STORE WARS: Banana Republic vs. Amazon
Starting March 13th and running through April 2nd, Dappered.com is hosting a bracket based tournament with the purpose of eventually crowning the all around Affordable Men’s Style Retail Champ for 2012. For a full introduction see this post. The bracket on the right will be updated as the tournament progresses. Click on it for the full size. Make a case for your preferred competitor in the comments section, but don’t forget to vote at the bottom of each match up. On with today’s showdown:
Strengths: If you wanted to, and some would, you could build an entire good-looking wardrobe from casual to dressed up to everything in between out of stuff found at Banana Republic. Short of watches, they’ve got it all. They’re the top floor of GAP’s three story brand structure, and in the past year they’ve pulled even further away from mid-level GAP in terms of style. Prices remain relatively low as long as you hang out for sales and play the promo-code/coupon game. Their modern fit blazers and suits come with a welcome contour, higher than normal armholes, and slim shoulder pads. They’ve really stepped up their suiting game lately. The Italian fabrics used in some of their garments are superb. Outerwear is usually outstanding. Sweaters are right up there. Shopping experience in-store is usually clean and professional. Everything online ships free over $50. Returns are free in-store.
Weaknesses: Like all GAP brands, you’ve got to play the code and sale timing game, and then sometimes the exclusions can be numerous. Paying full retail at BR should rarely happen. Most of their goods are made in China. Many have complained about bad quality for their shoes. Mad Men/Monogram markup is steep.
Strengths: Shoes, watches, and… that’s about it. Less front of mind “style items” like music, books, kitchen stuff, etc… all readily available. Shipping is incredibly fast if you splurge for the Amazon “Prime” experience.
Weaknesses: They’re the 800 pound gorilla of the online shopping world, but when it comes to clothes, they’ve got some work to do. Even their shoe department can seem like a forgotten section of some enormous big box store. Promotional emails about “you might like” such-and-such-watch are transparent. Sales, outside of Black Friday, can be disappointing. And again, their clothing section seems to be a slight blemish that Amazon doesn’t seem to have any real desire to remedy. But to be fair, sartorial expectations should be low for a retailer that carries a 55-gallon drum of water based lubricant.
Your votes determine who goes on to the next round. Cast your ballot below. Voting closes at midnight ET.
UPDATE: Despite some serious support in the comments, BR cruises to victory.
Store Wars: Banana Republic vs. Amazon
- Banana Republic (76%, 1,322 Votes)
- Amazon (28%, 488 Votes)
Total Voters: 1,734