Where will I buy jackets and suits? Syms was a great barn of a discount house, an east coast chain of cut-price remainders and seconds on clothing. It had normal clothes, a great deal of wacky clothes, and a good if erratic selection of suits and jackets. The women’s clothes, but alas not the suits, had time-sensitive price tags. The longer the stock stayed in the shop, the cheaper it got.
You would think that a deep discounter of clothing, even if some of it was fairly fancy clothing, would thrive in a recession, but apparently not. One might argue that it sure must be one awful recession if it takes down even Syms. One report suggests that Syms’s problem was that it just wasn’t as big as some of its competitors in the designer clothing trade.
Then again, I remember talking to an old hand in one of the shops about a year ago, who was bemoaning how the stores just hadn’t been getting as good a selection of stock as when Sy Syms, the founder, was still alive. At the time I wrote it off as likely prejudice against having a woman (Sy’s daughter, Marcy) at the helm. Now, though, I wonder.
Meanwhile though, I’m running out of discount houses: Sussex and Moe’s closed in New York over a decade ago (I got married in a suit from Sussex). Will I have to…buy at retail? I think I’ve forgotten how.