This is the most reasonable explanation because when I was in Saks Nola, the SA said that last year they stopped carrying Bottega and this year they were no longer carrying Bal, just selling their inventory on hand. SA said it was crazy because in her opinion it did not make any sense. Bottega's sold well and she said Balenciagas flew off the shelves! I should add there were very few YSL. I can't recall what or how many of Gucci they had, if any at all. They do have a Chanel and LV store within their store. They had lots in their respective inventory.I had heard last year before the '09 F/W collection came out, that Balenciaga indicated to all stores that carried their merchandise, that all "outstanding" invoices for all merchandise controlled by the Gucci Group (of which Balenciaga is under) had to be PAID-IN-FULL before they would ship any new items.
A few friends who work retail (buying offices) told me how it works ... apparently, the large stores would oftentimes float loans to pay for the merchandise. However, the credit crunch has wreaked havoc on this ... given that the banks are just not loaning $$$ like before and more strict guidelines. This has killed the stores' buying power ... and I think we are just seeing the beginning of declining merchandise in stores, especially when the store has to pay ALL invoices for ALL merchandise for a particular Fashion House (Gucci Group owns Balenciaga, Stella McCartney, Bottega Veneta, Alexander McQueen, YSL, etc.)!!!