Going wild in the aisles

Have your shopping habits changed through out lockdown? With high street stores re-opening this week, will you be rushing to your favourite clothing stores?

Shoppers around the country are expected to descend on retail outlets like moths to a 100 W light bulb now they are re-opening. This will come as a relief to both the economy and customers. Shopping for “non-essential” items will become a luxury, with cosmetics and clothes high on the retail hit-list.   

In this blog Models Direct look at some shopping tips that could save you money, as well as relieving stress associated with battling with crowds of other bargain-grabbing customers and help you stay safe at the same time.

  • When food shopping, follow the golden rule: don’t shop on an empty stomach! If you’re “just browsing” the confectionery, crisps and biscuits aisle in a supermarket, you might be shocked to discover how many packets you’ve unintentionally bought. This is because your brain links to hunger, creating an impulse to buy food – a lot of which will be luxury items or treats. Shop on a full stomach and you’ll buy only essential foods.   
  • Keep your credit card at back of your wallet. This is a wonderful money-saving tip. Bring money that you’ll use only, so when you open your wallet you won’t see your credit card and be tempted to buy more items than you need. It’s too easy to buy surplus items and pay on credit, so putting your Visa card out of sight helps to stick to a shopping budget.   
  • Don’t be tempted with “till buys”. Small items like confectionery , batteries and reduced booze are often located next to the tills. This is because customers often make impulse buys whilst waiting in the queue – mainly because they’re bored. Adding a couple of innocuous items to your shopping may not feel like a major shopping mistake, but it all adds up. Usually, you don’t even need these items, so don’t crave in to temptation!
  • Use iPhone apps. Apps can be used to negotiate prices with the stores – not really suitable in supermarkets, but it’s quite effective in clothes and electronics stores  Sometimes, stores will match prices quoted on apps. A recent documentary about Amazon revealed some chains will agree without hesitation, whilst others will not. Large stores are all in competition with each other, so it’s worth asking. And even if your haggling gets you nowhere, you haven’t lost anything!
  • Shop at convenient times, and choose them wisely. There have been several retail surveys suggesting that a lot of customers don’t plan when to shop, and invariably find themselves competing with others in a “bottle-neck” effect. For food shopping, try buying in bulk early on weekends, or before going to work (it’s one less thing to worry about after a stressful day in the office). For clothes and other items, have a go at breaking up a routine and shopping when you think other customers won’t be all doing the same – this is especially beneficial in the few weeks leading up to Christmas.
  • Buy necessities in bulk to avoid frequent trips. Items like batteries, toothpaste and light bulbs shouldn’t be bought every other week. Instead, look out for sales and bulk offers, and stock up (think pre-lockdown behaviour…). The same applies for small clothing items like socks, tights and boxer shorts. 
  • Stick to a budget and have weekly plans.
  • Look out for scribbling or staff codes written in pen on price tags. Often, this means that the items will be reduced in the next few days, so hold off that purchase and in a few days the same item might be reduced. For example, depending on the company, a price tag with “30E” scribbled in red ink could mean it’ll be reduced by £30 in a few days. 
  • If you’ve spotted something online, look out for a live chat window. Live chats are excellent opportunities to haggle directly with the company!
  • When online, try adding an item to your virtual shopping basket…then leaving it there overnight. Some companies give you codes or discounts to tempt you back, fearing that they may have lost a customer forever. Try it!

Throughout the excitement of visiting your favourite stores remember the social distancing rules and be kind to others – make it as an enjoyable experience as possible.

Happy Shopping!