The Weekly Shop Report

America's blabbermouth birdy saves tourists attempting to shop in the Big Apple.

12 August 2009

I walked into Barney’s late of afternoon exhausted from New York bargain shopping and searching for shoes. “And just where are you from?” asked the salesman in a patronizing tone. “Oh, me? Soho,” I said lightly. He eyed me up and down, hesitated, then replied coolly, “Oh, the Bloomingdale’s bag threw me off. Only tourists normally shop at Bloomingdale’s.”

Was he calling me a tourist? Wait, I look like a tourist? Paranoid visions of neck cameras and Jansport backpacks spun in my head. I checked my espadrilles, my jean cut off shorts, Carrera sunglasses and Judah Newman bracelet. These aren’t accessories donned by tourists, I told myself and huffed aloud. Shocked and sad that me, the apparel writer, was mistaken for a trite tourist, I gloomily walked back in the direction of cursed Bloomingdale’s to the subway. I emerged on Spring Street only to be bombarded by a giant bus unloading heaps overweight middle-aged Midwestern who took up the whole sidewalk like a flock of stagnant sheep on the back roads of Ireland. “Stupid tourists,” I muttered. “Excuse me, miss,” said one facing my direction, “Can you tell us where to go shopping?” Oh the irony. “Apparently Bloomingdale’s,” I snapped then pointed her south down Broadway.

i love ny

Later I got to thinking about the tourists. Do they shop at Bloomingdale’s? And how do you shop like a New Yorker? The shops in Nolita and Soho are chock full of tourists but these tourists are European. The American tourists tend towards stores like Bloomingdale’s and Century 21. For what it’s worth real New Yorkers know about sample sales, designer specials and retail timing. They wait for the Barney’s Warehouse Sale, know to buy discount sunglasses at Loehman’s and get to Bloomingdale’s on the first day of  their shoe sale. Real New York City shoppers know that Daffy’s carries Malia Mills swimwear and to avoid Prince Street on Saturdays. Brilliantly, they only partake in chaotic shopping trips  – Macy’s (god help your brave soul), H&M, Urban Outfitters – when it’s raining and smartly buy their socks at Uniqlo. An entire book could be dedicated to these tips, so what should the newbie tourist do to shop like a New Yorker?
Real New York City shopping mavens get the sales and shopping secrets lightning fast via none other than America’s blabbermouth bluebird… Twitter. They follow their favorite stores, sites and designer’s Tweets putting them constantly in the know. Now there is something anyone can do. Daffy’s practical approach Tweets where their trucks are going and twitter birdwhen, so customers can be the first to score discounted merchandise.

There are in fact many ways to shop using social media, and our good friends at Mashable, of course, have them in list format. The cat, people need to know about these social media shopping strategies and use them. So while there may be great find, the number of people finding it depends on the number of users. Twitter, on the other hand, allows you to control the information you want by following only the stores or websites you are interested in and/or rely on. For instance, you love sample sales and witty articles, so you follow The Vogue City on Twitter. You’re stuck in 2007, then follow American Apparel on Twitter. A tourist can do the same allowing them to fake it and shop like a New Yorker. Just make sure you remove your scrunchie. The 80’s may be back, but the scrunchie will forever remain the proverbial dead give away.

Emma Dinzebach

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Posted by Emma Dinzebach at 12:00 AM
bargain news , New York Survival Guide , Retail Scoop , STYLE/BEAUTY |

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