off-price channel,” Freede said.
While some brands may even restrict the percentage off that they will allow, many designer brands don’t particularly care to acknowledge that the off-price channel exists. To help maintain the integrity of the brands and relationships with their retail partners, Freede’s company will work with the fashion firms to keep their preferences intact when product is distributed to the various retail channels. For off-price, that means that while a brand can be sold at more than one off-price retailer, price points will differ because the products carried will be different or, if from the same line, be of different color options.
The Tronc site carries in-season product from Dolce & Gabbana, Stella McCartney, Gucci, Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta and Saint Laurent. A Dolce & Gabbana top-handle handbag that retails for $2,095 has a Tronc price of $1,550, while a Versace Collection shoulder bag retailing for $1,295 is available for $650. A Givenchy cosmetics bag can be bought for $385, discounted from $535, while an Alexander McQueen studded suede skull box clutch is priced at $1,545, down from $2,045.