It’s the end of the year, which means it’s time for new resolutions, new goals, new wardrobe?
With January comes fresh opportunities to spice up your fashion sense in the best (cheapest) way possible. This all sounds great, but where exactly do you go? The World is quite a large place, so we’ve selected the ultimate shopping experiences for the traveller within you.
Choose your city, buy your ticket, and welcome your newies to their forever home.
First stop, Asia!
Tips: Shop the last week! Check for Fukubukuros!
Japan, and Tokyo specifically is known for incredible fashion, and high prices a like. There are however a few sweet spots in a year where prices plummet to the depths of the ocean! Tourists and locals start queueing outside their favourite shops from day 1 of the sales and rightly so. We, however, have the inside scoop for you; Wait off for as long as you can!
The sales are split into 3 distinct phases starting in early January:
The initial sale – The start of silly season, and the beginnings of the masses. Unless you have a particular item in mind, that might sell-out, we suggest staying clear.
The clearance sale – Phase 2, where things finally get interesting. This is where opportunity cost on availablility vs. price comes into play. The prices are constantly dropping, but can you really miss out?
The final closing sale – The end of January means absolute madness! This is your time to strike. Prices like you have never seen them before.
An interesting aspect to the January sales are the lucky bags (known as Fukubukuro), which have numerous shopping -favourites all in one package at an incredibly low price. Keep your eyes peeled for these!
Our second destination is the diamond of Middle East!:
Tip: Shop with family!
In this desert oasis, nothing is ever done small. The January sales are such an integral part of the shopping experience in Dubai, they have turned it into a festival. The entire city becomes, not only a shopping haven, but a playground for people of all ages.
An experience in every sense of the word; shoppers from across the globe stream in to be a part of the extravaganza that is the Dubai Shopping Festival.
The official website (yes, they have an official website for their January Sales) promises “… a shoppers paradise, kids Disneyland, art lovers horizon and food fiesta for the foodies”. If that’s not a good enough reason to get the whole family over we don’t know what is.
Dubai, here we come!
Can we talk shopping without the USA? Never!:
Tip: Shop the first day of January!
The word on the street for January sales in the Big Apple, is that although January is a month long sale, the New Year’s day sales are where it’s at. This does however mean, that if you’re a bit ‘tired’ from the festivities of New Year’s eve, then you might put your head down to rest, and wake up with all the good deals sold out.
Conveniently, the much spoken about venues for shopping are close to the much spoken about venues for New Year’s eve celebrations:
34th street – Known by tourists as the street housing the Empire State Building, known to locals as the street housing some of the best shopping deals in the city.
Broadway – Not just a place to hone your acting skills, but also a place to find the deal of the century, if you look hard enough.
Times Square – Easily one of the most popular tourist destinations in New York, and for good reason. A place where fashion and tourism collide in the most extravagant way.
A very specific guide for New York, but with so much to see and do in the city, perhaps we need specifics this time round. And much like Frank Sinatra, I too “… want to be a part of it, New York New York”.
Now, it’s time to conquer Europe!:
Tip: Heaven for design addicts!
It’s time to get a nice early start on your post-Christmas shopping experience, as the ‘January Sales’ in London get underway as early as the 26th of December. Our suggestion for this city is to stick to bargain hunting in the fashion industry, as the locals tend to go crazy for the deals found at department stores (a shop selling almost anything!), and who doesn’t want a fresh wardrobe full of designer gear anyways?
Our pick of the season? King’s Road of course. Once a private road used exclusively by King Charles II, this street has become synonymous with the word luxury. Designer fragrances, designer bedding, designer clothes, designer shoes, designer… desi… des. You get the point! For just short of a month, everything is ‘within your price range’. DO NOT MISS OUT. I repeat. DO NOT MISS OUT!
A few tips from the professionals are to make sure you plan your travelling times properly. The bus and train schedules do change over the festive period, making it easy to get caught napping.
Tip: Shop at outlets!
Welcome to January in Italy, a month (or two in some cases) dedicated to sales in such a way, that there are laws governing them. Saldi, as the month is known, is Italian for sale, and will quickly become your most used word of all time, when wondering the streets of Milan.
Before diving into the ‘where to shop’, let’s talk about the laws:
The word Saldi by law, means any items on sale from the outgoing seasons range. This means any items from the incoming range will not be in the sales section, as well as any much older stock.
This is important to remember, as sometimes shop owners will try sneak a 70% discount into the sales section, from ranges that are very old. It does also mean that you’ll have to be diligent in knowing what you want before hand – but let’s be honest – 70% discount on anything is a decent deal.
As for the where, we think the fashion outlet stores are what you’re looking for. Different to ordinary outlet stores, Milan is the homeland of fashion, and the outlet stores are beautiful mazes of designer threads. With shuttles running from the city centre to the main outlets in surrounding areas, you are sorted for the where, and now the how, all you have to do is make sure you’re there!
Where to next?
Seoul, Buenos Aires: Visa Required
Hong Kong: Visa Not Required
January is known as a time for sales across the World. The five cities mentioned above are certainly our pick of the bunch, but there are a few close contenders. Seoul hosts an amazing period of sales in the Grand Sale Festival time. Hong Kong uses the build up to the Chinese New Year to lift the spirits of the local people with 50% or more sales. Buenos Aires has some deals that’ll blow your mind (if you can brave the January heat!).
There are bargains out there for anyone, and everyone. You just need to find them!
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