Since we are thrifty around here, it just wouldn’t be right to keep sale secrets from you. If you’re from the US, you’re likely used to seeing “massive markdowns,” “storewide events,” and “everything must go” signs on nearly every major holiday and sometimes (it seems) just for the heck of it. If you expect this abroad, you’ll be sorely disappointed.
For starters, holidays are (obviously) not the same here as in the US. Memorial Day and Fourth of July and even Thanksgiving as Americans know it are just regular ol’ work days here. But beyond that, the Euro crowd seems to like to smash all the sales in to two months per year, January and July.
The January sales offer all things winter: jackets, hats/gloves/scarves, skis, boots, etc. I’m sure you can figure out what July brings.
If you’re used to getting 75% or even 90% off, you may need to drown your sorrows in a venti vanilla latte from Starbucks (yes, following in McD’s world-domination footsteps). While I have seen signs for 70% off, those deals are rare, and it seems that getting 50% off is about as good as you can hope to get.
Two things about the January clearance surprised me. One, the sales lasted for AGES. The signs went up right after Christmas and some are still up today, the 3rd of February (most ended Jan 31 or the Saturday before – everything is closed on Sunday!).
Second, at one department store, I found an extra 20% off already reduced items. A pleasant surprise indeed! We were able to get Doc Sci a much-needed, waterproof, windproof, 3-in-1 jacket (he rides his bike to/from work). A soaked, freezing husband is worse than a wet cat. Trust me.
I ended up with a new ridiculously fat, warm scarf & euro-style hat. I searched high and low for calf-height boots but to no avail. I would’ve bought a new weatherproof jacket myself but I really had to decide… Do I want a new jacket when my old one works but is, just, um, old – or do I want to go somewhere far away during summer holidays?
What would you do? Buy the new jacket which would be used often since walking everywhere rain, snow, or shine is the way or life? Or save those euros and go some where amazing?