Everyone loves a bargain and the post-Christmas and end of season sales see thousands of people hot footing it to their local high streets in the hope of finding a bargain among the sale rails. Stores have a constant need to shift out stock which is not selling in order to make room for new lines. Stores have always had clearance sections or special outlet stores, and in a few locations across the country there are outlet villages offering a wide range of different stores, all selling reduced fashion, homewares and accessories.
Type of Goods Sold
The sorts of goods sold at outlet categories fall into two main categories; previous seasons’ stock and seconds. Once the sales are over in the regular stores, the shops will ship the stock off to the outlet village store where it will be reduced further. This often means that the outlet stores have out of season stock, so in July the shops will be full of winter jackets and boots, and in winter there will be a huge choice of floaty summer dresses. Seconds are items which have a small flaw in them and are not good enough to be sold in the main stores. The flaw may be something as minor as a tiny bubble in a crystal vase or mismatching buttons on a suit, and most stores will be happy to tell you why something is marked as a second.
As in the regular sales, the items which sell first are the ones which fit the most people. Women who are a size 12 or 14 and wear a size 6 shoe may struggle to find something to fit them, but if you are fortunate enough to be a tiny size 6 with a size 3 foot, there will be a far larger choice. With children’s clothing, you may have a wide choice of Petit Bateau baby clothes in newborn sizes, but find far less for older children. Stores are continuously replenishing their stock, so speak to the staff in your favourite brands to find out when delivery day is and try to visit shortly after that for your best chance of finding a bargain.
Refunds and Returns
The other way in which clearance stores vary from the regular high street outlets is that they may be stricter in their returns and refunds policy. Legally, stores only have to give a refund if goods are faulty, so if you get home and find the Petit Bateau baby clothes don’t fit your child the store may only give vouchers to buy something else rather than a refund. All stores will advertise their policies so check carefully before buying.
Many of the larger shopping visits such as Cheshire Oaks near Liverpool and Bicester Village in Oxfordshire are large enough to merit a full day out, and organised trips are run from major cities. There are restaurants and coffee shops on site if you need a break from the shopping, and even play areas to keep the little ones entertained while their parents bargain hunt.
- Photograph by Gohsuke Takama (via Flickr) [CC BY 2.0]
For a great selection of the petit bateau baby range head to Scarlet Sky’s online store.