First off, can we take a second to reflect on how ridiculous Black Friday has become here in Canada. I mean we all know its bat sh!t crazy in the States, and pretty much has been since the dawn of time right? I mean isn't the tradition that the Native Americans brought corn to the hungry pilgrims and then everyone camped out in front of Walmart with their pepper spray, and little Billy got trampled in the rush for a play station the next day. And that boys and girls is the history of thanksgiving.
But in Canada we celebrated our turkey day ages and ages ago! We don't have a last Thursday in November holiday. But we do apparently have Black Friday now.
And it didn't always used to be this way.
I grew up in a boarder town (shout out to the Soo), and ever since I was a little kid, Canadians by the bus load (literally, they arrange buses for these shopping trips) would cross the boarder on Black Friday morning, and go shop the sales at the outlets in Birch Run and West Branch (oooh Michigan). My mom and her friends go down every year, although often a week before or after, when there are still good sales to be had, but significantly less risk of bodily harm.
But in the last 3 years I watched Black Friday in Canada go from "Yeah some stores are going to have sales, especially places the sell electronics." to "malls are all opening early, even the teashop has a sale going on, and hold on to Billy's hand because things are about to get crazy."
Maybe I'm exaggerating, but I mean this year we had a pretty gross bit of snow storm and rough road conditions and the mall was at least twice as packed as it was last year.
But there you have it, I was definitely at the mall (despite my should have known better instincts) and made some purchases and observations.
Shopping list this year included:
-New winter boots
-New winter coat
-Lululemon .....well just because
The new laptop.
My hunking 3 year old Toshiba, originally purchased regular price $300, so you know it was a quality computer, crapped out this summer. We tried to revive it, and got it working again, but it's been running in a 'I might just die completely at any second' way since. So I decided I'd go out on the Monday before Black Friday to shop around, so if there seemed like there was going to be an awesome deal, I'd be ready.
And that's how I found out about VIP at Future Shop. The sales rep in the computer department took down a list of the computer's I was interested in, along with my price range and phone number. He told me that if any of them went on sale for Friday, he'd call me when he saw the flyer on Wednesday, and we could make a VIP appointment on Thursday so I could buy it without the crush of the crowds or waits in line.
Long story short, I got the Lenovo Yoga I'd been coveting for the last year, for a $180 off, and I love it already. (It's still on sale through December 4th online).
Isn't it fun? it runs Windows 8.1, has a touch screen, and hinges all the way around. Plus it fits in my bag, and doesn't weigh a tonne.
New Winter Boots and Coat
My old boots and coat combo were a Christmas gift from my mom in 2009, right before moving to Calgary for the first time in January 2010. The Sorrel boots and Roots jacket have gotten me through some pretty cold winter days since then, but it was finally time for replacements.
For the boots of course I went back with Sorrels, the beautiful Joan of the Artic's in slate grey.
For the coat, well this was a tough one, you see I have a theory about winter coats. I think that because people have gone nuts and started spending 600-700 bucks on Canada Goose Jackets on mass last winter, this year all good winter coats are suddenly crazy expensive. I picked up four or five that I liked that were at least $400. Yeesh.
Finally I settled on this one by Columbia, which was marked down $100 bucks off to a comfortable $200 price range.
I even tested it this weekend (with the boots) when I walked to Tim's for breakfast in the feel's like -30 weather. Nice and toasty warm without sweating under your layers.
Lulu does a respectable amount of marking down on Black Friday (in store only I think?) It's like the hoard a months worth of regular mark downs and then put them all out on one day. This year however, it was pretty clear they produced merchandise specifically to be marked down on Black Friday. And most of it looked a little sad, like it was not quite up to Lulu standards. This included a pair of all black (waste band included) astro pants marked down to $49. Half of what they usually cost. So even tho I didn't need them I tried on a pair. But I'm going to be honest, the fabric didn't feel quite right. It was heavier than usual, and felt stiff. Maybe this is just status quo since all those issues with see through black pants, but I suspect this was just an example of lower quality merch produced to be put on sale. There were also some ugly sweater jacket things, and these flimsy wrap shirts that I had no desire to try on.
But do not doubt the might of the Lululemon marketing machine, because the night before Black Friday, this went up on their instagram
And I was all like, Lululemon and sparkles!!!!! Yep, I want that. And so I bought something at full price, on Black Friday, and that's what I have to be thankful for.