Even before the first sale had been recorded, Elizabeth Todd knew the first Alexandria Boutique Warehouse Sale wouldnt be the last. It was obvious from the 100 or so women lined up outside in freezing weather to be the first to enter the event in 2005, a now-annual collaboration of the citys womens fashion boutiques and jewelry designers. We opened the doors and were swamped, and we had hardly advertised at all, Todd, who owns The Shoe Hive and organizes the sale, said of that first one-day clearance. Now the word-of-mouth has made this one of the must-do events of the year for any women who cares about clothes, shoes and jewelry.
The Alexandria Boutique District Warehouse Sale, now in its fourth year, has become so popular that its outgrown its original location at The Campagna Center in favor of more space at the George Washington Masonic Memorial. This years sale is from 9 am-3 pm on March 1.
With our new space, we have some free parking and easy walking access from the King Street Metro Station, so we expect an even larger crowd, Todd said. You cant stop a true fashion girl from finding a good deal, and these are the best deals in town all year.
Jessica Sandifer of Hysteria, says that her customers come from around the region to the sale. You have top designer brands on sale for up to 70 percent off. You just dont find that kind of price and selection anywhere outside a New York sample sale.
The big crowds make the case to get there early. Weve always had women lined up around the block to get in, literally, its just such a unique day for any serious shopper and this years lineup of stores is better than ever, Todd said.
The sale, a one-day event with free admission, has included popular clothing boutiques like Hysteria and Gossypia and local jewelry company Queen Bee Designs since its inception. This year, hip stores Treat and Periwinkle and luxury maternity shop Appleseed Maternity join the lineup as well, along with classic clothier Bella and The Little Monogram Shop. Capitol Hill’s funky vintage shop The Remix, formerly located in Del Ray a magnet for style-hunters from around the region is also a returning mainstay.
No matter what your taste, you will find something you like at a price that will blow you away. We dont sell at these prices in our store at any time during the year. Period, said Treat owner Jennifer Donohue.
After the Warehouse Sale, customers are encouraged to do Old Towns boutique crawl a walking tour of the participating boutiques, many of which are in the King Street corridor. The sale is a lot of fun, but its good for all of Old Town because it brings people here from all over and they find out what a great shopping destination we have, Sandifer said.