Lecture

The truth about outlet store designer ‘bargains’
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br /Half price Armani suits, 1,400 alligator handbags for 320
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br /Such bargains really do exist, and not only in the sales. Take a trip to almost any of the ‘outlet’ shopping centres popping up all over Britain and you’ll find offers to make you salivate.
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br /These out of town malls were originally set up to get rid of last season’s stock (or even slightly damaged seconds) at huge price reductions often over 60 per cent.
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br /Scroll down for video
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br /OUTLET STORE
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br /Medium Travel Tote in brown Saffiano leather, 159, Michael Kors, Bicester Village.
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br /But if you think the discounts sound too good to be true, you may be right. A Mail investigation this week has uncovered something that will startle many shoppers: stores are manufacturing lines solely to be sold in outlet stores, and marking as ‘discounted’ stock items that have never been sold at full price.
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br /We went to Bicester Village in Oxfordshire which, with 130 designer stores, is the most successful outlet in the world. While the annual spend per square foot in a typical UK shopping
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br /’World leading brands offer their authentic previous seasons’ collections with savings of up to 60 per cent, and sometimes more,’ promises Value Retail, the company operating the village.
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br /Posing as a customer, I visited dozens of stores, quizzing staff about the origins of their stock.
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br /While some, such as Dunhill and Armani, are clear that they only sell stock left over from their main stores, others admit they sell a mixture of last season stock and stock made specially for the outlet. company selling high end women’s clothing, handbags and accessories.
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br /In Bicester, there’s a note pinned to the counter, barely glanced at by shoppers, that reads: ‘The product assortment in all Coach outlet stores is a mix of past seasons’ product from our Coach branded stores and new season products made specifically for our Outlet stores.’
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br /I ask about a trench coat that is discounted from 360 to 183.20 and am told it is made for the outlet. When I ask how it’s possible to tell the origin of one item from another, the woman tells me it’s ‘a secret’.
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br /What’s more intriguing, however, is how Coach came up with the discount, given that the coat has never been sold in its London boutique.
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br /A spokesman later tells me: ‘All products. either have been previously available for purchase at a higher price in other stores in our European network, or have been discounted with reference to a full retail price consistent with Coach’s other markets.’
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br /In other words, the items may never be sold at full price: the brand simply decides how ‘discounted’ to label them.
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br /When I subsequently visit Coach’s London store in Bond Street I find a similar trench coat on sale for 320. Both are made in China, but the London coat is a thicker cotton with a classy striped ticking lining and better detailing: snazzy shoulder epaulettes and a throat latch to ward off the wind, both of which are missing on the outlet version.
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br /At the luxury label Michael Kors outlet in Bicester, which is heaving with shoppers queuing five deep at the tills, the situation is even more confusing. From the amount of business it appears to be doing, it’s difficult to imagine how excess stock could fill its shelves year round.
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br /That’s not to say that there aren’t offerings from last season: an alligator handbag, which was sold in main stores, is reduced from 1,390 to just 320.
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br /But there are also other designs that, I’m told, have been made
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br /’Other bags here are not from the collection, but they are made in the same place and from the same leather,’ an assistant tells me.
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br /When I ask how I can tell, she says the Michael Kors logo is printed differently, and the lining is different, too, with a circular design on the boutique bags, and square on the outlet ones.
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br /I examine their ‘bag of the moment’, a Jet Set Medium Travel Tote, which I’m told has been made for the outlet. It gives an ‘original’ price of 240 (you can certainly buy a similar tote for this price in Selfridges) and a ‘reduced’ price of 159. A closer look at the tag inside displays the 240 figure as a ‘manufacturer suggested retail price’.
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br /When I contact Michael Kors’ head office, they say the information I have been given in Bicester is incorrect.
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br /’Michael Kors outlet stores do not offer at any time seconds, irregular or inferior quality merchandise,’ a spokesman tells me. ‘Our UK outlet products are either excess inventory from our full price retail distribution or prior season designs.’
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br /I ask for clarification. Why did Bicester staff say there were ‘outlet only’ lines? Is the spokesman accepting they exist but implying they are manufactured from old designs? Despite several e mails I receive no response.
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br /The outlet bag is
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Find Latest News on Chicago
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br /Chief executive Meg Whitman received compensation worth about $15.4 million in 2012 as Hewlett Packard posted a net loss in her first full fiscal year in charge, according to a federal proxy filing.
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br /Family quarrels add intrigue to US lottery winner Urooj Khan’s death
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br /In the week since news surfaced that a Chicago man was poisoned to death with cyanide just before he was to collect a lottery payout, surprising details about his convoluted family saga have trickled out daily.
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br /Ohio schools to arm janitors after Newtown shooting
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br /World News Agence France
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br /Teen entrepreneurs tap their mothers’ Facebook connections
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br /World News Reuters Thursday January 10, 2013
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br /Widow questioned in Indian origin lottery winner’s death in US
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br /India News Press Trust of India Thursday January 10, 2013
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br /The widow of a USD one million Indian American lottery winner, who died of cyanide poisoning, has been
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br /India born lottery winner’s death by poison in US
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br /India News Agencies Wednesday January 9, 2013
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br /46 year old Urooj Khan had a successful dry cleaning business in Chicago but in June, he could not resist trying his luck with the lottery.
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br /Wife says poisoned Indian born lottery winner had no enemies
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br /World News Associated Press Wednesday January 9, 2013
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br /The wife of an India born lottery winner who was poisoned with cyanide said on Tuesday she was devastated by his death and cannot believe her husband could have had enemies.
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br /Chicago lottery winner died from cyanide poisoning
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br /World News Associated Press Tuesday January 8, 2013
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br /Catherine Zeta Jones to visit Kumbh Mela
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Eugene Kelly (NYIT), “Is Material Value-Ethics a Viable Platform for Normative Moral Philosophy?”

Time: Thursday, November 4th, 3:30 PM.

Location: 141 Park Hall, Department of Philosophy, University at Buffalo.

Abstract: My paper concerns the concept of material value-ethics, or what the translation of Scheler’s Formalism in Ethics calls ‘non-formal ethics of value’. The question is whether this concept can be given a univocal interpretation. It appears in the writings of such twentieth century German philosophers as Nicolai Hartmann, Max Scheler, Edmund Husserl, and Dietrich von Hildebrand, but it was not pursued as a unique ethical theory after the collapse of the Weimar Republic. I am trying to produce a synthesis of these men’s writings that can function as an achievement and as a platform for further work in moral philosophy. The overlapping of their thought gives us a more adequate picture of material value-ethics than the work of any of them singly.

Sponsored in part by the GGGAAS and the Department of Philosophy at the University at Buffalo