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‘The Days of the $300 Jeans are Gone’ « The Washington Independent

Via Financial Armageddon, the new reality of retailing is that consumers are not the only ones cutting back on spending and changing their shopping behavior. It’s finally sinking in to retailers that maybe people don’t want pricey jeans anymore, or that they may be unwilling to drop $1,000 or more on leather jackets.

From Financial Armageddon:

Those on the other side of the counter are also seeing the writing on the wall — better late than never, I guess — and are starting to make structural adjustments of their own.

Among those adjustments are changes in prices and inventory, to adjust to the new frugality of consumers, according to a story from The Associated Press cited in the post:

J.Crew is working with its factories to adjust its prices on certain key items like ballet flats, which now start at $98 rather than $118. It’s also stocking fewer of its high-priced items like $1,300 leather trench coats. It’s cutting inventory and slashing expenses. Status denim brand Rock & Republic will ship a new Recession Collection this spring that runs about half the usual $200 price tag for its jeans. Even supermarket chain SuperValu Inc. has promised lower everyday prices on groceries and more promotions.

And here’s the outlook for those expensive jeans:

Michael Ball, founder and creative director of Rock & Republic, said he immediately lowered the prices of the company’s most expensive jeans in September before they hit the floors when the economy imploded. The premium line, which had been priced from $180 to $320, now peaks at $280. ”The days of the $300 jeans are gone,” Ball said. While other high-priced denim brands have been heavily discounted in recent months, he said he was able to avoid such heavy price cuts because of limited distribution that kept demand high. Still, given the new climate, Ball cut the number of styles and decided to offer a less expensive, cleaner look that features two styles for men and two styles for women. The line is priced from $128 to $132.

So goodbye to overpriced, ripped, and fake distressed denim. Maybe there are some upsides to this dowturn, after all.

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