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Racked Recap 2008: The Year's Worst Sales

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With only a few days left in 2008, it's time to look back at a year of dizzying highs and crushing lows, of one major economic collapse and many minor shopping frenzies. Folks, it's the annual (two years running!) Racked Recap. This week, we'll be reliving our biggest and brightest (and saddest and darkest) moments, from the best windows of the year to the greatest promotional gimmicks. Take a deep breath of the sweet, sweet nostalgia.

There's no better way to be talked out of a impulse purchase than to have the sale itself resemble a high-priced junk show. If pricetags are still triple digits and you're having to dig through dusty cardboard boxes or waste hours attempting to locate your size only to find the item is irreparably damaged, then it's time to turn on your heel from these, the Worst Five Sales of 2008:

5.) Dolce & Gabbana's Little Shop of Horrors: While there was plenty of selection (they took over two floors of the Metropolitan Pavilion) and the occasional 90% off item, most of it was only suitable for the Real Housewives of Orange County. Finding anything for yourself required two or three hours of hardcore sorting and then a healthy chunk of change to check out. The sheer amount of product (including "Made in China" sandals) made us wonder if they had actually sold much in-store in the past year.

4.) La Perla's November junk show: Because all women dream of wearing lacy La Perla dug from the bottom of a cardboard box. $40 bras and $424 bustiers in a limited and unorganized range of sizes didn't help either.

3.) Free People Frustration: A scathing review of the sale from a tipster included this dispatch what sounds like sample sale hell: "Shopping here is like spending an unusually difficult evening at Loehman’s or Filene’s Basement, but with more salespeople yelling at you that the dressing rooms are about to close." Add to this that the discount was only 50% off and the dressing rooms gross, and we'd be surprised if anyone bought anything.

2.) Kid Robot is the opposite of fun: Despite shill comments meant as damage control, our experience at the November Kid Robot sale revealed no toys for sale and a still-pricey, uninspiring selection of everything else. The dingy nook of a space and the crowd of whining children spoiled the attitude of shoppers who milled about, desperately looking for something worthwhile to purchase now that they had made the trek to the sale.

1.) Jimmy Choo Chokes: Hosting a huge sale at the Metropolitan Pavilion in July, Jimmy Choo trucked out all of his most damaged and worn pairs, hoping the discount-happy masses would buy them anyways. Soles were badly scuffed and heel decorations were stripped, and yet prices were upwards of $400. Very few bought, and so Choo tried again with a one-day sale in the midst of December layoffs. The short timeframe paired with the small size of the 14th floor space (with only six chairs for sitting) caused a buying frenzy; we imagine many were feeling the worst kind of buyer's remorse the next day.

Jimmy Choo Fifth Avenue

716 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10065 212-759-7078 Visit Website