Yesterday I took the opportunity of going to the mall for Christmas shopping. I save money every month just so my boys can have a nice Christmas morning, so I was excited. I hadn’t been in the mall in a very long time and the whole place just depressed me. I was in the wrong place to shop for my boys!
Don’t get me wrong. I love malls. I used to be a manager for several Babbage’s in many different malls in the Phoenix area in the early 90s and I used to just love working there. The selection of stores was amazing. Malls nowadays though are… hmmm… different. They all compete for the same demographic, seems like. Girls/Women.
Gone are all the Hallmark Stores, Bookstores, Toy Stores, CD/Music stores, Video Stores, malls are now the land of clothes. Clothes, clothes, clothes and more clothes, with a couple of shoes and jewelry stores thrown in for good measure along with Hello Kitty stuff. If you’re lucky there is a salon and a nail place. And… that’s it. Which would be fine and dandy if I had a daughter or I was shopping for myself. But I am not.
There was one store that I could say was for my boys though and survived the clothes store avalanche. GameStop. GameStop is basically my old stomping grounds of today. In the mid-90s, just before I quit (which was a good move or I would have gotten laid off a few months later), Babbage’s merged with Software Etc, which was then purchased by Barnes & Noble and renamed EB games (yes, “EB”, which is pretty ironic if you ask me) and then acquired by GameStop.
Still, one whole store for my boys in the entire mall? Good gosh. I was looking for clothes for Connor, perhaps a jacket, and the selection of clothes in Old Navy or even JC Penney for boys was just pathetic. Especially compared to the “girls” counterpart. I was even baffled in Macy’s. Hmmm… this is IT? I mean… Target has a better selection for boy’s clothes than even Dillard’s or Sears! What’s going on here?
It’s no wonder the likes of Target & WalMart are booming while malls are dwindling. When you are not catering to half of the population, things will go south. I, of course am a Target girl, and now, more than ever, I understand why I became “that girl”. Target has everything. It has everything the mall doesn’t. I grab my “Latte” as I walk in my SuperTarget in Palmdale and look around, sometimes for up to 4 hours. I do my grocery shopping, check out the sales, and since I worked at Target for 4 years, I know a lot of tricks of the trade.
I know, for example, how they have to completely restock the store every season, which means they “have” to discount stuff at the end of each season for no other reason then it’s been in the store more than 4 months. This includes food. So, I know it’s not discounted because it’s bad, it just has to “go”.
I also know how to save big bucks. I love how they discount their meats if they are close to their expiration date. I freeze the stuff when I get home. No problem.
I use Cartwheel, and I combine Target coupons with Manufacturer’s Coupons. You can use all three on a single item! I use my Target CheckCard for an extra 5% off my entire shopping trip, I use Target Mobile Coupons, and I also use re-usable shopping bags, which they give me 5c credit for each. It all adds up.
I also am taking advantage of their Pharmacy Rewards until the end of the year. For every 5 prescriptions filled I get an extra 5% off my entire shopping trip. I get at least one of these per month since we have so many prescriptions. I was told Target Pharmacies have merged with CVS Pharmacies though and the Target rewards end on Dec 31. Well, boo.
“I went to Target and didn’t find anything” – No one ever.
Here’s more Tips:
So… I know where I am doing my holiday shopping. If it’s not at Target, it’s online. Like… Amazon or something. Sorry Mall!!!
Happy shopping everyone!
Love & Light,