YOU’VE eaten the turkey, unwrapped all the presents and sunk into a Christmas-induced lethargy, complete with pot belly and strong feelings of self-loathing.
But fear not, for your purpose in life is now clear – it’s sales season!
Every year retailers appear to make their sales even bigger, so you really have to be on top of your game.
Here are my top tips to beat the sales:
1. Wear comfortable footwear. This may sound trite, but never underestimate the need for a good hardy pair of boots when you’re part of a mob rushing at John Lewis. Stuff goes down in those moments, and people often behave in ways they are not proud of later on. Elbowing, foot stomping and shoving are all the norm, and I’ve even heard of someone getting bitten. Actually bitten. So hob nailed boots it is, for comfort AND protection.
2. Keep hydrated. For some reason, to enhance your shopping experience, retailers like to turn their heating up to the max during the sales. The contrast between the cold outside and sub-tropical heat inside means fainting is a real possibility, so ensure you keep an emergency bottle of water in your bag or pocket.
3. Leave the kids at home. See point one. The sales are no place for a child, although an empty pram can come in handy for holding onto shopping and/or charging at your fellow shoppers for the last pair of cashmere mittens in Baby Gap.
4. Stop for regular cake and coffee breaks. Trust me, you’ll need the sugar, caffeine and calories to get you through.
5. Stay strong. If you cry, other shoppers will see it as a sign of weakness and steal things out of your basket. The queue may be a mile and a half long, but it will be worth it.
6. Take back up. You’ll need a partner/spouse/friend to loudly and passively aggressively rant to when someone pushes in the queue. They will also come in handy for venting your frustrations about sizing (“I’m a size 12 in every other shop!”), carrying your bags and giving advice on if purple is your colour.
7. Wear layers. See point 2. You'll be alternating between scorching heat and freezing cold, so it's best to layer up and take off items one by one, rather than wearing one very thick coat and your thermals.
8. Take a travel-sized anti-bacterial hand gel. Sales season brings all out sorts of people, and some have less than wonderful hygeine. After touching anything communal (shopping baskets, life buttons, handrails etc.) give yourself a good squirt to kill anything potentially nasty. You don't want to become ill when you've got loads of new stuff to play with!
9. Plan with the precision of a military campaign. Before you set off, write a list of all the things you need, and aim to buy them first. Spur of the minute purchases are all well and good, but the madness of sales season can really turn your head and you could potentially find yourself stuck with a multibox of out of date crackers and some baggy y-fronts and nothing you actually wanted. Stick to the plan!
8. If all of this seems too much of a faff, fire up the laptop, get the kettle on and do it all online instead.