Retail sales might be down after two (surprising) months of gains, but bargain big-box stores are still seeing a profit—Wal-Mart’s doing just fine. Saks Fifth Avenue? Not so much.
Though the downwards death spiral of the economy might be forcing us to conserve, old habits die hard: People still want to shop—we’re just shopping less and looking harder for bargains.
That’s where services and websites such as DailyCandy.com and Gilt.com are coming in handy. Gilt—an invite-only website that offers weekly sample sales at extraordinary prices from luxury lines such as Marc Jacobs, Alexander McQueen and Christian Louboutin—offers a simple way to purchase your favorite name brands without the added guilt or ever leaving your sofa. (Though, it must be said, thanks to its growing popularity, you’ve got to have a lightning-fast Internet connection in order to snatch up what you want.)
DailyCandy takes another direction, sending out e-mails with special discount codes and bargains for various online retailers.
But some of the very best steals are at actual sample sales—and unfortunately, not too many of those come our way out here in Orange County.
The Warehouse Sale takes care of all that—their sale comes to you.
“Basically, in Los Angeles and New York, there’s tons of sample sales. We just wanted to take it a step further and travel with it,” explains the Warehouse Sale vice president Kenneth Atman. “Cities like Columbus don’t see things like this often, so we bring it to them and have a one- or two-day sale.”
The Warehouse Sale is exactly what it sounds like: A giant traveling warehouse showcasing for your perusal more than 20,000 items for 65 percent to 70 percent off their original retail value. Though the sale specializes in premium denim, they also carry other dresses, jackets and accessories.
Labels available include all your Orange County favorites: True Religion, 7 for All Mankind, Monarchy, Citizens of Humanity, Frankie B., J. Brand and, yes, Christian Audigier and Ed Hardy.
Though even bargain shoppers and sample sales are feeling the pain of the economy, “There’s an increase in attendance because more people are looking for a deal, it’s just that the buying power is no longer there,” Atman explains. “A few years ago, the average person would buy five, six jeans, but now, it’s probably just one or two and a T-shirt.”
The Warehouse Sale takes place this weekend at the OC Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa—just be sure to RSVP at www.thewarehousesale.com to avoid the $5 entrance fee.
When asked if he had any tips to share with those willing to brave the crowds for some bargains, Atman suggests the usual sample-sale combat tips: Grab everything a couple of sizes up and a couple of sizes down. And once you’ve figured that out?
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“Just get back on the floor and pick up some more!” Atman says with a laugh. “The key is to try on as much as you can.”
The Warehouse Sale at the OC Fair & Event Center, Bldg. 14, 88 Fair Dr., Costa Mesa; www.thewarehousesale.com. Sat.-Sun., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. $5 without RSVP. Mention OC Weekly when you check out at their cashier and receive 10 percent off your total purchase.