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VALLEY WEEKEND | BARGAINS

If the Shoe Fits, This Sale Will Offer Big Savings

Women who wear sizes 4 to 7 1/2 can choose from a variety of spring and summer samples at a considerable discount.

June 13, 1996|GERI COOK | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

So you didn't come up with a lottery winner again this week. But if your shoe size falls into the 4-to-7 1/2 range, and your tastes run high, you may be able to hit a little jackpot of your own.

Samples Only, a women's shoe store in Loehmann's Plaza, sells samples that haven't been a hit with the buyers and thus didn't go into manufacture. As a result, some are one of a kind.

This is just one aspect of the shoe business that fascinates Jin Kim, who purchased Samples Only in 1992. "In carrying only sample shoes," says Kim, "there is a much bigger selection, since most stores cannot carry so many different styles."

Every manufacturer makes samples. The width is always medium, but the sizes vary. Stuart Weitzman, Petra, Beverly Feldman and Caressa all make their samples in size 6; Cole-Haan and Bruno Magli make size 6 1/2; Fendi, Charles Jourdan and Ann Klein, size 7.

The prices at Samples Only regularly run from 40% to 60% off retail. A pair of silver and gold woven leather loafers by Cole-Haan retail for $225; the price here is $98. Or some elegant laced oxfords, also by Cole-Haan, were tagged at $118 instead of the original $275.

Ninety percent of the inventory is current, but occasionally a pair of classic pumps may be left over from last year and are marked down even further. For example, a pair of gorgeous black suede pumps by Bruno Magli sold originally for $250; at Samples Only they were first priced at $138 and now are marked at $67.

Some Renaissance-styled red suede low-heeled pumps that started out at $230 at the department stores were originally marked at $118 here and now are $59.

All of that is good news, right? Now comes the price buster. Starting Tuesday, there's a clearance sale that should help Kim realize her goal: "I want to get rid of all my current spring and summer inventory so I have room for the new fall merchandise," she said.

For this sale, deduct another 40% off all the shoes. A pair of Charles Jourdan pumps that retail at $165 and are now marked $89 will be reduced to $54. I like those numbers.

In the rather small but very select handbag department, where you'll find the same labels (Fendi, Weitzman, Klein, etc.), the sale price will mean an additional 30% off the discounted price.

Be sure to check out the belts. They're all from Ann Klein, they're all 60% off retail, and they are all size medium. It seems sample belts are always medium. So even if you're not a petite, you can still claim your waistline is a sample size.

Samples Only, Loehmann's Plaza, 19401 Victory Blvd., Reseda. Hours: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Visa and MC. (818) 881-8621.

WEEKEND SUPER SALE: Now that you've got the shoes, how about another summer dress to finish out the season? At Sara's in Toluca Lake, the prices on women's apparel with a European flair are always reasonable. Like at other retailers, it's time to clear out the spring and summer inventory. So starting Saturday, deduct another 25% off dresses, suits and separates. For instance, a Wild Rose dress sells elsewhere for $160, at Sara's for $89 and at Sara's sale it will be $66.75. Sara's, 10216 Riverside Drive, Toluca Lake. (818) 755-9070.

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