Monday, July 27, 2009

Seasonal sales and sundresses

In this week’s baby bargainista column, Jenny shares her shopping tips for scoring big at seasonal sales while buying sundresses for her pre-schooler.

It’s a cliché, but it’s true – kids grow up quickly, right before your eyes! When the first heat wave of summer arrived I reached into our first-born’s closet for the summer sundresses bought last year, hoping that a few of them might still fit, but it seems Girl #1 has sprouted about a foot in height, almost all of it legs. Even the sundresses bought a size larger at the end-of-season sales last year are no better than tunics now.

So, I headed out to find our beanpole some summer wear. Luckily many stores have already started marking down summer merchandise. I first went to Old Navy and H&M in the Eaton Centre; both had big SALE! signs in the windows and I rejoiced! My procrastination was about to be rewarded.

Old Navy may have had kids’ dresses, but the day I went the children’s section was a mess! Picked over, understocked, and understaffed, with many items misshelved so that it was hard to tell what was on sale and what was not. I couldn’t find anything in my daughter’s size, and when I asked a passing staffer for help, she told me it “wasn’t her section”.

Thoroughly dissatisfied, I headed a few doors down to H&M. There I had the opposite experience: sale racks and individual items were clearly marked, and despite the crowds, when I asked a passing staffer if anything else was marked down she happily directed me to another sale rack hidden in a corner. I found nearly a dozen summer dresses but eventually settled on a half-dozen, including the $10 sale item pictured above.

Bottom line? When shopping seasonal sales, remember to:
1. Ask sales staff if any other merchandise is marked down – sometimes sale items aren’t clearly marked and you might find more bargains

2. Buy up for next year – if you can’t find anything in your kid’s current size, there’s no harm in buying a size or two larger – they’ll grow into it!
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