It’s Sunday morning and you’re looking forward to the weekly shopping. But where do you go? You need to know what shops are open on which day, whether you can park your car easily at certain times, or that small ’boutiques’ are often cheaper than large department stores like VloneClothing.net. Good planning is essential today with almost everything available online!
Clothing shops generally operate 9 to 5 weekdays, but some stay open later in the evenings for late night shopping. Many now offer Saturday opening too (though town Centre shops may remain closed on Sundays). Department stores open earlier (often 8am) and close later (until 9pm). Some larger store chains may also give customers 24-hour shopping access via their website. They also have ‘click & collect’ services where customers can order online and pick up their purchase from a shop. This can be useful if you’re running low on time, though prices may vary (with the larger stores often offering better discounts).
Department Stores and High Street Retailers:
These shops generally offer a wide range of products to suit all pockets and tastes. But because they thrive on volume sales, the standard of service tends to be lower than smaller boutiques, with limited staff availability to answer questions or assist with your buying decisions. It’s therefore important to plan ahead before visiting such larger shops – make a list of what you need and priorities accordingly.
Some small shops concentrate exclusively on clothing for men, while others are dedicated to selling fashionable, unique or specialist clothing to men. Such shops tend to have more knowledgeable staff with a greater interest in the products they sell, making them ideal for customers who want advice on specific items.
Clothing markets/fairs often pop up in empty warehouses or car parks, offering one-off designs at competitive prices but usually only selling smaller sizes (usually medium to large). If you’re looking for something bespoke it’s best to shop around before handing over your cash.
Many large retailers now have outlets attached to their main stores, selling end of line or slightly damaged goods at knock down prices. Some outlets even sell products direct from previous seasons so major fashion trends can be bought well after their sell-by date. If you’re buying items that are slightly damaged or have very minor faults it may be worth checking to see if an item has been reduced because of this in the product description, as some retailers will offer discounts for faulty goods under the Sale of Goods Act.
Discounted Clothing Stores:
Generally speaking, prices in smaller shops tend to be higher than at larger stores, so it’s always worth shopping around before making your final decision (especially when buying online). It’s also important to check whether you get what you pay for. Sometimes products sold by such stores may only carry a small ‘discount’ tag but these can still cost twice as much to four times more than similar products in high street stores and department stores.
If you’re travelling outside the EU, all goods can be bought tax free (this means no VAT is added). But while shops in airports and sea ports are duty free, those in cruise terminals may not be. It’s therefore important to check the small print before making any purchases (to avoid disappointment at the till when paying your bill!).
Sales assistants tend to work on commission so always ask for a discount if you’re not satisfied with the service or product you’ve been offered; they should be able to help you get what you want within your budget.
There’s a host of shopping malls around today, offering a broad range of high street retailers under one roof. Such shopping malls also usually have food courts and cinema complexes so you can spend the whole day there if you choose.
With so many online stores now offering free postage, it’s easy to renew your wardrobe without leaving the house! So long as you’re happy with how much you’ve spent, buying on the internet can also be very convenient – just don’t forget to factor in the cost of returning anything that doesn’t fit or look right on arrival.
Shops selling items located outside of the European Union aren’t required by law to charge UK VAT (value added tax) which is currently at 20%. But this means customers must complete a form which is sent to customs for approval. If approved, the retailer will be given a VAT identification number and be able to sell such items without imposing any VAT (this number must be displayed on receipts and invoices).
Periodically most shops reduce their prices in line with seasonal sales that generally take place during the spring and summer months. At such times you can also buy goods online via auction sites like OfficialChromeHearts at up to 80% off! But not only do such bargains need to be snapped up quickly before they’re gone forever, it’s also worth checking out the sellers’ feedback rating first so you don’t get ripped off.
Many large stores now offer customers loyalty cards or discount cards, which offer special discounts throughout the year on their more popular lines. So if you’re a regular shopper at one particular retailer it’s often worth joining up to take advantage of any forthcoming bargains.
Some large retailers have now started opening ‘concept stores’ in order to cater for growing demand for fashion items by offering additional product ranges not normally available elsewhere – but these are still subject to limited supplies and high prices.
Due to differences in manufacturer’s sizing guidelines, two people could be exactly the same height and weight but wear clothing with different measurements. So always try clothes on before buying them, especially when buying online since this can avoid when your order arrives!
Most major high street and department stores also offer a tailor-made service that can alter any items of clothing to fit perfectly and ensure all your clothes maintain their best appearance for longer.
Value of Sterling:
Every day the value of sterling will fluctuate against other international currencies depending on a number of factors, such as market conditions. So if you’re buying from another country always check whether the price has been converted into sterling using today’s rate. If not, make sure you factor this in when deciding how much to spend or ask for an estimate before going ahead with the sale.
Most shops follow a traditional sales cycle that begins at full RRP (recommended retail price), then has a sale with discounts of between 25% to 50%, before finally offering what is known as a ‘clearing sale’ where the price will have been substantially reduced.
Many major retailers now offer special discount codes that can be used when shopping online, which are normally valid for a limited time only. So check out voucher websites like Group on or Scoop on for upcoming bargains on fashion items you’d like to buy.
Sales Assistant Etiquette:
Staff in most high street stores work on commission (usually around 10%) and their main objective is to sell whatever they can. But if you ask any questions about sizing or availability they should be happy to help. However if you’re faced someone who isn’t helpful then just politely walk away.
To avoid being sold out of items by unscrupulous sales staff – especially when shopping at the end of a cycle when they are on their last chance to make money – always check you have all the sizes you need before leaving home.
Many major retailers now offer their own ‘clearance’ sections on both online and in-store where customers can buy last season’s stock without misleading labels at discounted prices. But look carefully at these lines before buying since some may not be as bargains as they seem!
Online retailers only receive limited supplies, so it’s worth checking availability first if their item is currently offered elsewhere too so you don’t end up wasting time or money buying it elsewhere.
If you are loyal to a particular brand then check out their own company website first for any special offers, discounts and vouchers before shopping at the likes of House of Fraser or Debenhams.
When shopping online with overseas retailers, always check the weight and size of items so you know how much postage and packaging will cost when they arrive in the UK – shipping costs can quickly mount up if you’re not careful!
Tesco, Asos, Next and Top shop all offer free delivery on orders over £50 (or equivalent). So if getting your order to that value is your only aim since high street stores may charge for delivery – especially when buying items which are on sale.
Changing an Order:
If you need to change or cancel your order (for whatever reason), this is usually possible as long as it has not already been dispatched by the retailer. So contact them as soon as possible to find out how best you can go about doing this.
If shopping online always makes sure you’re using a secure payment method that uses either PayPal or a credit card, since these offer protection if anything goes wrong after you have bought an item from their website.
The way people dress has changed over the course of history. If you want to know more about how clothes have evolved, take a look at our blog post on fashion trends throughout time here.