Save yourself as sale shoppers show no mercy

Doncaster Free Press reporter Kate Mason.  Picture: Liz Mockler D1594LM
Doncaster Free Press reporter Kate Mason. Picture: Liz Mockler D1594LM

sale shopping is not for the faint hearted but it is a skill I have perfected over the years in my quest to bag a bargain.

But, and this pains me to admit, even I have been defeated by the New Year sales this time around.

I am usually there at the front of the rails clutching my Christmas money ready to elbow anyone who comes between me and my new clothes but this year it was carnage.

Queues stretching out the doors and people physically snatching coat hangers from your grasp - the aisles were like battlefields and whilst at one time I’d be on the frontline ready for action I found myself running for cover.

It was as though people had gone mad even fighting over garments that were five sizes too small - but who cares if it fits when there’s 70 per cent off?

As a result my mission to get a coat in the sales has had to be put on hold as I feared I may get more than I bargained for by loosing my rag with an over zealous sale shopper.

Instead I have resorted to looking at the remaining sale items still from the safety of my computer and concluded that if you’re a size 6 or 26 you can get yourself kitted out but those in between need not bother.

But I did take comfort from a recent story I read accusing retailers of dramatically overplaying discount claims to entice unsuspecting bargain hunters like myself.

A survey found that many high street big hitters had adopted a scrooge like mentality when it came to selling off their stock.

For instance in what was billed as the ‘biggest ever half price sale’ at Debenhams, a mere 21 of 121 pairs of shoes - 17 per cent - were discounted, and only 25 per cent of bags.

Whilst Marks and Spencers shoppers only had 20 of 126 shoes cut by 50 per cent or more, and just 27 per cent of bags and 46 per cent of dresses were half price.

Meanwhile at John Lewis, which also advertised up to 50 per cent off, there were slightly more items at 30 per cent off.

As always the Next sale which generally offered at least 50 per cent off all the items in the categories was a hit with shoppers who had turned out in the early hours to wait for the doors to open. There is no suggestion retailers haven’t complied with advertising rules or done anything wrong but it seems they have simply being a little more savvy than shoppers such as myself this time around.