How to steal the deal
If it’s January, you’ve got to be at the sales. One of the best upshots of India’s new economy is the wonderful time of seasonal sales. Like the rest of the world, we go on a massive discount each July and January, but there’s also the pre-Diwali season which is bonanza time for jewellery, automobiles and electricals.
January is fashion’s favourite season. July has our wardrobes updated from our summer hols. But
January heralds a new spring and a haute summer.
The high-street shops are swathed with giant red banners screaming the four-letter word. The designer shops are especially crowded: when else can you buy a Tarun Tahiliani sari for Rs 15,000? Or a Lecoanet Hemant skirt for Rs 700? The Ensemble sale, the big daddy of them all, is currently on and divas of all sorts and shapes are lined up in the city’s favourite designer boutique for their dose of a 70 per cent off. The luxury houses are teeming with shoppers in search of a half-price. Even men can barely miss this: Gucci loafers for Rs 10,000, Ferragamo ties for five.
I’ve had a long-held disdain for discounts. They’ve always meant old stock, torn seams or stained collars for me.
Moreover, the pushing and shoving take the joy out of the purchase. Much bliss in retail therapy is acquired from the ambience at the boutiques, the cold whiff of the air-con, the fussing-over shop girl, the Champagne/ coffee/ coconut water that you are always offered. Stack that up against pushy shoppers with giant handbags, poky elbows and very bad manners—and you get the picture.
But sales these days are hard to resist, even for the snobbiest among us. For starters, the markdowns are genuine, it isn’t just clearing out last-season’s stock for slightly less. Rips and tears are always left behind on the racks, so fewer merchandisers are bothering with putting them on display. And with so much new money hanging off our arms (who doesn’t own a Louis Vuitton today?), an older acquisition seems so much classier.
A few friends and I have now mastered shopping the sales. One of my clever pals picks up
several things she likes and leaves them in the men’s section of the store until she makes up her mind. I plead guilty for only queuing up at the cashier at the men’s section; the lines are still smaller and quicker.
Another friend has made friends with the staff at Zara and Vero Moda, so she can avail of their staff discount. Then there’s also Facebook: ‘like’ a store’s online page and help yourself to their ‘off’ first.
A girl in image management confides that big purses and high heels deter other customers from coming within your personal space (“It sounds silly, but it absolutely intimidates others,” she swears).
The last three days of the sale are a merchandises’s secret: this is when the crowd is at its thinnest, and the last stocks arrive on the shelves.
Moreover, Netaporter.com has spoilt all of us. If you are a regular, you know exactly how to traverse this genius online haven. You can shop by designer, price and even colour (the hue of the year is emerald green, by the way). Their bi-annual discounts just ended last weekend, which is why it’s safe to mention them this week.
Since it’s January, everyone is competition.