The Hermes sale opened to the public today and drew the biggest sample sale crowd EVER. Some shoppers waited 8.5 hours and were turned away when sale organizers told them to go home at 5:15pm.
"We were the first people on the line and we got there at 1am," says Robert Samuel, the owner of the line-waiting service Same Old Line Dudes. After three years in the business Samuel agrees that this was the longest shopping line ever. "It was like the iPhone line from hell." In addition to Samuel's video above, he sent us a montage of pictures that can be viewed in the link here.
At one point the queue spanned the equivalent of six blocks-- 33rd Street West to 9th Avenue, across the span of the post office and back around there-quarters of the way to 8th Avenue. Samuel had 12 of his staff waiting in line throughout the day and was on-site keeping track of the situation. He estimated that only 50 people were being admitted at one time and it took about an hour for each group to be let in.
One Madison Avenue Spy reader wrote to tell us that she used one of her four vacation days and waited for over 8 hours. She was heartbroken not to have gotten into the sale. "The people manning the line throughout did not communicate any time expectations or that they would be shutting down early," says the self proclaimed Hermes fanatic.
"I'm a huge Hermes collector and wear a different scarf and bracelet everyday. This requires me to save all my discretionary $$ so the annual sale is something I look forward to all year," she wrote. "My husband had also given me the go ahead to buy my xmas gift and I was hoping to find some great boots and a cashmere and silk sweater."
Samuel says that one woman standing in line admitted to taking her last vacation day of the year to attend the sale. She left the line crying after waiting several hours.
We reached out to Soiffer Haskin, the organizers of the Hermes sale, but didn't receive a reply.
Despite the exorbitant wait times, we are told that the entire process was orderly and emotions were held in check. Shoppers who did get into the sale early in the day report that supplies were already diminished.
Despite rumors to the contrary, we hear reports that there will be no restocking. Samuel says that several of his guys are already booked for tomorrow morning. His plan is to get there at 4am and "swap out" at 7am.
Our advice is to skip the sale. If this event continues to draw huge crowds, organizers are going to have to implement an appointment system. For now though, Hermes lovers are better off planning a trip to Paris. Prices along with the currency conversion will afford you a savings of about 40%.
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Hermes Sample Sale
Thursday, October 22nd through Saturday, October 24th
Thurs & Fri 9am-7pm, Sat 9am-6pm
Soiffer Haskin: 317 W. 33rd St. (near 8th Ave.)