Monday, 10 November 2008
My Shoe Collection #34
mercibeaucoup Dotty Print Canvas High-Cut Sneakers
Reveal from 'Shopping Saturday...Post Holiday Edition...'
While I was having my stopover in Bangkok, I did my 'retail reconnaissance' over the city's luxury retail scene. Having amassed many years of retail scouting experience, Bangkok was no challenge. Okay, okay...I have been to the city so many times I can direct a taxi better than the taxi driver himself.
Club 21 has major luxury brand retail influence in Bangkok. Lots of famous and most sought after labels operate under Mrs Christina Ong's fashion conglomerate. Balenciaga, Dolce & Gabbana, Marni, Paul Smith and best of all, the infamous namesake multi-label store Club 21 Mens, Womens and Accessories and the streetwear inspired Blackjack. All the shops also seem bigger and brighter than those in Singapore. I wonder why.
The No.1 must visit shop will have to be the newly opened Club 21 Men's store at Erawan Shopping Mall, Bangkok. This brand new retail space dedicated to the most exclusive labels for men has a super slick interior design and better range of merchandise than in Singapore! I am not sure why, but it seems I like most things I see there and not in Singapore. The way they display their goods and the spacious and sparkling new decor helps to mesmerise me. They have Pierre Hardy bags (not found in Singapore's store) and Balenciaga bags in better colours. But one drawback of shopping in Bangkok for luxury goods is you pay a premium markup for all the items sold in Thailand. And I am not talking about a 10% markup...it's more like 20-30% increase. So be careful and selective. One thing that I found out, where Singapore stores have sold out on a particular item, you usually can still find them in Bangkok, of course at a higher price.
One good example is this new pair of mercibeaucoup Dotty Print Canvas High-Cut Sneakers. I first saw it in Blackjack Bangkok (Erawan Shopping Mall) and immediately fell in love with the quirky print, colours and most attractive of all, the bright orange sole! Love the converse type design that makes it a breeze to match with any styles, smart or casual. But in the back of my mind, I had reservations about buying it in Bangkok. It costs THB 5500 which converts to SGD $250. I have a strong gut feeling this shoe will be stocked in Singapore's shop and at a lower price. I had to struggle to keep myself from buying the shoe. In the end, the Izzue Metallic Coated Canvas Duffel Bag saved the day and I got that instead.
The first weekend after my UK trip, I went to Blackjack Singapore. The store was having a promotion of 15% for first purchase and 35% discount for subsequent lower priced item. The Singapore store is pretty much cleaned out of good stuff. All the Tsumori bags is gone (but still available in Bangkok's Club 21 Men) and good pieces I see in Bangkok non existant in Singapore's shop. I was suddenly struck with a sense that I may not be able to find this pair of sneakers and would have missed out on a nice pair of shoe! Darn. I searched the women's section as this shoe was placed under the ladies section in Blackjack Bangkok. Nothing there. Just before I felt a sense of disappointment, I spotted the cute shoe on the racks at the men's section! Hurray! Immediately, I tried that on. Made in Japan, the workmanship of the shoe is far better than expected. I got a size 2 and it fits perfect. "I'll take this", says myself to the SA. So this is how I brought the shoe home, a happy man:-)
And guess how much I saved on the price of the shoe? It's SGD $189(original price) in Blackjack Singapore. I had a 15% discount and that leaves the balance at SGD $161 as compared to Thai price of equivalent to SGD $250 in Blackjack Bangkok. A hefty difference of approx. SGD $75 even after getting VAT back!
I would have jumped if I bought it at an exorbitant price in Bangkok...my patience does pay off in the end:-) Lesson learned and remembered.
(This pair of shoe also come in a red/purple and black/blue colour version)
Retail price: SGD $189. Where to buy: Blackjack at Forum, The Shopping Mall