Monday, December 27, 2010

Yerevan shopping guide for girls: New Year Sales edition 2010

Today I spent about 5 hours wandering on the streets of my byuuutiful festive Yerevan, doing my favorite money-spending activities: shopping for wearables and gifts. At first I was by myself, but I didn't feel alone, since I incidentally met dozen of friends on streets and inside stores. Some of them joined me for several stops. Others were following the same route so I kept seeing them behind the coats stand in one store and trying on some shoes in another :-D

Yes, I'm a shopaholic and it's not news. It turned out that I've become some kind of a Yerevan shops guide for my friends. I'm constantly being asked where to buy shoes, or dresses or where are sales in the city. Not that I go and constantly check out every store :) It's just that I walk a lot and communicate with lots of people and since it's an area of my interest, I'm kinda more informed than average. This is why I decided to share this information with my readers, hoping it might help them!
a tiresome shopping in Italy :))

Taking into account my recent trip to Rome, which was also successful in terms of shopping (there were no sales just yet though :( ), my appetite is still quite full now. I haven't been eagerly waiting for the sales this year and just needed to refill my footwear collection (which can never be enough, you know :D) and buy something new for the NY parties :)..

Enough about me and let's proceed with the tips that will include some FAQs I get from my friends considering shopping.

Today, during my 5 hour shopping trip, I managed to visit the following stores (there is the discounts info, not entirely precise however). If I knew then, that I'll be blogging about it, I'd be more attentive to the numbers.
  • Benetton (no sale)
  • Next (up to 30% partly)
  • Promod (up to 50% partly)
  • Mango (Tumanyan, Abovyan) (up to 50%)
  • Mexx (up to 30%?)
  • Motivi (up to 50%)
  • Debenhams (25% sales were just for Dec. 25, 26)
  • Chocco (up to 30%?)
  • For Love 21 (no sale)
  • Papagallo (50% but were limited to this weekend i guess)
  • Basic House (up to 50%)
  • Terranova/Oggi (up to 50%)
Stores I missed but are also worth checking: Morgan de Toi, Punto Zara, Giordano, 3 Suisses, Bossini, Kira Plastinina, Extyn, Josef, Guess, Garderobe, Max & Co, Ecco & Clarks and also Steve Madden and Paolo Boticelli for shoes, those several boutiques on Parpetsi street, that do not fit to my style and pocket, but you might want to check them too.


Now, some words about several boutiques.

Benetton, the United Colors of
Possibly my all time favorite brand. Keywords: mystyle, italian, colorful, expensive. Benetton's shoes and boots are my (wallet's) guilty pleasure... :)

The store
The store in Yerevan is far from being nice for a shopping experience. I don't like the staff - they are never helpful. If you pick some clothes to try on, then you have to hang them somewhere yourself, no one comes for help. They never tell about the possible discount options and sale dates. It's a challenge to ask for shoe sizes too. I've been asked to go and check one by one myself (even on mannequins!)
Besides, these days I was about to write a petition or even write to the Benetton's general management, because of the wrong management strategy of the local franchiser.
They only bring very limited sizes and colors of the shoes so that there's practically nothing left in weeks. I suffer for weeks, deciding whether I should buy those extra expensive but uber stylish shoes and when I've finally made up my mind - all I get is just the least nice color and several options for 40+ sizes. Most footwear models disappear in all sizes before the sale date comes. I see they are very popular among wealthy Yerevan citizens and they would have noticed this too! Would it bother them to bring some more pairs??! Oh yes, I'm frustrated :|

What to buy
Holiday greetings on Benetton's FB page
Cute and quality shoes, underwear, trendy tights, shirts, and almost everything else from clothing.

Sales, Discounts
The bad news is - there is no holiday sale currently. If i'm not mistaken, last year a 20% sale started sometime around January 20. So hold on, if you can :)

But there's some good news ! A year ago I signed for a bonus card, which was also advertised in Benetton then, and it provided a 10% permanent discount on everything. Quite a meaningful discount especially for some 80K shoes :) Check bonus.am for details.

They provide a 10-15% discount card if you make a 150K+ shopping at once. I've been told that one could also keep the checks and collect them to make 150K for getting that card.

There's some 10-15% discount when buying with credit cards of certain banks like HSBC, Converse Bank, Ameriabank etc.

Else
Benetton cookies that look like delicious octopuses :))
Benetton has always been one of the most creative brands in terms of marketing and advertising. If you go to their website now, you'll see some goodies, like for example these cookies. I'm going to cook them soon ;)

Next (co.uk)
This UK brand's store is quite popular in Yerevan. What's particular to this store is their gift suggestions. Current you can buy some nicely gift-wrapped nightwear and slippers. The staff is generally nice and helpful. Not very full these days.

What to buy
some cute slippers in Next
Shoes, bags, purses and other accessories, socks and tights, slippers, and jeans.

Discount, sales
Their sales dates are not very predictive and the current holiday sales are limited to shoes only. At least it was where I saw the 30% sign.

No info if they have discount cards. There are nice gift cards, though.



