Friday, June 29, 2012

More Fall

Will be at work most of the weekend, so wanted to share more updates before then -- Philly just got in a selection of items from Messagerie (made in Italy) -- an array of blazers, shirts, jeans and outerwear. I put one jacket on hold for myself as it was reversible.

More outerwear came in as well from Hawke & Co. and Umberto Zebra. Nice things, mostly nylon-based.

Amongst the FB (made in Italy) items that came in earlier this week, I noticed pieces from Alessandro Gilles and Report -- these had the FB vendor code, so it is likely FB produced for those labels or made samples for them. For those wondering -- Alessandro Gilles appears quite often on Yoox, though, Report I'm unsure of -- I believe it is different from Reporter, which is made by Inghirami.

Very small selection of items from Xagon Man (made in Italy) -- it had already been mixed in w/everything else -- my guess is that it wasn't enough to warrant it's own rack.

Shoes came in from Tremp (made in Italy), sadly only a very small selection, maybe 5 or 6 pairs total, each retailing for $49.99. Insanely cheap for some quality shoes. Also about a dozen pairs of shoes from Christian Bresci (made in Italy) -- these things are a fail every year I see them, and this season is no different -- stay away from these at all costs -- square-toed hell.

More casual items came in from Benson, and some activewear from Deha. Both pretty decent things, then again, we also got in some young-men's items I'm not mentioning cause it was worthless.

But all-in-all, Fall is going quite well thus far, and while I'm still holding off from going to another Daffy's location outside of Philly, I would implore those who are w/in walking distance of a Daffy's to go take a look at a few of these things, particularly the Messagerie items, which generally wind up at 34th St. and Soho in NYC. No suits down here, just sportcoats, but if you can find a Messagerie suit, I promise you will be quite happy.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

If Something is Going On...

If something is going on in corporate at the moment, you wouldn't notice it in-store. A much larger selection of Fall merchandise just came in this week -- suits from Terzo Uomo (made in Italy) -- nicely fitted, solid colors and actually in wool, which is a change for this brand that usually produces in man-made fabrics; lots of bits and pieces from FB (made in Italy) -- and for once I am actually impressed by the selection -- the stuff is on-trend and while maybe not made the best it is certainly worth what they are asking; and a selection of merchandise from Umberto Zebra (made in Italy) -- and again, I have nothing negative to say about it -- usually Zebra items are over-fitted and have gaudy designs, but these were pretty nice.

And finally, some nice lace-up shoes from Yellowside (made in Italy) -- first time I've seen/heard of these things, but they look pretty good. I mean these aren't Santoni's but they are much better than the Leone items that came in last week, and 90% of the American brands that come in the door.

It's strange, though, all this chatter about financial troubles, and not one indication of a slow-down in merchandise in the stores - plus the clerks/managers seemed to know nothing about what was going on. So either corporate is keeping tight-lipped, understandably so, or the situation may be a bit overblown. Time will tell.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Weekend Update

Well, seeing that article yesterday didn't help things after what I witnessed in store this week. For whatever reason, the buyers have decided to release significant portions of kids' and women's Fall merchandise, but the men apparently don't deserve that. I was told by the folks down here in Philly that the Fall men's items won't really be coming out until after inventory, which occurs down here on July 8th (2 weeks away).

We did get some activewear from Meeting, which is always nice stuff, but is not anything I was hoping for.  Shoes came in under a brand called Leone w/some marked Super Leone.  The boxes and shoes are stamped made in Italy, but the jury is out on these things -- they're certainly not anything special, but I have seen much worse at Daffy's; it's just something about the construction that makes them seem cheap to me. For the $69.99 they're asking you can do a lot better. The only other thing which I saw was a bunch of luggage from Tommy Hilfiger.

That is it. I'm in quite the sad mood given the recent news, though, it wasn't fully unexpected. Among other things, the merchandise has lost any consistency in quality and expansion happened too quickly into locations that either did not need a store like Daffy's or were already over-saturated with Daffy's locations. Hoping the chain can weather whatever troubles it might be in right now, and come out for the better after all the dust has cleared.

Friday, June 22, 2012


From Crain's -- "Daffy's not paying its bills - The discount clothing retailer, which has 19 stores, including eight Manhattan locations, is in financial trouble and may close underperforming shops, sources say."

There are several inaccuracies in this article (particularly the statement, "The retailer's products are often priced too high, not offering the same value the post-recession consumer has come to expect"), but I do believe we will see some store closures in the near future.  G-d willing the company will be able to restructure a bit and cut some costs.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Fall Preview Part I

Well this past week saw the intro of the first bit of Fall merchandise. To find the Fall merchandise, look for Season Code 'I' on the Daffy's price tags (see here for more info).

The first bit of Fall: Henleys, long-sleeve tees, knitwear, jackets and some really comfy cotton pants from Alternative Apparel - most everything was below $16.99; I think the jackets were a tad more expensive.  Additional t-shirts and long sleeve knits from Benson. Two solid brands - causal and comfortable clothes w/a tiny bit of design and well fitted. That is all I ask of non-Italian merchandise, and they delivered. Now, was I jumping out of my seat on this stuff, no, but it is 10x's better than anything we ever get from the 'young men's' dept.

Socks --- a new shipment of socks from Corgi came in, including socks called 'SOX Wales' (see pic above) -- $12.99-$13.99/pair. Great things. 

