Friday, June 22, 2007

Swarm of shoppers

Today was the first day of the Athleta warehouse sale in Petaluma. After our 6am bootcamp, Kimberley and I drove up there to get breakfast and wait for the doors to open at 9am. The line wrapped around the building and then some. The staff handed out plastic garbage bags to all of us in line.

We definitely had "rookie" stamped across our foreheads. The experienced shoppers were totally prepared. In line most of the women wore flipflops, so you don't have to worry about untying/tying shoes, and skirts, so in a pinch, you could just try on pants without having to go to the dressing room. Notes for next year.

Once inside, the place was a madhouse. Imagine women running around with garbage bags stuffing them full of clothes, to be tried on after filling up the bags. Though everyone I encountered was super friendly, I got the feeling that we were all only one step away from crawling over each other to get to whatever coveted piece of clothing just beyond our reach.

The changing room (one big room, three small mirrors) was a nightmare. Soon, even women without skirts were trying on pants anywhere they could find a place to set down their stuff without being trampled on.

In the line to check out, there was a nice camaraderie between all us shoppers. Since most people got separated from their shopping buddies, we relied on our new-found friends in line to give the approval or disapproval on questionable items.

As I waited outside for Kimberley to check-out, it was interesting to see the women's reactions upon leaving the building. Most shouted out to their friends waiting there, "Only $XX, and look at my bags!" proudly holding up 2-3 bags of goods.

Me? I came away a winner too. 1 parka ($35), 1 leather jacket ($35), 1 pair of ski pants ($25), 2 hoodies ($15 each) and a pair of black pants, I think for $10.

I can't wait for next year! I'll be there early again, prepared with flip flops and a skirt.

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