Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Shopaholic's Guide to Online Retail Therapy


A Shopaholics’ Guide to Online Retail Therapy in Pakistan
Laaleen Khan
http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/8779/online-retail-therapy-a-guide-for-pakistani-shoppers/There’s no therapy like retail therapy. 





Whether it’s window-shopping, trying on multiple outfits, or finding something cute on sale, shopping may lead to a state of euphoria akin to falling in love. And now, it doesn’t matter where one lives as long as there’s Wi-Fi to enable one’s virtual shopping fix.
An example of online shopper’s adrenaline rush: clicking your way through an online bidding war with a young woman in Tokyo over a handbag made in Italy that’s sold in America and, if you succeed, your prize is subsequently shipped over to you in Pakistan. Yes, you’ve got it right; as Pakistan-based consumers, we’ve been used to visiting online shopping sites and browsing the “what country are you” dropdown menus and seeing no ‘Pakistan’ option between ‘Oman’ and ‘Panama.’ So it comes as a pleasurable surprise that our country has finally been added to a growing number of international retail sites, along with the PKR currency option (where available).
Call it a global marketplace or a shrinking world economy, retailers are increasingly focusing on international customers and franchisees to mark profits or even help keep afloat. Worldwide vendors like International Checkout and Fifty One provide retailers with a global customer base by handling the entire export process for them. For example, Macy’s (a popular U.S. department store) expanded its international shipping destinations to include 91 countries (including Pakistan, yippee) last June http://www.fiftyone.com/news-events/the-magic-of-macys-goes-international reflecting a globalized outlook and customer base.
While shoppers are required to pay international retailers via credit card or Pay Pal, Pakistan-based businesses (listed below in green) offer multiple channels of payment, including wire transfer and C.O.D. (cash-on-delivery), for shoppers uncomfortable with providing their credit card information. Along with shipping to clients within Pakistan, some businesses also ship worldwide.
Retail therapy is just a few clicks away (collective sigh!); here are 80 useful links to dent your wallets:
·      Department Stores: everything under the sun, from apparel and accessories to toys and furnishings.
o   Bloomingdales http://www.bloomingdales.com/ is synonymous for its signature ‘brown bags’ and offers a tasteful array of merchandise.
o   Harrod’s http://www.harrods.com is a legendary Knightsbridge retailer that delivers luxury gift hampers, among various other categories of goods.
o   Macy’s http://www.macys.com/ frequently has great sales of mid-priced brands.
o   Marks and Spencer http://www.marksandspencer.com is a UK favourite for basics.
o   Saks Fifth Avenue http://saks.com/ has an array of luxury and mid-priced labels.
o   Sanaullah http://www.sanaullastore.com/ offers lawn collections and apparel for women, men and children online based out of it’s Karachi location.
·      The High Street: shopping mall staples.
o   A Pea in the Pod http://www.apeainthepod.com carries various maternity labels for expecting mothers.
o   Athleta http://athleta.gap.com/ provides gym outfits and sports accessories for women.
o   Banana Republic http://bananarepublic.gap.com carries preppy attire for men and women.
o   Bebe http://www.bebe.com retails women’s apparel and accessories.
o   Dorothy Perkins http://www.dorothyperkins.com offers fashionable apparel for young women.
o   Gul Ahmed http://www.gulahmedshop.com/ retails unstitched and stitched apparel for women and men on its site in addition to retail locations around the country.
o   Old Navy http://oldnavy.gap.com/ has casual, low priced clothing for men, women and kids.
o   The Gap http://www.gap.com/ is synonymous with casual, all-American clothing for men, women and teens.
o   True Religion http://www.truereligionbrandjeans.com offers trendy denim collections for adults and children.