Mango (since 1984)
This is my favorite brand for practically everything. And I guess it's the favorite one also for the major part of females in Yerevan. The first days of the sales is a total madness, to say the least. There are long queues at the fitting rooms, checkout and even at the doorsteps. Everything gets messy inside and some shoppers (a big part I'd say) become like zombies (a swarm of locusts is a more precise definition), going through others' heads, stepping on anything to pick the desired thing just TO SEE it.

What to buy
I'm generally dressed there. I buy the basics like dresses, skirts, shorts, tops, glasses, sometimes coats, suits and shoes too.

Sales, Discounts
The sale was announced on December 23 (I'm subscribed to the newsletter, of course :) and I got an SMS on that day (I guess I've left my contacts there when they had those subscribe cards at the checkout).
So the best way to be notified about the sales is to subscribe to their news.
They always start their sales before NY holidays (sometimes from 25%, however this year it was < 50% right away). The sale will continue for weeks, turning to 70% at a point. It's still possible to find goodies by then :)

I have no idea if they have discount cards and it's likely that they don't. If they do, why don't I have it yet?? If you know anything about it, share in comments :)

Some precious tips

#1. Mango is the only brand I know that has their entire collection on the website for browsing and online shopping (limited countries). (go to mangoshop.com and select a country, i usually go for Italy/English/)
You can easily navigate through various garments, check the collection and find out that other colors can the current item have. You can find the major part (if not entirely) of what's displayed on the website in our local stores.

#2. Since their sales dates are quite predictable, I'd suggest you to go check out the collection in the store once in a while. If you don't have something you have to buy immediately, you might want to try on things you like and leave them for buying when the sale comes. Since their collection is huge, chances are you'll be able to find your desired item in your size during the sales. And while it's almost not possible to wait in the line for trying them on, you might win a valuable time and precious nerve cells skipping that part. I have never waited in the line for trying on things during this sales shopping period. Partly, because I know my precise size for everything and mainly because I've tried on enough things to be sure that I won't regret about buying them like that, right away.
Mango Newsletter

#an interesting fact: During the recent years of shopping, me and my sis have collected an unbelievably crazy amount of branded paper bags, in their excellent condition :) for some unknown reason we didn't trash them immediately. During this new year spring cleaning, my sis sorted them by brands, and those that counted a few dozen (Mango was the absolute winner), she decided to take to the store. We didn't believe they would accept them, but it was worth the try. My sister came back from Mango really happy, because they not only accepted them back, but also gave a small reward in the form of a winter handbag :) The Mango staff is great (they even do recognize my face, you know :D) and we definitely LOVE MANGO.

Promod (nouveau!)
This French brand's recently opened boutique was won my heart. It's very favorably located and can be compared to Mango with prices and partly also with style.

What to Buy
Scarves, bijoux, fashion tights, jackets, dresses, jeans...

Sales
The sales started few days ago and they are up to 50%, however not on the entire collection. Actually, I was walking with my friend, passing the Promod store couple of days ago wondering out loud if they plan to start their sales. We had our spiced tea in ArtBridge and when we were walking back, we noticed that the % signs were already sticked to the glasses. THEY HEARD ME.

Debenhams (in front of Eritasardakan metro station)

Debenhams is a department store from UK that was just recently opened also in Yerevan. The store is quite big and not very crowded. They have a big choice of shoes, handbags and lingerie. Strangely, I didn't buy anything while i spent about half an hour there today. They are a bit overpriced and the collections' style is not really mine. When you go, check out the "Home" section (very small though) on the 2nd floor. There were really nice bed linens, shovels, candles and other stuff.

Sales
The Armenian store has a Facebook page, where they announce about sales. 25% discount was for December 25,26 only, however they have announced on the page, that there will soon be a NY sale also.




...
Benefit from discount cards
I've had this terrific idea since long ago, now i'm finally sharing it. I think to create a FB group where we could share our discount cards and coupons for shops. Declare the ones we have and lend to others when they need it. It will especially be great for accumulative cards. For example, I have 10% discount card for Mexx and 20% for Motivi and I'll be happy to lend them.

As I have mentioned in Benetton's case, there is this bonus.am that might be handy :)

Some banks like HSBC, Converse Bank, Ameriabank have fixed sales with their credit cards. Be sure to check with your bank for them.

Check also fashionsquare.am. They have information about sales in several boutiques and gallery of the items.

One more tip
If you doubt to buy *it* or not, I have a tip for you. What I usually do in those cases is - going out and watching other stuff for a while (can be some hours or days, depending on the probability of it to be sold out during that period). If I still remember about it and it's on my mind - I should go and get it ASAP! It has been several times that I was checking the store's opening hour and rushing there in the morning to buy the thing that had occupied all my mind at night :D

This one is from a piece of writing that was meant to be published written back in March, 2009. However I changed my mind limiting its audience to my friends only then. Needs editing but some stuff is not yet outdated there :))

Some more shopping tips from Averik on Yerevan.ru (in Russian).

You may share your information and tips on the subject, I'll update the post with them :))

Happy shoppppiiing!

1 comment:

Jarred, Angela, and Nathan said...

Thanks for the great tips & reviews, Arpine! I really need some new jeans...