Our favourite Four Letter Word!

SALE - Our favorite four letter word

No, not that one…the word we’re thinking of is actually SALE! And in particular the Shopping City Sale.

As a regular at Shopping City it’s very likely you’ve already started grabbing your sale bargains. But if you’ve been waiting to find that burst of energy required to make the most of sale shopping, wait no more. It’s time.

Where did it all begin?

Have you ever wondered where the tradition of January sales began? We have, so we did a little research. It appears the tradition originated back in the 1800s and January became known as the month of ‘White Sales’ when all types of linens were discounted (at the time, the only colour option for linens was white!). The marketing idea is credited to John Wanamaker, a department store pioneer who marked down all his linens in an attempt to boost post-holiday business.

The idea really took off. Fast forward to today, where we still view January sales as part of our shopping calendar. What it means now, however, is that retailers use this time to discount the lines that didn’t sell through before Christmas. They need to clear their stockrooms to make room for next seasons goods as it’s of no benefit to them that the products are sitting on the shelves. Far better to discount and make some room for new stock.

Today, the tradition has moved to sales starting on Boxing Day for many retailers. And in some cases, they even start on Christmas Eve or just before; so it’s a good idea to make yourself aware of what your favourite retailers are up to.

Be a savvy sale shopper

The fact that items are discounted isn’t a good enough reason, on its own, to start buying up all you see. You need to have a plan. Just as you did for your Christmas shopping, think it through carefully. Of course, you can make impulse purchases when you see a bargain, but make sure it’s a purchase that will be used.

Before heading out, check your wardrobe for items that need replacing. What are your plans for the year – do you need to think about a holiday you’ve booked for next Autumn or Winter? You’ll no doubt want some new items for your suitcase! And the staff Christmas party? Grab a bargain and get the gorgeous dress you had your eye on before Christmas but couldn’t quite afford.

Stocking fillers and Secret Santa gifts are more great sale purchases. You can be quite generic and get a selection of male/female/boy/girl gifts – they will always come in handy.

Summer’s coming!

Think long term as you search the rails and shelves as you could be saving yourself a fortune in the future as January sales often offer clothes for all seasons; remember what we said about the stores clearing their stockrooms? So think about summer bargains, too. And while it might seem crazy to buy an age two jacket for your six-month-old, if you have space to store it, that jacket will be just as cute in eighteen months.

Treat yourself

If you weren’t tempted to treat yourself while Christmas shopping (great willpower, well done!) – now is the time to redress the balance. Hopefully, you made a mental note and can head straight back there to see if they’ve been reduced. Chances are they have.

Click and collect

A few of our stores in Shopping City, such as Argos, B&M, Boots, Fragrance Shop, Superdrug and Wilko, have a Click and Collect service. So you can start your sale bargain hunting in comfort with a cuppa. Then leave those purchases to collect at the end of your trip, so you have less time carrying them all J

Do you like the item…not just the price?

Make sure you keep a check on the natural reaction to those ‘75% OFF’ tickets – and consider everything you pick up. Would you have saved up for it if it hadn’t been reduced? Is there someone in your circle of family or friends that it would be an appropriate gift for?

If the answer is no, walk away; as £30 spent on something that used to be £100 is not a bargain if it remains in your bottom drawer. There will be something in another shop you can guarantee!

Are you shopping with small children?

Sales shopping with little ones is not ideal. But if you have no alternative than plan, plan, plan! Think about loo stops, refreshment stops and budget for small treats. And it would make perfect sense to plan your trip around one of the many events and activities we have at Shopping City. For example, week commencing 7th January we are screening Laurel & Hardy films in Community Square every day. And on 11th January they can even meet the famous duo from 1.30am till 2.30pm.

Keep the receipts

Finally, make sure you keep all your receipts – just in case. Don’t just absent-mindedly drop them in the bottom of a shopping bag as you never know if they may be needed later. Click the link here to check your rights when sales shopping.

Happy sales shopping! And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook for the latest information on what’s happening at your favourite shopping centre.

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