PITTSTON TWP. – Fashion-savvy bargain hunters from Northeastern Pennsylvania and beyond descended on British clothier Boden's U.S. distribution center in the CenterPoint East industrial park Saturday for the company's biannual outlet sale.
Most shoppers in America can purchase Boden clothing only through the company's website, bodenusa.com, but local shoppers have access to both a Boden outlet on Main Street in Pittston and town-hall sales – British slang for warehouse sale – twice a year at the distribution center.
Holly Kelleher, liquidation manager for Boden, said the sale has grown and grown and grown since the first sale three years ago.
It was a lot smaller, she said. I don't think as many people knew about it and I don't think people were as familiar with the name as they are now.
Kelleher said more than 600 shoppers had stopped in by 1 p.m., the midpoint of the sale, and many came early.
I think the people that got here bright and early got the best selection, but as people put things back from the dressing room it gets replenished, said shopper Katie Williams of Dallas.
Alison Grant of Philadelphia said there were already more than 40 people in line when she arrived at the store at 8:30 a.m., 90 minutes before the sale opened. Nearly five hours later she and her bargain hunting companions were still at the store, digging through piles of skirts, tops and dresses.
Grant, who is originally from Dallas, said there was a method to their rummaging.
My mom and sister and I divided and conquered, Grant said. My mom went to the kid stuff, I went to the clothes and my sister went to the shoes. If we see something one of us might like we just grab it.
They sorted through their finds in a pile on the floor; anything that didn't pass muster could be swapped with another shopper.
People share, said fellow shopper Arlene Grudkowski. If you have a coat it's a good bargaining tool.
Even young shoppers got in on the action Saturday.
Grudkowski said her daughter Amelia usually hates shopping, but she had fun today.
Kelleher said Boden will host another warehouse sale June 22. The Boden Outlet Store is also open Thursday through Sunday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at 73 S. Main St., Pittston.