Ready, set, shop!
Making the most of those day-after-Christmas sales
From Black Friday to the twelve days leading up to Christmas, shopping weighs as heavy as a fruitcake during the holidays. The day after Christmas however is all about scooping up what you just can’t live without — especially since it’s all on sale.
Instead of rifling through Festivus leftovers, go with a plan and consider splurging on something for yourself because let’s face it. You live in Houston. When are you really going to use that leopard print Snuggie?
Visions of sugar plums are so Christmas Day. Who has time for them? Malls and department stores open early Saturday for those who are eager for post-holiday sales.
Baybrook, Deerbrook, Willowbrook, The Woodlands and First Colony Malls open at 8 a.m. on what is expected to be one of the three strongest shopping days of the season, according to ShopperTrak, a retailing information company. Memorial City Mall turns the lights on at 7 a.m., Houston Premium Outlets opens for business at 8 a.m. and doors open at The Galleria and Katy Mills Mall at 9 a.m. JC Penney is up and going at 5 a.m. and Target is opening at 7 a.m. and Nordstrom is holding the Half-Yearly Sale for Men, Saturday opening at 9 a.m.
While picked over, holiday items and decorations are always a good deal, as are clothing and accessories. And if you don’t need another juicer or the sweater doesn’t fit, there’s no shame in asking for a gift receipt.
The National Retail Federation encourages gift-receivers to hold on to all original packaging and parts, including tags. Shoppers stand a better chance at an exchange if the item hasn’t been taken out of the box, but beware. Some retailers will allow consumers to exchange merchandise without a receipt, but many will only provide merchandise credit for the lowest markdown-price that the item was sold during the holiday season. The week after Christmas is one of the busiest weeks of the retail year, so keep some of that holiday cheer in mind when shopping for and returning items.
Big box stores aren’t the only day-after shopping destination. Boutiques are a best bet for those who want individual attention and deals on splurgy items. Rebecca & Drew boutique owner Lindsay Aronstein says shoppers can still get the thrill of the hunt in a much more civilized environment.
“You can avoid the crowds, get good customer service and great deals,” Aronstein said. “It’s a great time to stock up on classic pieces like shirts that are a wardrobe staple or get that item you have had your eye on.”
Her shop in River Oaks Shopping Center is holding a sale on everything from holiday wear (which is still a good fit for New Year’s Eve) to Mary Nichol’s bags, which will be marked 30 percent off. Other boutiques getting in on the act include Muse, which is taking 30 percent off the entire store and fall racks are marked 50 percent off. M2M Style Lounge and Detour Boutique are offering a buy-one-get-one free promotions Saturday at both stores.
Going big-box or boutique for post-holiday shopping is a matter of personal preference, but regardless of what you choose, plan for deals, especially this year.