The big event that every good fashionista waits for: The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale! It begins nationwide on Friday, July 20, and lasts through Sunday, Aug. 5.
Since the ‘60’s, fashionistas have flocked to Nordstrom for their annual Anniversary Sale, buying next season’s styles at 30% off. There are tips and tricks to getting the best deals and we found this wonderful article to share with you on the subject:
How to maneuver the legendary
Nordstrom Anniversary Sale
By Meredeth McMahon
The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is on the horizon, and there are still many folks who want to know: “What’s the big deal, anyway?” The Anniversary Sale is rather unorthodox. Nordstrom brings in all new fall and winter merchandise and marks it down before the season starts. After the sale, the remaining merchandise is raised to regular retail prices. The reason this sale is my favorite is because there are full size runs and colors available in each item at the sale price. I also know that for those of us in the Northwest, we get the most use out of our fall/winter wardrobe, so the price-per wear-ratio is excellent.
This unusual approach to a sale originated in the 1940s with Best Apparel and was designed to increase sales in the “dog days” of summer. Nordstrom acquired Best Apparel in the 1960s and decided to expand the scope of the sale, which now includes all store departments. Apparently that was a savvy business decision, because the first day of the Anniversary Sale is one of Nordstrom’s biggest single day revenue generators of the year. Nordstrom has only three sales per year, and this is by far their biggest.
I worked at Nordstrom on and off throughout college and I always found the sight of tens of thousands of pieces of new merchandise being put out in the dark of night impressive. There were always big store “pep rallies” before the first day of the Anniversary Sale. I remember my first Anniversary Sale at the flagship store in downtown Seattle: Blake Nordstrom (at the time the store manager) made a very inspiring speech. The next day I hadn’t really sold very much and went home crying because I felt like such a chump: I had let the team down. I pulled it together that night and my sales commissions averaged $75/hour for the next three days. Not bad for a 19-year-old college student in the late 1980s.
Last year, the downtown Seattle store was a bustling hive of “shopper bees” by 8 a.m. on the first day of the sale. The lines for the dressing rooms can be more than an hour long on the first two days, but people say it is worth it because there are some items that are purchased only for the sale and once they are gone, that’s it. So if you do brave the first days, leave extra time for shopping.
Another method for making the most of your time and the sale is to grab and pay. Just grab the items you are interested in and buy them. Find a salesperson who is willing to help you and get their card. You can always exchange for the correct size and color later. If this is an item that Nordstrom carries year round, they will likely get more in after the sale. I especially use this method for bras and men’s Smartcare shirts. Last year the Le Mystere bras that Nordstrom always carries were $24 off the regular price. I didn’t worry that my size wasn’t readily available. I just grabbed a couple (kept the tags and receipts) and exchanged them a month or so later when they got more sizes in. If it isn’t an item they normally carry, have a salesperson try to find them for you in the correct size. They can print out a list of stores that carry the right size and colors. Note that the salespeople are not allowed to actually contact other stores on your behalf until a few days into the sale.
If you are worried that they might run out of your item, you can call other stores yourself and have it shipped to your home for $8.95. If you want to try to find the item yourself, I would recommend calling first thing in the morning (try one half hour before store opens), ask for the appropriate department, and be as kind and respectful as possible to the harried salesperson on the other end of the line. If they say they can’t help you, kindly ask for someone who can (they will make commission off your sale if it is shipped to your home).
I tell my clients to have a look at their closet and make a list of items before they head out shopping. Concentrate on these items first and then look for fun items to fill in after you have snagged your great wardrobe basics at sale prices.
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Meredeth McMahon is a Seattle-based personal-image consultant who writes a regular blog about health, fashion, and attitude. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale isn’t all about clothes though… Your favorite brands of cosmetics and makeup want to get in on the action too! They create jumbo sizes, unique packaging, exclusive color collections and great gifts with purchase that are only available at Nordstrom for a limited time. True beauty addicts can also go online to nordstrom.com or stop into Nordstrom stores now to pre-order their favorite items before the sale starts and they quickly sell out.
Here are some things to keep your eyes peeled for:
Philosophy created jumbo sized versions of four of their best-selling products including: Amazing Grace, Purity and Hope in a Jar.
Philosophy ‘amazing grace’ perfumed firming body emulsion
Philosophy ‘amazing grace’ shower gel
Philosophy ‘purity made simple’ one step facial cleanser
Philosophy ‘hope in a jar’ moisturizer
With this jumbo version of Kiehl’s cult-favorite all-over body moisturizer, you are sure to not run out of stock until next anniversary sale rolls around.
Kiehl’s Creme de Corps with Pump (Nordstrom Exclusive)
Metallic Makeup Bags
This metallic makeup bag comes jam packed with all of the best products in the Shu Uemura line including their eye lash curler which is known far and wide for being the best on the market.
shu uemura ‘Best of shu uemura’ Set (Nordstrom Exclusive)
Packaged in an adorable double pocket metallic makeup bag, the Laura Mercier Exclusive Shimmer collection is perfect for the gal who is on the go, providing her with all the necessary tools for touch ups.
Laura Mercier Exclusive Shimmer Collection (Nordstrom Exclusive)
Keeping with tradition, MAC designed an exclusive color collection for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale this year which you can’t even buy in MAC Pro stores. The collection includes gorgeous palettes, makeup bags and brushes to name a few.
This luxurious color collection from Chanel includes a stunning shade of rose that adds the perfect flush to cheeks, lips and nails.
Gifts With Purchase
Be rewarded for any Estée Lauder purchase during the Anniversary Sale with this adorable gift of three suede bags containing an assortment of mini products.
This adorable trio of pink makeup bags varying in size are interlocked by a small wrist strap featuring a “D” charm. The perfect combination for stowing your beauty products when you are on the go!