For modern fashion enthusiasts, it’s a little difficult to keep up with the latest trends while still maintaining a budget.
Every aspect of your apparel, from the tip to the toe, requires a hefty investment, especially if you are going for stylish, branded items.
Handbags, in particular, serve as a painful reminder that you need to spend a lot to look fashionable.
That wasn’t always the case, however. If you’re an old soul, you must remember the Maxx New York Company, a secret haven for all handbag enthusiasts.
Their prices were affordable and their designs, fashionable.
The two elements don’t coexist very well in the modern setting, do they? On one hand, you could have an expensive and stylish bag.
On the other, you could have an inexpensive but dreary looking one. That’s rather unfortunate, especially for people looking to balance it out.
In their quest to find sustainable solutions to their fashion demands, people are still wondering what happened to the once-popular, fashionable handbag brand that ruled the market in the early offspring of the twenty-first century.
Is Maxx New York still in business? And if so, how do they operate?
Loyal customers have been trying to place an order for over a decade now, but there is no online presence and no offline retail stores.
It’s almost as if Maxx New York disappeared off the face of Earth.
Here’s what happened to your favorite brand for handbags.
What Happened to Maxx New York?
Maxx New York actively participated in the handbag industry up until 2009, following which they disappeared completely.
There is no official notice detailing what compelled the company officials to shut down their operations, or even if they did so.
But since their last tweet came in mid-August 2009, it’s fair to assume that the company is no longer operating normally.
It certainly isn’t releasing any new products or stylish handbags to go with the 2022 fashion trends.
However, some of the older handbags made by Maxx are still available on multiple retail platforms including eBay, Poshmark, Etsy, Thredup, and Walmart.
While it’s comparatively difficult to find the iconic Maxx New York signature handbag and purse, you can still find a host of products from their collection. Some
Maxx loyalists would call themselves very lucky to still be able to get their hands on such items.
So, now we know that Maxx New York bags disappeared from the market without any official notice.
The company representatives also did not give out any explanation or reasoning for shutting down their operations.
But nobody can deny that the Maxx New York Company certainly had a big market, can they?
If there are people still looking around for that brand, it’s a sign that it did well when it existed and competed at the top.
What happened that forced them to cease their operations, therefore, seems pretty ambiguous.
While there can’t be any official explanation, and in extension, a final closure for the customers, we can certainly speculate as to what compelled them to stop creating their magnificent handbags.
What Caused Maxx to Shut Down its Operations?
Maxx New York had a range of exciting products, the most popular being handbags. Although the smaller Maxx New York wallet/purse collections didn’t go unnoticed either.
In the 2000s, especially, when fast fashion was just witnessing its inception, people loved Maxx for one absolute reason – the blend of their affordability and design.
No other brand at that time, neither B. Makowsky nor Tignanello, could compete with Maxx in that regard.
The general public verdict was that Maxx offered more or less the same solutions as the other brands but at cheaper costs.
Why, then, would anyone be willing to spend a lot more only to receive the same, if not worse, products?
With this distinctive feature, Maxx initially had an edge over its competitors, amassing thousands of customers during its years of operations.
Their profits seemed to be steady as well, with no threat of an unplanned loss or bankruptcy looming on the financial market.
However, as time progressed, other brands caught up. Maxx also had some mix-ups with QVC, which further damaged their accelerating progress forward.
We’ll talk more about the QVC-Maxx saga in further sections.
For now, let’s move on to the first reason behind Maxx’s untimely demise in 2009.
The Rebirth of Maxx’s Competitors
During the many years in which Maxx served as a top player in the handbag industry, other competitors like Tignanello and B. Makowsky lost their traction.
Irrespective of the premium-quality products that the latter offered, people preferred to not pay their prices and instead opt for Maxx, which offered similar products at more affordable prices.
Surely, in terms of quality, Maxx couldn’t compete with B. Makowsky at all.
It was said, in the earlier decades, that B. Makowsky’s leather bags “felt as smooth as butter”, a compliment worth noting if you factor in comfort in your outfits as well.
But with Maxx at the helm, B. Makowsky lost a little bit of traction. The former forced the latter to lend a significant chunk of their target market to them.
At the same time, B. Makowsky bags also lost some of their sheen during the start of the 21st century.
Many customer reviews indicate that apart from being heavily expensive, Makowsky and Tignanello bags were disappointing due to their heaviness.
Other customers also reviewed the products in a negative light, claiming that the handbags never looked as good in real life as they did in pictures.
All of these factors were key in establishing the Maxx New York dominance that lasted for a few years.
