Before we get into it, I need to preface this by saying that I love TK Maxx and I love a good sale – there's nothing better than a good bargain. But recently, plenty of items from some of the biggest brands right now including Bottega Veneta, Gucci, and more, have ended up heavily discounted.
For those of you unfamiliar with the franchise, TK Maxx is a department store chain that sells items at a lower price. It is the same as TJ Maxx in the U.S. but is re-named in Europe to avoid confusion with unrelated store T.J. Hughes. Currently, there are over 500 stores throughout Europe.
Initially reported by WWD, over 125 pieces from Daniel Lee's early collections at Bottega Veneta have ended up online (as well as in-store), with some items seeing massive deductions. One coat has been reduced from nearly £5,000 ($6,658) to a bargain of £999 ($1,330), which is virtually unheard of when it comes to BV's apparel.
Instagram account @tkfashun has been documenting plenty of great pieces that have ended up on the sea of discounted garments, including a huge delivery from Gucci last month. Sequin bombers, blazers, logo tanks, and more were all reduced by up to 80%.
Less than two months ago, I bought a Balenciaga hoodie for $200.
Of course, it is great that stores such as TK Maxx and other outlet concepts exist because they allow for a wider range of people to access luxury items at a price that isn't extortion. The average person will never be able to purchase a new season Bottega coat, but he thought of buying a reduced item from a few seasons ago seems much more achievable.
But, has it gone too far when hundreds of pieces end up being discounted? What does that say about the fashion industry and its constant talk about exclusivity?
By producing multiple collections annually that contain thousands of items, it is clear that the consumer just can't keep up. When every brand does it, how can we possibly buy everything? Instead, what doesn't get bought ends up being shipped off to the discounted stores without a care in the world where it ends up next.
Sure, someone might buy it, but as we're becoming increasingly trend-driven and trends change day by day, it becomes harder to sell pieces that were once considered the pinnacle of fashion. To give you an example, at the Bottega Veneta outlet at Bicester Village, you can buy a Pouch bag at a discount. The bag was synonymous with BV's success less than two years ago, but is already being phased out.
Does the fact that last season's items being heavily reduced have an effect on those who have purchased items at full price? Probably not. It may seem annoying that you've lost a couple of hundred dollars, but if you can afford new season at full price, that isn't entirely concerning.
The biggest concern is the fact that these pieces are ending up on discount in the first place. The overproduction and overconsumption become evident on the racks at TK Maxx, and that is just a drop in a much bigger ocean.