I used to work in Matalan – here are the secrets to bagging the best bargains
THERE'S nothing better than bagging a bargain in the sales.
However, there's no denying with the crowds and bulging rails full of clothes, it can be overwhelming.
Especially in such a large and varied store such as Matalan, which sell everything from homeware and furniture, to popular fashion and beauty products.
Here, former Matalan worker Melanie, 27, from Somerset, shares all the tips and tricks to bagging the best purchases.
'The Christmas sale was the most insane'
Love a sale but sometimes find them quite stressful?
These are the best times to bag a bargain – especially at Christmas.
Melanie says: "Sales were always manic. We’d have people queuing up outside in the morning and asking to get in early if we were heading into work via the main door.
"The Christmas sale was the most insane, especially when reductions were made, I’d have people grabbing stock out of my hands.
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"Top tip – a team is usually working Christmas Eve until the early hours of Christmas Day getting stock reduced.
"We would start reducing it at 4pm whilst the store was still open, so if you want a bargain head in then when there’s not much of a rush and you’ll still get Boxing Day bargains early."
While you'll always be able to feel confident you'll get a good deal in the sale at anytime, there's actually an especially good time to visit.
Melanie reveals: "Throughout any sale period, we’d usually go down to 75 per cent off two days before the sale period ends and reductions usually take place during the evening shift between 4pm – 9pm.
"If something is scuffed or slightly damaged or has a pull in it, take it to the till and ask for a discount the manager would usually take at least 20 per cent off.
"We would have people stock pile the Christmas items during the sale, stuff like wrapping paper, tags and decorations which get reduced heavily. They’d buy tones of the stuff in the sale.
"Home products were always a priority as well for shoppers as they’re not on sale that often but at Christmas they get reduced quite heavily to make room for the new season stock as it’s hard to store the home stuff in the warehouse so they’re keen to shift it.
"Sunday evenings were prime reduction time too ahead of the week but we didn’t usually start until the store shut so get in early on the Monday to see the sale items first."
Tackling such a large store can require a plan of action before stepping through the front door.
Melanie says: "If you don’t know what you want but just want to have a look, shop the store like you would an Ikea, walk around it in one direction and then get to the end and walk around again to pick up what you liked.
The staff are trained to help too and we would always offer to help find items for shoppers if they gave us a brief of what they were looking for.
"I know one woman asked me if we had any copper home items for bathrooms and so I put everything we had into a basket and then took them to the shopper to show them to her.
"She then chose what she wanted and got in the queue and I put the rest of the stock back.
"It was nice to know we helped some on find something and quickly too."
Most popular products
Some items are always more popular than others, but the best sellers you might find surprising.
Melanie says: "Hangers, bathroom storage boxes and also pyjamas were sold everyday.
"Mens underwear too was in most people's shopping baskets surprisingly.
During the summer, mens suits would be sold everyday mostly to grooms and their groomsmen – they’d all come in together and buy a set each.
"Suits would usually get marked down at the end of the summer so if you’ve got a date already for the next year, good to buy then after the summer rush to get a discount."
Full to the brim
While some products might be in demand, there will certainly never be a shortage of deals to be found.
Melanie adds: "The stock room was full of items, never did we have an empty stock room – if anything it was usually jam packed.
"If customers asked for additional sizes, we genuinely would go and look, but more often than not we wouldn’t have that size if it was a popular one.
"Deliveries were frequent but when we told customers we didn’t know if the item in that size would be in that delivery, that’s the truth too because we genuinely didn’t know what would be sent until it arrived on the day."
Matalan has a new home collection and shoppers are obsessed with the bargain bits.
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