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Vera Bradley sale is about more than just purses; economic impact on Fort Wayne economy sizable

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What: The Vera Bradley Outlet Sale offers the company's handbags, stationery, luggage and accessories for 40 percent to 60 percent off normal prices.
When: Ticketed shopping sessions Wednesday-Saturday, with free admission 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Ticketed sessions Wednesday through Friday are 7:30-10 a.m., 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m., 2:30-5 p.m. and 6-8:30 p.m.
Where: Memorial Coliseum, 4000 Parnell Ave.
Cost: $5 per person ages 14 and older for ticketed sessions. Tickets available at the coliseum box office, Verabradley.com, Ticketmaster outlets and www.ticketmaster.com. Don't forget that it cost $5 to park at the main lot and $8 for the preferred lot.
Note: To buy any item, people ages 14 and older must register with Vera Bradley and bring a registration confirmation and valid photo ID to the sale. Among other things, registration helps ensure people don't exceed the $3,500-per-person purchase limit.

More information: If you want to follow the action, check out Vera Bradley on Twitter @VeraBradley or the #vbos14 hashtag.

By the numbers 2013 summary:
66,590 attendees
50 states
8 countries
16 kiosks
24 price scanners
83 registers for check out
$40,000 raised for the Vera Bradley Foundation
22 Vine videos
917 Instagram pictures
2,181 Tweets
Source: Vera Bradley

Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 10:30 am

The Vera Bradley Outlet Sale is more than just the paisley bargain buyers' dream. It's also a sizable boost for the local economy.

More than 60,000 shoppers will flood the Memorial Coliseum on Wednesday through Sunday for the annual Vera Bradley Outlet Sale. Wednesday through Friday is broken into four time-scheduled sessions. Tickets for the sale are $5 and required, except for Saturday and Sunday when it's open for all shoppers. Customers can purchase tickets from the Vera Bradley website.

Shoppers use the 40 to 60 percent off sale to stock up on favorite patterns, designs and color schemes and some even get a head start on Christmas shopping.

There's some new happenings at this sale this year, too.

Melissa Schenkel, public relations manager for Vera Bradley, said the sale is incorporating a deal of the day.

“Every day a specific product will be available for a super-deal. These special deals will be offered on verabradley.com as well as Vera Bradley Retail Stores,” she said.

She said Visit Fort Wayne staff will also be on site at the sale to answer questions and promote other tourism opportunities within the area.

A shuttle service to Vera Bradley at Jefferson Pointe leaves on the hour every hour. So Fort Wayne visitors can hop on the shuttle and shop and dine at Jefferson Pointe mall without having to navigate their way through Fort Wayne.

From hotels to restaurants, Visit Fort Wayne reports that the sale brings in $6 million in revenue to the local economy. While a lot of that money is spent on lodging, food and shopping, it's also a booster for day spas and tours of DeBrand Fine Chocolates. Many visitors also finish up their Fort Wayne shopping trip with a stop at Glenbrook Square or Jefferson Pointe.

Visitors comes from all 50 states and eight countries. There are 5,000 hotel rooms in Fort Wayne and all are expected a sellout thanks a convergence of events including the Vera Bradley Outlet Sale, Indiana-Notre Dame Soccer Game, Teresa Caputo Show, Peg Perego Sale, DeBrand Open Tours and Pink Crush Classic.