Sunday, July 5, 2009

Malaysian Mega Sale 2009: Guide for the male 'choosy beggar'

NB: There is a blog by the name of The Choosy Beggar, a name which is rather self-explanatory (it is a blog that blows the whistle to discerning but broke shoppers in NYC whenever there are sales in credible/noteworthy brands or shops) . Closer to home, we do have a few blogs that announces sales dates etc (one of them is extremely popular, in fact). However, these blogs report sales of all sorts, including electronics, stationery, near expiry toiletries. Furthermore, going to a sale in Malaysia is like a lucky dip- some goodies are no goodies at all. Malaysians who have lived abroad would know what the sale situation like in Malaysia when compared to other countries. Many sales in Malaysia comprise of either very very old/ugly stocks or meager reductions not worthy of the word 'sale'.

Compounding to this problem is if you were the Malaysian version of a 'choosy beggar', and a male one at that. I could spend a whole day writing about the predicaments of being a male 'choosy beggar' in KL, but in two words- it sucks.

So in conjunction to the nationwide sales, here are some relevant observations and updates which I hope would be useful to some. I didn't do this on purpose- I was basically wandering around my favourite shops to work off my lunch before my gym workout.

1. Gant
Is closing! It's a pity that American East Coast/Ivy League style did not catch on among Malaysian shoppers. I am surprised it didn't because the materials are suited for Malaysian weather (cottons/linens/seersucker) and the designs are conventional and not over-the-top. Plus, they are de rigeur of summer 2009, all over the streetstyle and fashion blogs

Discounts=Great. 70% off storewide with some value buys. If you are an Amex/Maybankcard user you get additional 10% off the discounted price, ie a 73% discount (You don't get 80% off, mind you)
I finally found a pair of slim chinos after 1 year of hunting (told you it was hard being a choosy beggar in KL!), at 73% off! It's probably several seasons old since I didn't see them at last year's year end sale. I don't know if slim chinos are in favour this year, but who cares? We live in KL!
Menswear items still available are mostly in sizes L or XL, with the smaller sizes already snapped up (sale started 1 July). My slim chinos were W34, the last and smallest size of the bunch.
A question of ethics arises for the shop not informing the customers that the additional 10% discount is on the discounted price and not the published price.
Verdict: Goodbye Gant, sorry Malaysia didn't love you as much as I did for your 70% off reductions. But I hope you get bad karma for misleading your customers about your discounts.

2. GAP
I respect the FJ Benjamin group for not insulting the Malaysian shopper's intelligence and giving genuine discounts on their current items. Their sale started about 2 weeks ago, and it was for the current SS09 collection!

Hurrah: 30% off almost all of their great shirts. I got one in teal gingham long-sleeve for about RM140. Lots of nice summer shirts and shorts in tasteful plaids, ginghams, madras, seersucker. Many sizes available.
Boo: None noted.
Verdict: Noteworthy, genuine sales for up-to-date yet practical American casuals.

3. Zara

Hurrah: Black and white espadrilles for RM49.90.
Boo: Most stuff are only reduced by 15%, but they made seem it like a hell of a big deal. No wonder the cashiers on the men's dept weren't busy. The sales in UK were much better in comparison.
Verdict: You call this a sale?

4. Nautica
Selection this time wasn't too impressive. Discounts were fair, but not noteworthy. I once bought a brown leather belt for RM50+ there, but this time around the discounts were only 10%. Perhaps the best discounts are not to be had at Megasales period.

5. M boutique by Melium, the Gardens
This shop, tucked behind the escalators in the ground floor, stocks the more edgy and youthful fashion labels like CDG, Fred Perry, Y-3 and K by Karl Lagerfeld.
Hurrah: 50% off Fred Perry made in England (I repeat: made in England) polos at various sizes
It doesn't get much better than this. Hope to cop this during their next sale in the year-end.

6. Club Monaco
Visited this last week in Pavillion. Reductions were mostly for their AW 08/09 collection, not the summer collection. In general, I think they have better discounts at the end-of-season sale, especially with further reductions.

7. Banana Republic
Also visited this last week. Discounts this time around weren't that great, but being part of FJ Benjamin it still is a genuine sale. Didn't see many 40% reductions as compared to previous years.
Maybe their other sales are better.

Final word: Don't fall for the 10-15% discount crap. And as you know, Malaysian sales happen all year round. Many shoppers would realise that some great deals are to be had outwith the Megasale period.

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