Snow way! The weather's impact on weekend sales
Retailers are offering 80% off for Presidents Day, but only on select items.
Bad weather before a big holiday shopping weekend can be a boon for consumers -- if you can overcome the shopping craze brought on by cabin fever and smartly assess deals.
The Presidents Day and Valentine's Day sales in this week's ads were planned months in advance, which could leave stores with an unexpected surplus if shoppers stay away because of weather issues. "Between the flooding and the rain on the West Coast, and the snow on the East Coast and Mid-Atlantic, this is going to be a disaster for retailers," says Randy Allen, an associate dean for Cornell University's Johnson Graduate School of Management. "People are still going to be digging out, and may not make it in for those store sales."
Consumers who were hoping to snag a great deal on furniture or winter outerwear (the two traditional Presidents Day sales) may want to switch their focus online this weekend, says Kathy Grannis, a spokeswoman for the National Retail Federation, an industry group. Stores are likely to come up with last-minute Web and e-mail promotions to catch the attention of housebound shoppers and boost sales.
Whether you're stuck inside or just able to leave after a few snowed-in days, evaluate an offer carefully before you pull out the plastic. Retailers are betting that consumers will want to spend after being cooped up, so self-control is the order of the day. (I'm home writing this as New York City gets buried under 18 inches of snow, and have already had to hide my credit cards to prevent an online shopping spree. My advice: Stick them in a bag of water and put that in your freezer. If you want to buy something badly enough to defrost them, you'll have a good long while to think about whether you really need or want the item in question.)
We’re featuring valuable coupons and sales each Friday to help you spend less on the items you buy. Found a deal we missed -- or looking for a better price on a specific item? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or send me a tweet @kellibgrant.
Chelsea Premium Outlets. Through Feb. 15, get extra discounts and extended shopping hours at select outlet centers in the national chain. For example, the Ann Taylor Factory Store at the Edinburgh Premium Outlets in Edinburgh, Ind., is offering an extra 40% off sale prices through Feb. 15. Through Feb. 22, the Brooks Brothers Factory Outlet at the Folsom Premium Outlets in Folsom, Calif., is discounting fall and winter clearance items by another 70%, and basics and new arrivals by another 25%.
But before you hit the outlet mall, do your homework to make sure you're getting the best deal. Many outlet discounts aren't as deep as they initially seem.
Stage Stores. The Stage family of department store chains -- Bealls, Goody's, Palais Royal, Peebles and Stage -- is offering sales this weekend of 25% to 50% off storewide, with up to 75% off red-ticket clearance items. Printout coupons for Bealls, Palais Royal or Stage, or Goody's, Peebles or Stage offer an extra 20% on any single item through Feb. 15. You can print out multiples and use up to two on each day of the sale. (Excludes fragrance, cosmetics, formalwear rental and gift cards, but includes sale and clearance items in other categories.)
Delia's and Alloy. The sister teen clothing retailers are offering up to 80% off on sweaters, outerwear and other clothing and accessories through February. Add to your discount with Alloy code ALL1575 at checkout to save 15% on orders of $75 or more, or code ALBAFF to get free shipping. At Delia's, use code DEL1575 at checkout to save 15% on orders of $75 or more, or code CCFS25D to get free shipping.
Each store allows you to use only one code per order, so crunch the numbers to figure out which offers better savings.
J.C. Penney. During the J.C. Penney Presidents Day sale through Feb. 15, save 40% to 60% on select furniture and mattresses.
Select Comfort. Save 50% on select Sleep Number beds during the Select Comfort Final Closeout sale through Feb. 21. Pillows are on sale for 20% to 50% off. New customers can get an added discount via a $50 gift card (good on a purchase of $100 or more) by registering for a free DVD about the mattress system.
Sears. Through Feb. 18, get 50% off all mattresses in Sears stores. Take an extra 10% off Sealy, Serta, Sears-O-Pedic and Stearnes & Foster mattresses (with a few exclusions) priced at $499 or more. A mail-in rebate covers delivery of the new mattress and haul-away of the old one. Mattress and foundation purchases of $499 or more are also eligible for a free bed frame.
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