Sales on Beverly Hills


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Shopping in Beverly Hills last weekend, you could feel the desperation as upscale retailers crushed by October’s declining sales figures started cutting prices nearly a month earlier than usual, some resorting to near-bargain-basement tactics.

At Neiman Marcus, which saw retail sales fall 27% in October, selected designer shoes by Manolo Blahnik and fur coats were 40% off for two days only, before returning to full price.


Saks Fifth Avenue had tables of Ferragamo bags and racks of Louboutin pumps for pre-sale at 40% off, meaning that they could be purchased ahead of time and taken home today, when the sale officially starts. This, only a short while after a mailer went out promising that if shoppers spend $2,000 on their Saks cards, they won’t have to pay for 12 months.

Meanwhile, the salespeople at Barneys New York were quietly informing customers that although their sale doesn’t officially start until tomorrow, Nov. 12, they would be happy to put designer clothes aside until then.

Over on Robertson Boulevard, Anya Hindmarch was offering 25% off the entire store for 3 days only, including every bag and shoe. And, in what may be the surest sign that the party is over, Kitson — ground zero for Hollywood’s heiress set, which has four storefronts on the same street — was hosting a “big ass sale” at its original location with 40% to 80% off all the accouterments of Hollywood’s culture of excess, including uber-stylist Rachel Zoe’s book, rhinestone-studded T-shirts and premium jeans, originally priced from $98 to $395.

Paris and Nicole were nowhere to be seen.

“There’s no push to buy clothes,” says Ilene Sraberg, a Beverly Hills resident who was getting her nails done at Bella Nails on North Camden Drive. “It’s the end of November and I’m still wearing the same thing I did last summer.”

She’s done very little shopping this season, she said, other than for basics. “Just last week, I went to buy some fall corduroys by Not Your Daughters Jeans at Nordstrom. They were already on sale 30% off, and they had just come in.”

Outside of Barneys, Raquel Gibson, a model visiting for the weekend from Miami, was upbeat. “There are a lot of sales, so you can actually find a lot of good stuff.” Her sister CJ Gibson agreed. “I am not going to stop shopping because that would only make things worse.”

That’s right ladies, keep the economy rolling.

-- Booth Moore, Times Fashion Critic