I had my game plan. I set my sights on one dress, a Manoush tiered silk gown I’ve had my eye on for months, and a Kenneth Jay Lane leather cuff, but neither item was included in the much-hyped Outnet 1st birthday sale that was over in a flash this morning.
Like thousands of fashion lovers, I cleared my Friday schedule to be ready for the email from theOutnet.com, the discount offshoot of high-end online retailer Net-A-Porter.com, that would provide the top secret time of the $1 sale. Instead, when I wandered downstairs this morning to make lunches for my children and get them up and ready for school, the email alert flashed and lo and behold just before 7am, the sale was on.
Fast and furious I logged in and filtered for my size only to find a paltry selection; two pages of clothes that I didn’t care for. For those who’ve asked, the only noteworthy things left at that stage were studded Mary Janes and a Stella McCartney Taffeta jacket that, at a stretch, I may have bought for a buck. The jewelry flashed SOLD OUT, and the handbags, which I would happily have settled for, were long gone. A Sold Out sign abounded by 7.25am, and the next time I checked, the sale was closed.
What a fizzer. It was a great concept. Who doesn’t want a designer piece for just a dollar? But like so many of these recent pop-up stores, Liberty of London for Target which sold out a day early and the current Zac Posen for Target 24-hour sale come to mind, or even the snatch and grab for Stella McCartney children’s clothes at the Gap, the attempt to give everyone a chance to participate leaves most people wanting.
I was one of the lucky shoppers who could actually sign-in to the Outnet site this morning, but there are many, many people who’ve complained that the site crashed or it took them hours to log-in, only to find the sale closed by then. There are gripes galore on Twitter today, calling the sale a bust, a hoax, a joke; a couple of tweeters commented that it was like getting an invitation to a fabulous party and then having the bouncer not let you in!
Not surprisingly, the Zac Posen for Target pop-up sales party, which started 11pm last night and runs until 11pm tonight, was another bloodbath. I didn’t go after hearing from a friend that racks were bare by 11.25pm. I’m not so enamored of the range that I have to have something right now, but perhaps I’ll take my chances to peruse what’s left when it hits Target. com on April 25.
The moral of all this? Maybe with the proliferation of social media – Twitter and Facebook, in particular, where loads of people have shared their Outnet frustrations – and guerrilla advertising, have elevated even the world of pop-up stores and deep discounting to heights beyond the average consumer.
Now, even designing or discounting for the masses have become exclusive.