·      Boutiques: focusing on distinctive styles.
o   Elan https://www.facebook.com/elanonline is a high-end, Lahore-based couturier that provides an online order form for clients in all locations.
o   Gypsy http://www.gypsy05.com retails Hollywood trend-inspired clothes for adults and kids.
o   Kitson http://www.shopkitson.com/ is a trendy LA based boutique for women, men and kids.
o   La Redoute http://www.laredoute.com French budget-conscious fashion for adults and children.
o   Magaschoni http://www.magaschoni.com is a stylish New York based women’s label.
o   Miss Me http://www.missme.com carries jeans and casual apparel for women.
o   Posh Girl Vintage http://www.poshgirlvintage.com sells pre-worn styles including retro and 70s.
o   San Diego-Harley Davidson http://www.shopsandiegoharley.com offers biker inspired apparel for men, women and kids.
o   Shahzeb Saeed http://www.shahzebsaeed.com offers made-to-order men’s formal shirts.
o   The Row http://www.therow.com/ has sophisticated apparel and handbags for women.
·      Multibrand boutiques: featuring contemporary designer labels.
o   Basic http://www.basicboutique.com offers contemporary fashions from designers including Rebecca Minkoff.
o   Boutique 1 http://www.boutique1.com is a Beirut and Dubai based retailer of luxury couture for women and men including Elie Saab.
o   Revolve Clothing: http://www.revolveclothing.com provides labels including Marc by Marc Jacobs.
o   Shop Bop http://www.shopbop.com/ retails contemporary womenswear including Alexander Wang.
·      Accessories & Beauty
o   Bell’a’nama http://www.bellanama.webs.com retails crafted accessories including bangles.
o   Enchanted Jewels by Saba Ghairi http://www.facebook.com/enchanted.jewels.saba are sold at multibrand boutiques and shipped in Pakistan and worldwide.
o   Jewelicious https://www.facebook.com/JEWELICIOUS.LAHORE is a Lahore-based retailer of affordable jewelry.
o   Krizmah http://www.krizmah.com/ showcases its handbag collections that are crafted in Chitral.
o   Luscious Cosmetics http://www.iloveluscious.com offers deliveries of its beauty products within Pakistan.
·      Teens & 20s: trendy and low priced.
o   Arden B http://intl.ardenb.com features trendy outfits for teenaged girls and young women.
o   Goddess Collection by Shen https://www.facebook.com/GCbySHEN?ref=ts provides trendy casuals and party wear made to order in Karachi.
o   HauteLook http://www.hautelook.com a multibrand retailer of labels including Urban Decay.
o   Miss Selfridge http://www.missselfridge.com is a popular UK label featuring fun apparel and accessories for girls.
o   MyOffstreet http://www.myoffstreet.com/ provides online retail listings for major cities.
o   Quiz Clothing http://www.quizclothing.co.uk offers low priced, trendy clothing for girls and young women.
o   Uth Oye! http://www.uth-oye.com offers trendy T-shirts for guys and girls.
o   Wet Seal http://intl.wetseal.com carries casual ‘Juniors’ styles for girls.
·      Kids: newborn to 14 years.
o   Alex and Alexa http://www.alexandalexa.com/ carries children’s luxury brands including Roberto Cavalli and Burberry.
o   Baby Gap http://www.gap.com retails classic all-American casuals from newborn to 6 years.
o   Blush Fashions http://www.blushfashions.com carries children’s apparel and costumes.
o   Delish Apparel Imports https://www.facebook.com/groups/officialdelish/ retails US labels like Bonnie Jean and Rare Editions for little girls via C.O.D. in Pakistan.
o   Dija https://www.facebook.com/DIJACHILDRENSDESIGNERWEARLABEL offers online orders for children’s desi clothes based out of Lahore.
o   Gap Kids http://www.gap.com retails classic all-American casuals from 7 to 14 years.
o   Swirly Twirly Hair Bows https://www.facebook.com/frillyfairy sells handmade hair accessories for girls.
o   The Children’s Place http://www.childrensplace.com offers cute apparel at recession-friendly prices.
o   The Kids Window http://www.thekidswindow.co.uk retails children’s apparel and costumes.
