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Loyal fans of Roberta Freymann were surprised to find a large crowd of shoppers already waiting when the womenswear brand opened the doors to their sample sale at 260 Fifth Avenue this afternoon. Goods from the resort-themed line and its lower priced offshoot, Roberta Roller Rabbit, were up to 80% off retail prices—and shoppers were snatching it all up.
The first few racks upon entry are filled with billowing blouses, caftans, and other tops in flowing patterns that are all $30. While there is a pretty even range in sizes small through large, the brand's flowy style allows for shoppers to likely fit into a size smaller—just make sure to check that it will fit in the sleeves. That same philosophy goes for dresses, which are $40.
We found wool/blend and knit sweaters for $40. There's one rack of pants, mostly silk and in solid colors, for $20, along with shearling jackets for $100 and shearling vests for $50. Men get a single rack of dress shirts, which are definitely not as loud as the womenswear but still brightly patterned, for $20.
Toward the left, you find racks of children's tops, dresses, and caftans for $20. Moms were grabbing these by the armfuls, but there were still plenty of styles left on the racks when we were there.
Along the far wall are home goods in many of the same patterns as the clothing. Quilts and duvets in all bedding sizes are $60, sheet sets are $40, decorative pillow covers are $20, placemats are $4 individually or a set of four for $10, napkins are $2, and curtains are $20. Shoppers have already made a mess pulling out and shoving back merchandise, but staff is restocking and reorganizing as quickly as possible. Other home goods on a table in the far back corner include decorative boxes for $5 and ornaments for $1.
Along the back wall, you'll find children's sleeping bag sets for $50, baby blankets for $20, and beach towels for $40, which normally go for $150 in the brand's boutiques. There's also a selection of bathing suits, with each piece going for $5 and children's sets going for $5. Not many people seemed to be going through these bins, as they were stuffed to the brims and very difficult to sort through for sizes and matched pieces.
As for accessories, cotton scarves are going for just $10, as do belts, while larger scarves from other materials are $25. All styles of purses, most of which were clutches, are $20. Necklaces that were originally priced under $100 are $10, while those that were priced under $250 are now $50. In those same price tiers, bracelets are $5 and $20, respectively.
Signs around the venue told customers that trying on the merchandise was not available—that's because the area that's sometimes reserved as a dressing room is being used for their huge amount of back stock. From what we could see between the curtains, it looks like they have every category ready to replenish once today's sale ends at 6pm.
Unlike the host's last sample sale—do you remember the madness that was Diptyque?—there's no limit on how many items shoppers can purchase, which really slowed things down at the cash register. Less than two hours after the sale kicked off, customers waiting to check out were snaked through the narrow aisles, Trader Joe's-style, making it difficult for others to browse.
Some customers reported waiting at least an hour just to make it to the cash register. Between the insane wait times—there were still at least 30 shoppers waiting to enter in below-freezing temperatures two hours after the sale had begun—and the back stock ready to be put on the floor, it might be best to hold off on checking out this sale until later in the week.
Customers are required to check their bags and coats at the door, and cash and credit cards are accepted. The sale runs through Saturday, and last year prices were reduced on the last day—making an even stronger case to hold out until the end of the sale.
· Dealfeed: Roberta Freymann [Racked NY]
· Now Open: Roberta Freymann on Duane Street [Racked NY]