Alexandria Column: How To Shop a Sidewalk Sale

Alexandria Column: How To Shop a Sidewalk Sale

From the Old Town Boutique District

Get ready to bargain shop, Alexandria! It is that time of year again, time for the Seventh Annual Alexandria Sidewalk Sale Aug. 13 and 14. That means stores will have the biggest markdowns of the season. More than 60 stores in Old Town and Del Ray participate in this weekend sale and shoppers will find discounts as deep at 70 percent off regular price.

So how do you make the most of this great shopping weekend and effectively shop a sidewalk sale? Here are a few tips to make sure you enjoy all the great deals and great shops in Alexandria.

  • Plan ahead. Log onto the Alexandria Sidewalk Sale Facebook page to get a list of participating stores. You can find everything you need from fashion, home goods, running shoes, pet products to food and anything else you need. Even some of the local hair salons are getting in on the fun by marking down products and gift cards and doing special promotions on services. So make a shopping list, check it twice and get ready to find some great deals.

  • Start Early. The free trolley in Old Town is starting early this weekend at 9 a.m., and so are many of the stores. So get there early to shop the widest selection of inventory. And when you are on your shopping way, check the return policy for sidewalk sale merchandise. Most stores offer either store credit or final sale.

  • Don't rush. Take your time and enjoy the day, parking is free! All metered spots in Old Town are free for the weekend, and in Del Ray it is always free. So take your time and enjoy the day.

  • Look for the yellow balloons. Many of the participating stores will have yellow balloons out if they are participating in the event. So even if there isn’t a table outside on the sidewalk, don’t worry. Many stores are having an "indoor sidewalk sale" where there is air conditioning to beat the heat.

  • Wear comfortable shoes. The great thing about Old Town and Del Ray is that they are walkable neighborhoods. So make sure you wear you comfortable shoes so you can make it all the way up and down King Street or Mount Vernon Avenue, and don’t forget about the side streets where many of our great shops are tucked away.

  • Don’t be discouraged by the rain. Come rain or shine this sale is happening. So if mother nature isn’t on our side, don’t worry, we will all have the same planned markdowns inside — the stores just might be a little more crowded.

  • Stay Late. Although the early bird catches the worm, the late birds can catch some deals too. Arriving early will provide the largest selection of merchandise, but if wait until the end of the day, you might even score some deeper discounts from boutiques trying to move inventory. In addition, some stores put merchandise out throughout the day, keeping merchandise "fresh." Once you shop all the great deals make sure you check out one of our great restaurants. We are never short on places to eat, grab a cup of coffee or a cocktail after a day of exploring.