Hello Friends! I know many of y'all kept up with my Lauren James warehouse sale journey over the weekend and if you're anything like me you like following along even if you couldn't make it yourself.
When Lauren James announced the warehouse sale I was super excited but not sure I could make it work - it was short notice, a five hour drive and I'd already spent my June spending money. Luckily I have a good hubby who recognizes that sometimes you just need something fun in your life and was ok not only making the trip but with me borrowing from ourselves against my July spending money. Since this is the last warehouse sale Lauren James plans on holding I really didn't want the opportunity to slip by.
Warehouse sales can serve many purposes for a business - as a way to move excess inventory, create buzz and excitement for the brand, reward the most loyal brand fans by giving them access to great deal (which also puts more product into the hands of those most excited about the brand) and because I'm a finance person I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that it's also a strategy businesses use to have a quick cash influx - especially during the slow for retail summer months. In Lauren James's case the company is restructuring their distribution model to a 3rd party warehouse and distribution out of state from their Fayetteville, AR home office. It's a win-win because Lauren James is spared the expense of moving the inventory, the storage rent and the labor to pack and ship it from online sales but customers such as myself get to load up on great deals. Knowing the motivation for the sale I knew it was going to be good because it meant that the company literally wanted every single item left in the warehouse gone.
The warehouse sale was 10am to 6pm Saturday and Sunday but fans also had the opportunity to purchase a VIP pass for $25 for early access 8am Saturday morning. Since we were making such a big trip I wanted to maximize my chances of getting "the good stuff" so of course I wanted a pass, and since I really wanted to maximize my chances I got a pass for Shaun so I'd have an extra set of hands. Because I do shop with Lauren James several times a year I had enough reward points to cover most of the early access fees- I was already winning this thing before I left the house!
We left Friday after work and arrived in Fayetteville a little before midnight. I booked us a room at the Super 8 nearby because we literally just needed a place to sleep and shower - we were out the door before 7am Saturday. I had hoped to get to the warehouse by 6:30am but honestly I was dragging a little and we pulled up around 7:15am - I'd say we wound up being the 40th people in line. The time outside passed pretty quickly as we chatted up ladies near us in line, watched sneak peaks of what was inside on insta stories and plotted our strategy. This sale was a fill the bag sale - meaning bags had a fixed price and anything in it was good to go. Because I'm a numbers girl I calculated that two medium bags at $100 each gave me more volume that one large $200 bag so Shaun and I each purchased a medium bag and off we went to divide and conquer.
Now, this is the part where I have to state the obvious - I actually can not wear a lot of Lauren James clothing items. The dresses, skirts, shorts and non tee tops are all so cute but they are made for a size 14 at the most. I do however wear an XXL in the outerwear and can take either an XL or XXL in the sweet tees - and of course I just love their accessory items. So yes, even though I wasn't after the primo merchandise I was still interested in the sale - and I actually think this was to my benefit because it gave me less competition for the things I was after when first entering as most fans were making a beeline for the dresses.
After our first initial lap inside I pointed out to Shaun that my hands were full and I needed a gathering spot. Typically at warehouse sales you will see people create their own pile on the outer edge of the area where they will go through and sort through what they grabbed. Y'all - I have been to the Lilly Pulitzer warehouse sale, I was the first in line at my store for Lilly for Target and I have shopped many a black Friday and I must say this was the most calm sale crowd I have ever seen - it helps that there was plenty of merchandise available. Once we claimed our spot I went and did another lap to gather more tees in my size and see if I could find any must have accessory items while Shaun shopped the area near our pile for outerwear in my size. I probably did a total of 3 "laps" around the merchandise before setting in to review items and start packing in the bags. I thought for sure we were going to need a 3rd bag but between taking everything out of their packaging, rolling tees super tight and a liberal overflow off the top policy I didn't have to grab another bag or leave anything I wanted behind and while looking back there's a few items I wish I had grabbed as extras for giveaways or gifts I'm very pleased with the haul. So here's what y'all really came here for . . . .
My Lauren James warehouse sale haul includes:
2 Sherpa pullovers - these are so soft and cozy y'all. Come on Fall!
Workout top, sports bra and jump rope
11 short sleeve sweet tees. Lauren James sweet tees are THE BEST! I was never a tee kinda girl until LJ. But, I have learned that because they are soft and lightweight they can only take so much love before getting holes so hence my "need" for more even though I already have a decent stash.
10 long sleeve sweet tees. The long sleeve tees are actually my favorite. I pretty much live in them during the winter and wear with cardigans or under pullovers.
3 totes and a backpack
Tunic, beach towel, sunnies, flip flops
note cards, planner, planner stickers, a laptop case, a deck of cards, tumblers and coffee cup
4 headbands, 3 dog collars and 6 ties - does anyone else see a family picture coming with these?
Not pictured - 1 tunic, 1 jacket and 5 sweet tees that will be going to undisclosed recipients ; )
Being a finance person I felt obligated to add up the total original retail price for everything - a few items were missing tags so I had to price the best I know based on my familiarity with the brand but the total comes to $2,322!!! Not bad, right? Ladies who were able to grab lots of dresses were able to get an even larger total original ticket price but considering I got a 90% discount I'm not complaining. The funny thing is, despite getting such a great haul there's several things that were not included in the sale I have my eye on so it won't be long before I'm making my next Lauren James purchase.
I read a recent interview with COO Lance Stokes talking about how the base customer has aged with the company and as a result they are bringing more items targeted at 25 to 35 year olds this fall - that's me! So I have a feeling this haul is hardly going to satisfy my product itch for long. Lance and Lauren, if you're reading this I'd love to see some extended sizes too! Speaking of - let me also take a moment and just say that Lauren looks like the kind of girl you want to hate - she is gorgeous, successful and has a beautiful family but she's also really nice. My biggest fear is being viewed as awkward in public so even though I wanted to ask Lauren to take a pic with me I didn't, even when she was all cute and sweet about the fact we were wearing the same tunic. But seeing how nice and down to earth she is only makes me love the brand more. And this is the total business nerd in me - if you're interested you should read more about how the company started and their ongoing strategy - Lance is a business genius!
There's actually a lot of cool things to do in Northwest Arkansas so instead of turning around and heading home once we loaded up the car we made a weekend out of it. I'll have some details on the rest of our weekend on my next blog post.
***This is not a sponsored post, all opinions are my own. While I recognize that companies like Lauren James benefit from warehouse sales I also recognize that I got some incredible deals so I'm sharing my love and appreciation for Lauren James here. All items shown here were crammed into the bags purchased with my own money according to the warehouse sale rules.***