Wednesday, December 01, 2010
Did you know that US consumers plan to spend an average of $688.87 on holiday-related shopping this year? That's according to a survey done by the National Retail Foundation. Another survey found that 1 in 4 U.S. households will spend more than $500 on gifts this year, 39 percent expect to spend somewhere between $200 and $500 and 37 percent will spend less than $200.
If that's true, then call me Ebeneezer Scrooge; that kind of money is just not on our holiday budget. This is actually an expensive year for us because all 3 kids have outgrown their bikes, so they're getting bikes instead of toys, but most years I try to spend less than $300. I do it by keeping an eye out for present throughout the year (i.e. when they're on sale) and by doing my holiday shopping at places like Ross Dress for Less. I've always loved Ross because they have great stuff at bargain prices. A couple of weeks ago Ross sent me a $50 gift card and invited me to check out their new downtown San Jose store, so I drove down to see what bargains I could score.
Here's what the new San Jose store has going for the holidays:
· For a festive home, Ross offers an array of unique holiday décor and trimmings as well as seasonal houseware.
· Need the perfect hostess gift or goodies for your own guests? Ross has a variety of great gifts for $5, $10 and $20, including candles, gourmet food baskets, festive holiday serving dishes and more.
· The downtown San Jose store offers a large selection of toys for kids of all ages, small electronics, and the latest fashion accessories for your best friend as well as warm sweaters for your sweetheart - regardless of whether they’ve been naughty or nice!
· Stay warm without sacrificing fashion with the hottest cold weather accessories - from gloves and scarves to hats and coats.
· Make your office-to-holiday party transitions simple by adding a few pieces to your work wardrobe with beautiful accessories, a blouse or belt that sparkle and strappy heals to complete your look.
The downtown San Jose Ross store was bursting with holiday stuff! It was the perfect place to go on a holiday treasure hunt -- if you're willing to rummage around a little bit, you'll find bargains around every corner. I was hoping to find some presents for my kids' teachers, and I found tons of nice gift sets at the front of the store. I managed to stay away from the gorgeous Christmas decorations and holiday-themed dish towels and guest towels, and my restraint was rewarded when I hit the clearance clothing racks. The kids need long-sleeved shirts now that the cold has set in, and I was able to find some nice shirts for all 3 of them!
I felt like Santa Claus walking out of Ross yesterday (and in my thick coat, I must have looked a little bit like him -- or like a female Asian version of him), with so many presents in my shopping bags. I was amazed at all the things I was able to buy for just $50 -- four beauty gift sets and three long-sleeved shirts. The Pea loves her new Skelanimals tee with bonus glittery scarf, and the boys love the cool guitars printed on theirs. And I know their teachers will like the gift sets I bought because they are name brand items that I would love to receive myself.
There are really just 2 things I would change about Ross. The first is the number of less-than-perfect stock items they have on their regular display shelves (i.e. items with torn or opened packaging) -- why not put them in a separate clearance bin? The second is the way the Ross price tags adhere to the item. I can never ever peel the price tags off cleanly; they always leave part of the paper sticker or some sticky residue, which makes for a less-than-perfect present. But at 20 to 60 percent off department store prices, you cannot beat the savings when you shop at Ross! If you're willing to browse and look for that perfect item, you'll find everything you need to make the holidays special at Ross.
Win a $500 Ross gift card
Join the Ross Dress for Less Holiday Sweepstakes for the chance to win a $500 Ross gift card! To enter, go to the Ross Facebook Page and click on the "$500 Sweeps" tab.
Win a $50 Ross gift card
Ross is providing a $50 Ross gift card to one lucky Bonggamom Finds reader!
Leave a comment on this post and tell me what you would buy at Ross Dress for Less with the $50 gift card.
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You could win a $50 giftcard to Ross Dress for Less for your holiday shopping! Enter at @bonggafinds http://tinyurl.com/35unejl #giveaway
This giveaway ends at midnight PST on December 20, 2010; I will draw a winner at random on December 21. I will post the winner's name in the comments section after he/she confirms acceptance. Continental US residents only. For additional giveaway rules, click here. Good luck!
Disclosure: I received a $50 Ross gift card in order to facilitate my review. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.