·      Undies (Note to drooling male customers—models aren’t included with your purchase):
o   Fig Leaves http://www.figleaves.com/uk features many brands for women, men and teens along with sleepwear.
o   Jockey http://www.jockey.com specializes in no-frills cottons for men and women.
o   Victoria’s Secret http://www.victoriassecret.com/ offers swimsuits, clothing, shoes and, of course, lingerie.
·      Shoes: from stilettos to sneakers.
o   Chinese Laundry http://www.chineselaundry.com retails trendy women’s footwear in materials including genuine and faux leather.
o   Foot Locker http://www.footlocker.com is a major retailer of athletic footwear from Puma to Ed Hardy.
o   LK Bennett http://www.lkbennett.com is a High Street brand favoured by the Duchess of Cambridge.
o   Piper Lime http://piperlime.gap.com/ offers shoes, apparel and accessories for women, men, teens and kids in various labels including Kate Spade and J Brand.
o   The Shoe Snob http://www.facebook.com/theshoesnob.online?sk=wall retails footwear from Hong Kong and Singapore from Xenab’s Atelier in Karachi.
·      Reading & Leisure: books, Kindle, eReader, DVDs.
o   Amazon USA http://www.amazon.com and Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk offer a wide selection including books, clothes, gadgets and gifts.
o   Barnes & Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/ primarily focuses on books and gifts.
o   Click DVD http://www.clickdvd.net is a Lahore based DVD delivery service.
o   Go DVD https://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=80896945639 is a Lahore based DVD delivery service.
o   Kitabain http://www.kitabain.com is an online marketplace for buying and selling books, an offshoot of The Reader’s Club http://www.thereadersclub.com/
o   Liberty Books http://www.libertybooks.com is a Karachi based bookseller that also offers online purchases.
o   Overstock http://www.overstock.com/ provides various categories from jewelry to office.
·      Home: dĂ©cor, furniture and gadgets.
o   Crate & Barrel http://www.crateandbarrel.com/ is a stylish destination for interior and exterior furnishings.
o   Pottery Barn http://www.potterybarn.com & Pottery Barn Kids http://www.potterybarnkids.com offers a cozy array of home interiors and accessories.
o   ShopaholicPK http://shopaholic.pk is a source for discounted appliances and gadgets for home and office use.
·      Party planning: from weddings to kids’ parties.
o   Essence Baking Studio https://www.facebook.com/EssenceBakingStudio is a Karachi-based cake and cupcake business.
o   Funky Bakes https://www.facebook.com/pages/Funky-Bake-CupCake-cafe-Islamabad are made-to-order cupcakes and cakes in Islamabad.
o   HoMey Cupcakes https://www.facebook.com/homeycupcakes is a Karachi-based ‘cupcakery.’
o   Mahj Design Studio http://mahjdesigns.com/ is a Karachi based design service specializing in invitation cards that delivers worldwide.
o   My Little Cupcake http://www.mylittlecupcakepop specializes in cupcake pops (mini cupcakes on sticks) in various flavours and delivers worldwise.
o   Nirala http://eshop.nirala.com/ offers mithai-delivery services in Pakistan and worldwide.
o   Party Place https://www.facebook.com/pages/Party-Place is a children’s event planner based in Islamabad.
o   Party World Crafty Creations https://www.facebook.com/pages/Party-World-Crafty-Creations retails birthday themes and rentals in Karachi.
o   Sugar n’ Crumbs https://www.facebook.com/SugarnCrumbs features a detailed online order form for specialty cakes in Islamabad.
o   Trinketz http://www.trinketz.org/ is an Islamabad based designer of birth and wedding announcements.
o   Wedding Star http://www.weddingstar.com retails wedding favours and accessories.
(Note to readers and retailers: please feel free to add more retail hyperlinks in the ‘comments’ section below).

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

omg! This is amazing! i got my sisters invitations from Mahj Design studio delivered to New York and they did an awsome job with it!

osama ahmed said...

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