Yesterday it seemed as if everyone returned to the city to check it out and take advantage of the after-Christmas sales and movie or theatre matinees. The crowds on the high street were incredible! Three things I wanted to do: have lunch at Thai Square – the popular Thai restaurant close to Trafalgar Square, go to John Lewis store on Oxford Street and to pick up some ingredients at the Japan Centre for a favourite Japanese dish.
At Thai Square, food and company were great. I even ran into someone I know – fancy that in a big city of about 12 million or so people!
After lunch, I went to Oxford Street to check something out at John Lewis. Wow! the pavements were absolutely choc-a-bloc with people – shoppers! and was so glad I could get away from there as soon as I could. It was kind of exciting in a weird sort of way.
My second last stop was at The London Picture Centre, to collect a painting. This painting caught my eye when I first walked into this gallery. I think it called me name when I walked in…but beauty as they say is in the eye of the beholder.
My last stop was the Japan Centre on Lower Regent Street, down from Piccadilly Circus, to collect some ingredients I needed for a Japanese dish.
On the way home, as I reflected on my afternoon in London, I figured out a couple of things which are so mundane they seemed unimportant but I reckon food for thought nonetheless. These are my shopping tips for post-Christmas or New Year sales.
- If you wanted to take advantage of the post-Christmas or New Year sales at the shops along Oxford Street and Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Street, go during the week – there are less people to jostle your way through. The other option is to be standing outside the store when it opens and be the first in.
- Know what it is you really want to buy and where to get it in the shop.
- If there are more than one item you are interested in, you need to give yourself at least 2 hours. Be mindful of queues outside the fitting rooms, and the sales assistant who has to check the stock shelves for your correct size while you wait.
- When in a hurry enlist the help of a sales assistant to help you find matching tops to your long pants, find your correct size or match the colours that go well wth your complexion.
- If the store you are in doesn’t have the item in stock ask the sales assistant to check with their other branches or stores nearby which carry the same brand or label.
- Remember, most stores have a return policy so if in a hurry, buy the garment and try it at home. Ensure the price tag is still on and no marks on the item. Return it if not happy for a reimbursement or exchange it with another item of the same quality and price.
- Check sales items carefully for any marks, tears or a missing button(s) etc.
- If you like something you’ve seen and know in your heart of hearts that you must have it, go ahead and buy it. Guaranteed it wont be there when you go back in a month’s time. In some cases the store would have sold out on your size, colour or style.
Enjoy the festive season and happy shopping.