I crazily awoke at 4:30AM today, rushed to put my clothes on and hurried out the door in time for the 5AM Next sale. There was a minor hiccup where I spent a good three minutes trying to take the hand brake off, failed, and went back inside the house to shake DH awake to resolve the issue. He wearily stepped outside in his boxers to take the hand brake off with ease, illustrating how weak I really am.
I spent a grand total of £187.50 on two suit blazers, four suit trousers, two shirts and a packet of 6 socks for DH, as well as two shorts and a t-shirt for DS. A bargain to say the least! I was a little disappointed by the kids range, I had intended to buy a lot more for DS but there were a lack of 18-24 months and 2-3 years items. I have not purchased anything for myself as personally I am not a big fan of Next for women, unless it is office wear. The Next sale is a selfless venture of mine for my boys. Though it is a shame I have to return the suits and shirts; I stupidly misheard DH’s shirt size when I asked him yesterday and have bought completely the wrong sizes. D’oh.
Over the years I obsessively await the Next sale in hope of bagging a bargain. As said in my previous post, I am tremendously bitter to spend more than I feel an item is worth, especially when I know the price will be halved in a couple of months. I like to think I have perfected my Next sale strategy, as that is exactly what it is, a sort of military plan in action. It is impossible to arrive at the doors intending to play it by ear; you either end up with five plastic bags full of clothes you do not need, sitting on a sofa in Homewear and draping all your unwanted items over the armrest, or you have had a wasted journey and come home empty-handed.
To avoid all the unnecessary stress of a Next sale, I have compiled a list of ‘Must-Do’s’ to keep you prepared:
1. Make a list of priority items and ensure you have the necessary sizes written down for each member of your family.
2. Do consider clothing for the long-term, not only clothes you need right now. During sale season, I often buy DS’ clothes well in advance to avoid ridiculously overpriced items. It is not worth buying children’s clothing at extortionate RRP prices when they are only worn for a few months.
3. When planning your priority list, bear in mind the specific items that sell out first (men’s suits, boxers and socks, women’s pyjamas, all of Kidswear).
4. Plan to arrive as soon as possible to be one of the first customers through the doors. Next advertise their opening time as 5AM, but they can open earlier if there are enough people waiting.
5. Sharpen your elbows. At 5AM anything goes, if you are not prepared you will most probably get run over by a violent mother with a pram.
6. Note to mothers and wives – Do not bring your children or husband. This is not a playground, nor is this a family affair. There are often fathers standing in the corner, clutching an array of bags bursting, with their children rubbing their eyes and wondering what they did to deserve this.
7. Bringing a friend, or someone who is not male and is childless, may be handy in splitting the priority list.
8. Do not dilly-dally, that is time wasting. The queue for the tills are usually huge at around 6AM, an hour after the store has opened, as that is generally how long it takes to thoroughly raid the rails of each department. 40 minutes is around the maximum time before the queues start building, so you should consider purchasing the items you have already picked up and neglect any further impulses.
9. Check out the tills in the Mens department first as they are usually empty. The second option is Homewear, but if that fails, just settle. It is just not worth venturing to Ladieswear or Kidswear.
10. Make sure you check your receipt as sometimes the discounts are not applied. This can be easily missed if you are bulk buying.
Happy shopping :)