Oh, How the Mighty Have Fallen...

You can now buy your Le Creuset via QVC!

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/09/13/le-creuset-no-longer-a-preserve-of-middle-class-kitchens-as-it-t/

Note the analysts’ concerns over “brand pollution”!

2 thoughts - I didn’t realize QVC existed beyond our borders.
I’m also not sure about the premise that said viewers are of more meager means.
Same product, better prices or specially made pieces for the network?

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Hi Kaleo,

They’ve done QVC many times before:

They have their own discount outlet stores in the USA which sell at about 50% retail, and various vendors are given “special deals” all the time despite preventing them from discounting on sales. The difference in price between Le Creuset and more humble competitors is not as much as one might expect–and Le Creuset backs up their products with a meaningful warranty!

Ray

In the video the Le Creuset rep specifies that the pieces are designed specifically for QVC

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Hi chowdom,

I think it’s always the same quality product.

If you check the Le Creuset website, you’ll find that the products are still available; It was at a promotional price during the special telethon sale–sometimes with a QVC sale recipe booklet or accessory tool added.

You can still see these “QVC” items for sale on EBAY.

Ray

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Ray:

Argue with the Telegraph: “Le Creuset made its QVC debut last Monday [9/5/16] on a late-night show selling a range of items…”

It was news enough for the IHHA Housebrief Smartwares to include in its trade press release.

Maybe it’s just QVC in UK that’s news. Still a sign that the blush is off the rose.

Aloha,
Kaleo

Hi Kaleo,

I have no idea what they are doing in the UK, but they have been very shrewd in strategising here recently, marketing to as broad a spectrum of consumers as possible. Their website has improved every year, and their product line has broadened considerably. There are multiple ways to see and touch their products.

Ray

They’ve been selling their seconds in outlet stores and sales for years. There was a cookware-seconds store in Nashville’s first outlet mall twenty-some years ago that had a large LeCreuset section, and they’ve stage Seconds Sales at the Convention Center in Pasadena several times. Their requirements for first-quality status are so much more demanding than simple utility would need that there is no practical penalty (unless you give a rat’s patoot about resale value) for buying one that flunked. I have limited use for enameled iron, but I do want it for some things, and have over the years gotten both LeCreuset items and others by mostly Belgian makers for very little money at estate sales and antique malls.

I got my Le Creuset dutch oven and 15qt stockpot both from the outlet store. The dutch oven had a 2-3 small bumps in the paint/enamel on the bottom of the pot, where no one would ever see them. The bumps are super tiny, comparable to or even smaller than a grain of sand. I paid $120 for it; retail was $375.00.

The stockpot I picked up about 3 months ago. It was on clearance from $125 to $45. No blemishes – I was told they were discontinuing that size in that particular color. My friend that was with me got a bigger pot in a blue color for $55.

Do you know what Pairs Hilton is famous for?

Do you know why Le Creuset is famous?

Yes, yes, there’s even a LC outlet near Seattle (where, except on rare occasions, the wares are still overpriced).

My point is that resort to QVC is yet another step away from the complacent you-come-to-us approach that the boys in Fresnoy-le-grand were taking.

Hi Kaleo,

They are clearly no longer “you-come-to-us.”

Le Creuset has managed to raise and lower selling prices of their cocottes and other products at the same time over at least the last 4-5 years. Retailers like Williams-Sonoma and Sur La Table must sell the Signature line of Le Creuset pots at the same outrageous price but they are given exclusive colors and specials to sell–and permission to discount them on closeout. They’ve had limited edition collector products, like the Raymond Loewy coquelle, that have sold out at very high prices–only to be resold at even higher prices.

At the"bargain" end, they leak out less successful and second quality ECI products at low and even very low pricepoints: on EBAY–but at unexpected places as well. Their stonewear and enameled SS are manufactured in Thailand–sometimes sold at bargain prices, usually not. Recent cladded offerings are manufactured in China and Portugal: the China clads to compete low end; the Portugal clads to compete high end.

I think what they’ve been doing is pretty amazing.

Ray

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold