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What’s Happening to Manufacturers Who Don’t Lower Their Prices?

Question: How did that guy who owns Not Your Daughter’s Blue Jeans (Editor’s Note: Here’s Paul’s segment profiling the company in March 2008) wind up after the holiday purchase time? I saw a pair of the blue jeans in a store that I liked in the beginning of December, but they cost $100 and I did not want to pay that much for blue jeans. So I decided to wait until they came down in price with all of the Christmas sales.

They never came down. Two weeks after New Year’s, those same blue jeans were the same price and never went on sale. I moved on and never bought them even though i really wanted them and they fit me perfectly. I’m curious to know if the owner’s strategy on not lowering his prices worked in this kind of an environment.

Paul Solman: So far, it seems to have. We recently went back to visit Not Your Daughter’s Jeans. Here’s what owner George Rudes said in January 2009 when I asked him how he’s doing in the new economic climate:

GR: I’m dealing with a demographic that has the most disposable income. Women over 40 who’ve been neglected in the fashion scene. The jeans — they want to fit. They’re not looking for fancy jeans, they’re not looking for torn legs, they’re not looking for a fashion. They want to be comfortable in their jeans.

So the most important thing about my company is we sell fit. We service the women who have been neglected, and now that woman who has her job for many years or the husband has good income and she’s not a victim of the subprime mortgage because she didn’t run out and buy a house that she couldn’t afford. If she’s already 45 or 50, and her husband’s 55 they’re not running to buy a house if they’ve never owned one, and if they have owned one they’re not looking to trade it in for a bigger one because the kids have already left – so what do they need a bigger house for?

So they’re the safest segment of society and that’s who we sell. We have over 150 or more garments to choose from. This entire business… our business here… Not Your Daughter’s Jeans is exactly that. We don’t make for the daughter… we make for the woman who people didn’t think were important. That’s where we are today!

I followed up with George Rudes this week on the issue and he emailed me this response:

We do not allow customers to go on sale with our jeans other than “seasonal” in colors, fabrics, or styles, such as white, ecru, capris, cordoroys, etc. Blue jeans: NEVER. Because we make our jeans in the U.S., we control the quantity we produce of a particular style and we make sure we do not hurt our customers. We are, at this point in ’09, 33 percent ahead of Jan-Feb 08.

I have made it quite clear to all our customers that running discount sales is the start of putting yourself in a grave…and I will not be a part of that method of doing business.

If you will notice a Lord&Taylor full page ad this week in the New York Times: SALE prices, discount coupon, etc. On that coupon are the names of the vendors excluded. Not Your Daughter’s Jeans is one of them.

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