And the Fall items that came in only to a few stores --- merchandise from Hirschleifer's, a high-end store out on Long Island. The East Hanover store had three racks of stuff -- jeans from Rag & Bone, Acne, Naked & Famous and an Italian brand I'd never heard of, R13; coats from Woolrich and APC; shirts from Gitman Brothers, Levis Made & Crafted and Band of Outsiders; blazers and knits from Brunello Cuccinelli and Thom Browne. All stuff at insanely cheap prices for these names. Sadly, at least in NJ, this stuff was thrown into a store where no one purchases this stuff -- case in point, a Thom Browne blazer that came in the first week of Spring was still sitting on a different rack. NYC stores that probably got a piece of the action are 34th St., 44th & Madison and both 57th St. stores -- just a hunch, but that is how they split up the merchandise for Spring.

Non-fall items -- espadrilles from Johnston & Murphy, nice things at $49.99; and then, sadly, each store got in a HUGE shipment of suits from Calvin Klein, Michael Kors and Tallia, all from Peerless Clothing. Priced $179.99-$199.99. I've said it before and I'll say it again --- Burlington Coat Factory and TJMaxx/Marshalls carry plenty of this stuff at the same or better prices. This is just sheer insanity to fill up the Daffy's racks w/these Macy's rejects.

So unsure how I would rate this week - on the one hand, there was some decent fall merchandise, especially in East Hanover as it pertains to Hirschleifer's items. However, all those suits clogging up the racks in each store got me sick to my stomach. I think we'll call this a break-even week. Here's hoping that next week's Fall haul will contain some Italian items, as the women and kids have done a heck of a lot better than us in that regard -- Patrizia Pepe, Les Copains and Transit for the women, and Alviero Martini and Tagliatore for kids. Leaving us men in the dust for no good reason.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Weekend Update

Again, nothing to write home about this week. Fall merchandise will be coming out relatively soon, but until then I expect everything to be pretty ho hum.

The only items that came in in large numbers were in the Shoe dept. -- sneakers from K-Swiss, leather sandals from GBX, leather chukkas from Guess and a whole lot of low-end loafers from Florsheim.

In shirts, there were maybe a half dozen shirts that came in from European designer Kurt Muller which were nothing special. I'm happy when they get in European items, but not when the stuff is dirt cheap to begin with.

Also noticed some blazers marked as samples from Ross Graison. These are nicely made things, though, have always been designed for those w/more, shall we say, 'artistic flare.'

The suit section also saw some more items Tallia . I really wish this stuff was left to the Burlington's and TJ's of the world, but I don't have a say at this point. Tallia is a Macy's house brand, produced by Peerless Clothing, and is sold at countless discounters. Not worth your time.

Finally, the one bit of good news for the folks down here in Philly -- the last few weeks we've been getting in transfers from other stores. Last week saw a number of pants, including a bunch of Patrizia Pepe items. This week a rack of suits came in from Copen Group -- (including items marked DeCurtis) -- which I believe were mostly transfers from the Elizabeth 1-9 store, where stuff was sitting for months and not selling. These suits were just being put out today, so take a look later this week.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Philadelphia Recap

No NYC updates this week, just Philly ones for the time being. I had heard rumors of Fall merchandise coming out for men, but turns out they were false, but I will post to the Twitter feed if I hear anything more concrete. Now down to business --

Good/Decent Finds:
A ton of shirts came in from Inghirami (made in Italy), under labels including Ingram, Inghirami, Fabio Inghirami and others. These shirts are made quite well -- you may know the manufacturer from it's somewhat more known brand, Reporter. I will note that while they are made well, most of the shirts are not fitted very well -- i.e., very loose, and likely mis-sized -- so make sure you try everything on before you buy it. The usual $29.99. Each store likely got quite a big selection of these shirts.

A small selection of Michael Kors shirts came in as well, all $19.99, originally $79.50.

Suits came in from Acquaviva (made in Italy), all at $149.99. These aren't the best made things, and they have a much looser fit -- clearly made for the American market. That said, they are not awful, and certainly better than the Manzini and Romano's junk that sits around collecting dust. In fact if you read last week's post, you'd note that Acquaviva merchandise is now being sold at select Bloomingdale's stores. Interestingly, it appears that the Italian company that makes these suits is embroiled in trademark litigation w/it's U.S. distributor (BMG Imports) -- in case you're interested --

Shoes -- Much like NYC, the Philly store got in a small selection of Florsheim by Duckie Brown shoes as well - $119.99 and up. Additionally, a nice selection of shoes came in from from Timberland, and samples came in from Guess -- the samples were quite nice, though only a handful of them. Also forgot to mention in my NYC recap, leather loafers from Pellenera. I believe they're from the same company that makes Marco Ferretti shoes -- that is not saying much, but they are made in the Dominican Republic, so are not the worst things around.

Quite a sizable selection of suits and vests came in from Adolfo. I mean when I tell you these things are hideous, that is an understatement. The original retail on the suits is listed as $179 and they are selling for $69.99. How do the buyers not realize that this stuff is total junk and not fit for Daffy's. I mean I realize there has to be a 'variety' of suits, but come on. This is the kind of stuff that is sold at those $99 suit stores that keep popping up everywhere.