Hello-Hello, and happy new week to everyone! We have just a few tidbits to share today, things are a little frenzied at The Prepatorium.
If you can’t see the text in the screen grab up above, here is what it says:
Just for our friends on Pinterest, an exclusive first look at our September Style Guide. (Love what you see? Our Very Personal Stylist team can help you pre-order the looks before they become available on Wednesday August 21.) Call 800 261 7422 or email email@example.com.
A few looks.
From the good folks at Fashionista:
As for the style guide, some tips we’ll be stealing are: styling leather skirts with vintage Nikes, wearing heels with sweatpants (OK, probably not–but the model looks great wearing them), and nude lips. As our contributor Isabella noticed, that coral lipstick, so ubiquitous in J.Crew’s catalogues and presentations, is gone.
It *was* interesting to see the coral lip look gone.
It makes sense, very much in sync with the monochromatic color palette.
There are a few pops of color.
But the overall sense is of a muted palette. As far as that “styling leather skirts with vintage Nikes” look:
In a word: no.
For those unfamiliar with Pinterest, here is a look at some of our Preppy Princess ‘boards,‘ each containing ‘pins,’ or images, all organized thematically. For example, one of our boards is “Pink,” filled with images of all thinks pink. Another is called “Because Life is Better with a Bow,” just as it sounds. (Because you just can’t have too many bows on hand.)
At any rate, J. Crew’s decision to unveil the new catalog via Pinterest is a wise way to market the brand. Back to the Fashionista story:
It’s a smart strategy–the tactic gets press anyway (as proved by this post), and J.Crew fans feel more connected to the brand for reaching out to them first.
Our other piece involves online retail as well, the Lilly Pulitzer Endless Summer Sale. Lilly began marketing the sale last week.
The sale was to have started “8am-ish”. Unfortunately the problems began shortly after the sale got underway. As one would expect in this hyper-connected age, comments started appearing on the LP Facebook page, on Twitter, and elsewhere. It wasn’t long before this was what shoppers saw when getting to the website.
Prospective customers had been posting questions online asking about their orders, what was wrong, when the system might be working again, etc. Much of the frustration seemed to be centered on the fact some could apparently still get on the site and shop while others couldn’t.
The brand used its social media outlets to share updates, as seen below with a Facebook post.
Following are two Twitter updates:
There was also a “flash sale” planned for the company’s Facebook page.
The technical issues impacted this as well.
But there will be a flash sale on Facebook tomorrow.
As far as the company’s online shopping capabilities, shortly after Noon (EDT) the website came back up. The following is from a customer who was able to navigate things and make her purchases.
But while there were major improvements, not everything was working as it should. Around 1:40pm Lilly posted this update.
As of 3pm things seem to be back on track and working well for the majority of customers, but definitely not for all shoppers.
With this being the third time customers experienced major technical issues when trying to shop a Lilly sale, I shouldn’t have been surprised tempers seemed to be frayed more than on earlier occasions. With previous sale meltdowns there seemed to be a more forgiving constituency than I saw with this most recent incident. There are two major schools of thought seen with Lilly sale problems:
- The people at Lilly are being very nice giving us a chance to buy things at such great discounts, we should be appreciative and cut them some slack. This is not world peace or an end to hunger, so quit whining, calm down and let it go.
- The people at Lilly have had two previous system meltdowns during a sale. I took the day off (morning off, got up early on west coast, etc.) to shop the sale. This time it is not okay, they’re a big company and they should be able to deal with the traffic.
Yours truly is somewhere in the middle. No retailer cuts prices on merchandise to “be nice” to customers. Oxford Industries (owners of Lilly Pulitzer) is in business to sell merchandise. Period. The fact they seem incapable of hosting the Endless Summer Sales without encountering catastrophic technical issues is a serious problem. (As best I recall Lilly has been more than successful with its other major online sales.)
On the other hand, we all like to smile when we think of Lilly Pulitzer, the clothing and accessories are designed to make us smile and they usually do just that. Is it worth raging against employees who have absolutely no control over the technical issues? Obviously not. But I don’t think that is what most people are doing, they are understandably frustrated, and articulating that frustration via the easiest outlet available to them, the internet.
Perhaps Oxford will decide holding online sales the magnitude of the Endless Summer Sale no longer makes sense. After all, Lilly already has a built-in mechanism to dispose of much of its clearance inventory, they use Rue LaLa for this. I don’t think a week goes by that you don’t see Lilly Pulitzer merchandise on Rue LaLa, often as part of other themed sales (“6 Wardrobe Building Labels” or “Dresses to Love”), or less frequently as a specific Lilly sale event. The margins would be lower for Oxford, but the distribution channel is already set up and Rue LaLa’s tech systems can handle an enormous crush of site traffic.
I’m not saying that’s what I would like to see happen, far from it. But one does have to ask how many more times Lilly wants to go through this exercise, at what point does the aggravation and expense mandate considering a change in plans?