But even if you defeat brands like Makowsky and Tignanello in a one-off battle, it’s not that easy to displace them from the throne.
By the late 2000s, all the major Maxx New York competitors relapsed to the big stage, taking to the market once again.
They launched several new lines of products. The management seemed to have listened to the customers and made the necessary amendments.
This was also the time when fashion was not just about looking good but also feeling good about what one is wearing.
While Maxx New York bags were stunning appearance-wise, they did not have the same extravagance as B. Makowsky handbags.
Ultimately, the competitors made a comeback and Maxx faded back into the role of a “supporting actor”, just serving a niche market of those looking for a subsidiary, affordable handbag.
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The QVC-Maxx Tussle
Alright, calling this a tussle might be an exaggeration. But Maxx New York’s partnership with QVC certainly did not end like how the former would have expected.
But to understand the whole story, let’s do a little bit of homework. It’s vital to understand how a brand can get into QVC, and what the partnership can offer.
If you have a unique, distinctive product, getting it advertised through QVC can do wonders for your brand.
With a repeat customer rate of over 90%, it is the major platform to take your business from the bottom to the top.
That’s what happened with Maxx New York. Like all the other distinguishable brands, Maxx flocked over to QVC, hoping to establish a brand identity and earn millions of orders at the same time.
The partnership worked well initially.
However, after a while, everything went sideways.
Loyal customers, one day when they hopped on QVC’s website to check out Maxx’s new collections, found that they had listed all the products for clearance sales.
To give you a perspective, a website issues clearance sales only if they are about to end a partnership and want to get the stock out as soon as possible.
Customers, Maxx loyalists especially, were confused about this sudden turn of events.
It won’t make sense if we assume that QVC just couldn’t sell enough Maxx products, because the company was doing well enough. So what happened?
One big speculation is that QVC didn’t appreciate the inexpensive price tags on Maxx’s handbags.
Since the profit margins were slimmer, QVC instead wanted to promote other handbag brands like B. Makowsky that charged much more.
And so, QVC removed Maxx New York from their websites and instead directed the sales towards more expensive brands like Tignanello and B. Makowsky.
With their partnership with QVC gone, their positioning was in jeopardy. It could have been their most direct source of interaction with the customers. Ultimately, the cut-off hurt them a lot.
Maxx New York’s Inability to Market
If you search for Maxx New York on the internet today, you’d get very few records of their existence.
Most of the results would include the brand’s enticing older products on various platforms like eBay.
As big a brand as it was, you would expect Maxx New York to have a proper marketing strategy.
But apart from releasing a few YouTube videos to demonstrate their products, there are no clear footprints to establish the brand’s legacy on the internet.
Considering that Maxx New York survived the market till 2009, they should have a relatively conspicuous online presence.
Their inability to market their products, and over-reliance on QVC, it seems, were the ultimate triggers for their downfall.
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Maxx New York and Spiegel – A Legacy Brand
The Maxx New York Company was a subsidiary brand of Spiegel, one of the most popular direct marketing retailers in the United States.
Spiegel has rich roots in the country, having its inception in the year 1865 by Joseph Spiegel.
The primary distinguishing product of Spiegel, initially, was their fashionable catalog, through which they marketed and advertised various lines of products.
They especially engaged in industries relating to apparel, accessories, house furnishing, tools, firearms, and so on.
With Maxx New York in the fold, Spiegel also extended their portfolio to producing handbags of excellent quality.
It’s also marvelous how Maxx New York got their primary distinguishing feature from its parent company.
Spiegel was popular as the saving grace of middle-class families. They advertised products that were affordable for the masses.
At the same time, they ensured that the products they advertised did not compromise on quality or design.
In other words, Spiegel specialized in providing the market with the opportunity to invest less in better products.
With the introduction of the Maxx New York label, they achieved exactly that. Maxx’s handbags were high-quality products with premium designs.
And yet, they were a lot better in terms of affordability when compared to their traditional counterparts like B. Makowsky Handbags.
Overall, it was a good relationship between the parent company and the subsidiary brand.
It’s true that Maxx, like many other subsidiaries of Spiegel, could not survive the brutal market conditions. However, they enjoyed a fair share of success in their limited time together.
Maxx New York tried to give the market what it wanted – affordable but high-quality, premium designs.
And while they successfully captured the audience for a while, some bad fortune and decisions made them go astray.
There is still no official notice, however, from the brand about their permanent closure. While the probability is low, fans and fashion enthusiasts might be praying alike for an unlikely revival.