Once upon a time, a fun day of shopping could include a spontaneous purchase, let’s say, of a classic Chanel flap handbag. Out with pals or on your own, you could stroll into a boutique, ogle the merchandise, and then, perhaps after a quick call to the credit card company or a significant other, walk out with a new favorite purse- or wallet, credit card holder, necklace . . . or anything else. Nothing on your shopping list or otherwise expected, just the pure pleasure of acting on impulse.
It now seems those days are long gone and, with it, the fun of shopping… we blame Chanel. Of course, Coco’s house is not responsible for the pandemic and the expansion of appointment-only shopping. And the ‘thrill of the chase’ and being ‘on the list’ for the upcoming hot items are not new. But something feels different now.
For starters, who makes an appointment for impulse shopping? It kind of takes the thrill out of it. Then, there’s the question of whether you have a relationship, or customer history, at the boutique. If you’re looking to dip your toe into the land of quilting and chains, the pool is pretty much locked down.
But even if you can get inside, there’s nothing to see, and even less to buy. Over the years, including pre-pandemic, Chanel displays became more sparse. Classics were rarely shown without a request. And, just try to get someone to help you if you’re not a regular customer or VIP, it’s not always easy. The point is ‘just looking’ often precludes actually seeing anything. In other words, a day of window shopping is just an illusion.
And now you get to the latest news from Chanel: purchasing limits (whether one per year or one per month or whatever), literally empty closets, pricing approaching 10K, AND supposed requirements to purchase RTW, jewelry, SLGs and more. Aside from whether you can play this game, ask yourself whether you really want to.
Where’s the fun Chanel? For many, shopping is an enjoyable activity. Looking, touching, comparing, sharing, a day out with friends. It’s the time to dream and fantasize. What it’s now become is a chore- an expensive one at that. And lest you point to your orange competitor, remember it’s been at it a lot longer and offers a much wider range of goods. No one is decorating full-blown à la chez Coco (yet).
Updated: November 2nd, 2021