Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Itchy, itchy itch

I've got my eye on a couple pairs of boots at John Fluevog - namely this one here, which I think would look really cute with skirts (plus the button details are purple!):

And this one here, which reads tougher than I'm accustomed to:

I've been holding back because I'm not ready to give up on summer yet - besides which, I'm trying to be fiscally responsible. But I want them.

And I don't know what prompted this, but just for kicks, I decided to change the settings on the website to see what the prices would be in USD, since I default Canadian. And you know what? They're about 25% more expensive here than they are in the US - and John Fluevog is Canadian!

The clamour over price disparities between products sold in the U.S. versus the exact same products sold in Canada has been increasing ever since the Canadian dollar started showing strength against the U.S. dollar. The price of books is a perfect example of the longstanding disparity - the American list price for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is $35.99 compared to the Canadian list price of $45. The exchange rate this summer was in the mid-90 cent range - so if I had driven to Buffalo to buy the book, I'd have paid the equivalent of about C$38 once the exchange rate is taken into account. How is that fair?

Now consider the price of cars - according to this article, the 2007 Honda Accord Sedan starts at C$25,090 in Canada while it costs US$20,360 in the U.S., and the higher end Cadillac Escalade EXT starts at C$71,730 while it sells for US$55,045 south of the border. Crazy, non?

Some Canadians are so pissed off that a $2 billion class action lawsuit was recently filed in the Ontario Supreme Court against the Canadian and U.S. divisions of General Motors, Honda, Nissan and Chrysler alleging that they conspired to artificially maintain car prices in Canada and inhibited cross-border vehicle shopping fuelled by a rising loonie.

So what's my point? Well. I'm not so pissed off that I'm going to sue anybody, but I am thinking more and more that a shopping trip south is in my future. To that end, I fired off an email to my best girl in LA to find out what her plans were in the next month or two. We last got together for a girls' weekend in NYC in November, where as usual, we were each other's shopping good luck charms. Coincidentally, she's got the itch for some retail therapy too, so we'll see what's what...depending on how you look at it, this could be really good...or really bad... :)


The Lone Beader said...

Cute boots! I like the 2nd pair best... And, I kwow whatchu mean. I simply will not admit that the summer's over. :/

applevenusian said...

Canadian girls gone wild! I love it!

Aren't Fluevogs the shit?! I've always wanted a pair. I go to the store in San Francisco and drool all over the displays.

Jane Flanagan said...

The exchange rate malarkey is so annoying.

I recently did an interview with a retailer here in Toronto and their excuse was this: They ordered and paid for their winter merchandise 2 seasons ago, before the rate jumped, so they can't let the new rate kick in on this collection without seeing loss.

On the flip side, US e-tailers (LL Bean, J Crew) are seeing huge jumps in online sales. My bet? - We're going to see those Fall / Winter sales hit a lot earlier this year because people aren't spending as much in the Canadian shops.

Sorry, a bit of an economic rant, but I am making a point to challenge every retailer I interview on it! (And spending all my own hard-earned cash on Shopbop & JCrew!)

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