Thursday, October 2, 2008

Christofle/Vivre sample sale report

I popped by the friends & family sale preview today by invitation, and I have some thoughts on the sale. Overall, if you're going for Vivre, the selection is so small you should go early or not at all. If you are there for Christofle, then know that the touted "up to 80% off" is not really the case. It is more like "up to 60% off". Maybe I did not look hard enough, but I didn't see a single 80% off item. However, the vast selection and stock more than make up for the price disappointment. There are still good finds in the $100 range, although I would say the average item is about $250. Bottom line: if you love Christofle, bring your wallet and have a look. My fav item there: a mink fur-handled silver tray set with serving set. Just perfect for your wedding in Siberia!
Pierres d'Argent Ring
I'll discuss Vivre first because the sale is so small it is insignificant. Of the entire floor space, the Vivre sale takes up approximately 20% of it. Unless you are one of the first ones through the door, chances are you won't get a pair of the very few Oscar de la Renta heels, or maybe not even any shoes at all. To call the shoe selection sparse is an understatement. I think I have a larger shoe collection than they have at that entire sale. The clothing is quite random and weird, and it's clear why they are on sample sale. Calvin Klein, Roberto Cavalli, Michael Kors... prices are fairly decent, hovering around $100 on average. There is a VERY small table of children's goods in the back. The only thing that caught my eye was the mini Hunter rainboots. So cute! The only thing I'd consider buying: the nice leather jewelry chests up front.

If you've had your eye on something Christofle, there is a good chance it will be here on sale. The jewelry selection is large, and at 40-50% off, still compelling. I am not intimately familiar with the Anemone line and was struck by how much it resembled the famed Van Cleef & Arpels clover, but although I think the Christofle designers were liberally 'inspired', the good craftsmanship, 5th petal and lower prices make it clearly not a competitor of VCA.

If you need fine silver flatware, by all means jump in a cab and go! All the flatware is 50% off! They even have entire chests/sets that are 50% off, so that $7500 set is now $3750. Really a fantastic deal for 12 place settings and a serving set in sterling. I went to the sale hoping to get some housewarming gifts, but I really couldn't find anything that 'perfect thing' for less than $150. I considered a crystal bud vase ($90) or small bowl (~$150), and other good alternatives would be a wine glass set or silver frame (~$200). I walked away with some crystal barware and a pair of silver skull and crossbone cufflinks, and I may go back for a ring I can't stop thinking about.

Discount levels (as well as I can remember them):
Jewelry (except Anemone line)
Silver items (trays, platters, candelabras, champagne ice buckets, a gorgeous mirror on sale for $1250)
Crystal home decor (vases, bowls, votive holders)
Anemone jewelry and keychain
Silver frames (many designs)
Flatware (tons and tons of it)
Crystal stemware/barware
Small house gifts (little platters, USB flash memory sticks, salt/pepper shakers)

Need the address and details? View my original post.

Radius tray

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