Archive for Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Annual Sidewalk Sale set for Thursday

Merchants prepare for tomorrow’s huge sidewalk sale

Downtown merchants are busy preparing for the downtown Sidewalk Sale. But does the closing of several businesses steal some of the big day's magic?

July 14, 2009


Sidewalk sale on its way to Mass. Street

Mass street will transform later this week into the bargain hunter's dream. Enlarge video

Past Event
Downtown Sidewalk Sale

  • When: Thursday, July 16, 2009, 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Where: Downtown Lawrence, Lawrence
  • Cost: Free
  • More on this event....

Lawrence’s annual sidewalk sale doesn’t officially begin until sunup Thursday, but workers at the Gap, 643 Mass., have been planning and preparing for weeks.

“It’s definitely our biggest sales day of the year,” said Annie Merrifield, store manager. “It’s about a month’s worth of traffic all in one day.”

Merrifield said about 40 employees would be on hand beginning at 7 p.m. Wednesday until late tonight or even into Friday morning.

She said because this sale was unique to Lawrence, the store — which is slated to start selling about 5 a.m. Thursday — received many shipments of discounted merchandise from Gap stores in the surrounding area.

“It’s a big process,” Merrifield said. “The amount of sale merchandise sent to the store is more than what we ever normally have on hand.”

But even with all of the work and the stress, Merrifield said the sidewalk sale was a fun day for her employees.

“Everyone gets a break to eat, and everyone gets a break to shop,” she said.

Shopping will take place from sunrise to sunset, said Jane Pennington, director of Downtown Lawrence Inc. will even help you find some of the best bargains. You too can help, and even win prizes. Just tweet with the hashtag #SWSale to be entered to win a prize.

For shoppers in need of a break, Billy Ebeling and the Late for Dinner Band will perform at noon outside U.S. Bank, 900 Mass., as part of the Brown Bag Concert Series.

“It’s a fun thing that we do all summer long, and it also just adds to the festivities of the sidewalk sale atmosphere,” Pennington said.

The Lawrence Transit System will also be offering free bus rides on the T from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m.

“Riding the bus means you can spend more time shopping and less time looking for a parking spot,” said Robert Nugent, Lawrence Transit administrator.

The sale typically draws 5,000 to 7,000 people each year and is one of the busiest days for local businesses.

“It’s a day of energy drinks and smiles,” Merrifield said. “It’s a Lawrence tradition, and we love to be a part of it.”


bangaranggerg 8 years, 9 months ago

if only I didn't have to work for a living, then a weekday sidewalk sale advertised one day before it happens might make some sense.

NDNJAYHAWKER 8 years, 9 months ago

NO DEALS! well i haven't found none in the last couple of years. The prices are marked down maybe a few bucks or so, but there are strollers every where. Hello people, sidewalk sale means the sidewalks will be FULL! Not a place for little ones because it is HOT and CROWDED! I liked it back in the 80's, you found the coolest deals in Kansas. My grandparents would buy my school shoes then for the year cause they could get like 2 or 3 for the price of 1. Not anymore

gsxr600 8 years, 9 months ago

Yes I would love to get up at the crack of dawn to meander through a crowded mass of stinky, rude people in a frivolous attempt to find a deal.

oliveoyl 8 years, 9 months ago

Agreed. SWS is not what it used to be. It used to be more of a community event but no longer. Now good sales are scarce and who wants to look at defected merchandise. I'll still venture down there b/c I love downtown and enjoy supporting it but I doubt I'll buy anything to brag about. What a shame.

Janet Cinelli 8 years, 9 months ago

gad, you all a bunch of sad sacks. I love SWS. After the day after graduation, it is the best day of the Lawrence calendar. I plan to venture down twice, once at 6 am, and later in the day after 6:30. I can't wait. I love SWS, and I always find GREAT deals!

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