Can you spot the difference? How J.Crew’s factory outlet isn’t actually selling old inventory at a discount – but cheap fakes


Can you spot the difference? How J.Crew’s factory outlet isn’t actually selling old inventory at a discount – but cheap fakes

  • Clothing found in outlet stores is simply “based on” old stock at full price.
  • J. Crew Factory uses cheaper fabrics to make lower quality products

It was long assumed that J. Crew Factory was simply selling old and unwanted inventory at a greatly discounted price. But these “offers” might not be what they appear to be.

Instead, the outlet store is actually selling counterfeits of its own products, creating a separate line of inferior products that look like what can be found in the main retail store.

According to Buzzfeed, most of the J. Crew, Gap and even Off 5th release items are simply “based on (full price) products sold in previous seasons.”

Spot the difference: J. Crew's Carrie Dot Linen Dress from last summer, $ 148 (left) is available online at J. Crew Factory for $ 104.50 (right), but the outlet dress is cotton and has a mismatched seam.

Spot the difference: J. Crew’s Carrie Dot Linen Dress from last summer, $ 148 (left) is available online at J. Crew Factory for $ 104.50 (right), but the outlet dress is cotton and has a mismatched seam

The Saks Fifth Avenue factory outlet, Off 5th, even admitted to investors last year that only 10 percent of the release merchandise is leftover Saks stock.

With 25 percent of the factory’s inventory comprised of private label products from brands like Rag and Bone and Alice + Olivia, the remainder, 65 percent, is actually merchandise created specifically for Off 5th by vendors “suitable for use.” the brand “.

Nordstrom Rack, the department store’s popular discount store, does it too.

The company notes in a press release: “The Rack carries merchandise from Nordstrom and Nordstrom.com stores, as well as specially purchased items from many of the top brands sold at Nordstrom.”

Tight Match: J. Crew's Darby Stripe Loafers, $ 168 (left) feature leather soles and are made in Italy;  the J. Crew Factory version, $ 74.50 (right) features a synthetic sole with slight styling differences

Tight Match: J. Crew's Darby Stripe Loafers, $ 168 (left) feature leather soles and are made in Italy;  the J. Crew Factory version, $ 74.50 (right) features a synthetic sole with slight styling differences

Tight Match: J. Crew’s Darby Stripe Loafers, $ 168 (left) feature leather soles and are made in Italy; the J. Crew Factory version, $ 74.50 (right) features a synthetic sole with slight styling differences

Flower Power: last summer's punk floral-print high-cut dress in dupioni silk, retailing at J. Crew for $ 178 (left);  the almost identical dress sells at J. Crew Factory for $ 74.50, but it is polyester

Flower Power: Last summer's punk floral-print high-cut dress in dupioni silk, retailing at J. Crew for $ 178 (left);  the almost identical dress sells at J. Crew Factory for $ 74.50, but it is polyester

Flower Power: last summer’s punk floral-print high-cut dress in dupioni silk, retailing at J. Crew for $ 178 (left); the almost identical dress sells at J. Crew Factory for $ 74.50, but it is polyester

To the untrained eye, J. Crew Factory’s version looks like the same dress, only two seasons old. But in fact, the almost identical dress, sold for $ 74.50, is made of polyester.

Items sold at the J. Crew Factory, both online and in-store, will often use the same prints as full-priced items, but the fabric can be quite different.

Take, for example, last summer’s high-cut Punk Floral Print dress, which was made from silk dupioni and retailed at J. Crew for $ 178.

To the untrained eye, J. Crew Factory’s version looks like the same dress, only two seasons old. But in fact, the almost identical dress, sold for $ 74.50, is made of polyester.

Likewise, J. Crew’s famous Carrie Dot Linen Dress from last summer ($ 148) is also available online at J. Crew Factory. However, the outlet dress ($ 104.50) is cotton, and unlike the full-price version, there is a mismatched seam on the back.

LearnVest noted that retailers recognize the profitability of attracting deal seekers, so they are building an industry around <a class=outlet stores that is completely separate from their regular business.” class=”blkBorder img-share” style=”max-width:100%” />

LearnVest noted that retailers recognize the profitability of attracting deal seekers, so they are building an industry around outlet stores that is completely separate from their regular business.

These “potentially deceptive marketing practices of outlet stores” are currently under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission after four members of Congress addressed “the difficulty of identifying products manufactured for retail outlets. ‘factory’ and the ‘misleading benchmark price’.

And J. Crew is not alone. Bebe told investors it is backing its outlets with 65% of goods made for the factory outlets, while American Eagle said it plans to carry 75% of items made for the factory to from this year.

Under Armor said in September that its outlets sell 75% of products made for factory outlets, while Coach and premium luggage maker Tumi said 85% of their store products are made for the outlet. ‘factory.

LearnVest rated in 2011 that as retailers began to recognize the profitability of attracting Americans – and even tourists – who seek a deal, they are now building an industry around outlet stores that is completely separate from their regular business.

Saks Fifth Avenue factory outlet, Off 5th, admitted to investors last year that only 10 percent of point-of-sale merchandise remains in Saks inventory.

Saks Fifth Avenue factory outlet, Off 5th, admitted to investors last year that only 10% of point-of-sale merchandise remains in Saks inventory.

A store buyer for a luxury department store in New York City, who wished to remain anonymous, explained, “I guess only 10-15% of our store’s inventory was actually items that the main store was carrying. The rest was merchandise that we bought or produced for outlets. ‘

While there are sometimes ways to tell if the merchandise is from a full-price store or if it’s a cheaper version of the real one, J.Crew Factory puts two dots on its labels and the Gap store scores its products with three points. – customers continue to feel cheated.

“Personally, I’m not happy with the way J. Crew handles its factory products,” a commentator named Courtney told the J. Crew Aficionada blog. “Don’t get me started on going out t-shirts that look a lot like the perfect t-shirts, but they tend to lose their shape and pilling.”

She continued: ‘I was at the store last weekend and decided to try on a pair of short black “mini pants” and, putting my leg in the pants, she split open. ‘crotch to knee. (The size I tried on is larger than the size I usually wear in the retail store – that’s all they had). It was not a big mistake, but a quality one. ‘


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