Friday, December 26, 2008

Shopping at Woodbury Common

After a difficult 5-hour drive in the rain and traffic, I made it to New York on Christmas Eve pretty beat. Night driving isn't usually fun. When compounded by terrible weather, fog, and holiday traffic, it makes me take a beeline to the vodka upon reaching my destination.

Rosie also hated the drive. Like clockwork, we pulled up at my parents' home, and she puked in the car.

Fast forward to today - my day of shopping. Buying stuff...for me.

It's been a while since I simple bought stuff with reckless abandon. Today was that day.

I drove about 45 minutes north of my parents' house to Woodbury Common, an enormous outlet mall in Central Valley, NY. It's quite a pretty drive through the Hudson Valley and southern Catskills.

Woodbury Common is larger than the Wrentham Outlets, and possibly the largest outlet mall in the country. Many of the shoppers were not American, but unlike the Brits and Irish who take advantage of the current exchange rates and shop at the Wrentham Outlets, the foreigners at Woodbury Common were predominantly Asian and Hispanic. I saw many people wheeling around suitcases there, undoubtedly purchased at the outlets with the sole purpose of filling them with merchandise.

I've been there a number of times, but not for a while. I figured I'd give it a shot - see what the crazy after-Christmas deals were, and battle the shopping crowds for just the first time this season.

Thankfully, I arrived at 10:15 am.

The parking lots were packed already, but spots remained. I found one rather quickly and ventured into the fray. A few early missteps (Neiman Marcus Outlet, Off 5th), and I worked my way into my wheelhouse - J. Crew.

Sales galore. Everything was like 40-50% off, some items marked down further from sale prices.

That became a common theme everywhere else I purchased things - Lucky Jeans, Crate & Barrel, Harry & David, Puma, Eddie Bauer, and Williams Sonoma.

I even walked past a number of lines just to ENTER stores - Gucci, Ugg, Coach, and Juicy Couture four of them. Unreal!

The only places that I didn't have a chance to patronize but likely would have were Banana Republic (line to get inside), The North Face, Brooks Brothers and Polo Ralph Lauren, all of the latter which had insane-o lines to pay, probably over 50 waiting customers in each.

Final damage for the day at Woodbury Common includes a number of printed t-shirts, a pair of pants, some drizzled popcorn, a hoodie, a vase, two jackets, tea lights and candle holders, two knit pullover tops, a flask, socks, 4 bottles of drink mix, lotion, cocktail rimmers, some queso, a bottle opener, a Le Creuset casserole dish, hot chocolate mix, and a knife.

I had to make two trips back to the car just to unload bags, the first of which at 11:50am revealed no empty parking spots, and vehicles following anyone who looks like they might have been leaving, lurking down each aisle. I had NEVER seen a mall parking lot as busy as what I saw today.

Since dinner with the parents meant a 5pm departure time for our house to the restaurant (yes...they eat early), I cut my trip a little short, but still spent about 5 hours there mulling about, slackjawed at the crowds, getting pushed by strangers, and finding some great deals.


Kathy said...

Sounds like you got some good loot on your shopping trip!

I can not believe the photos of those crowds just waiting to get into the store to shop! I would NEVER do that! YIKES!

Anonymous said...

Wow, the lines really look awfully long in those stores. I would rather to shop online to avoid crowd myself, some online sites have pretty much the same discount or free shipping. But again, it's fun to see what people would do to just get the supposingly crazy discount after christmas deals...