The Vera Bradley Outlet Sale is a five-day event that folks wait months for. With brightly colored bags, pastel paisleys and quality crafted products, the sale gives shoppers the opportunity to save 40 to 60 percent on products.
More than 60,000 shoppers will flood the Memorial Coliseum Wednesday through Sunday for the annual 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 the sale is 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 between the sale and the company's Jefferson Pointe store 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 the city.
We spoke with Vera Bradley experts, including both staff and shoppers, to ensure you get the biggest bang for your buck. Here is what we found.
Don't worry and have fun
The sale is a huge event, to say the least. Yes, it can get packed, hectic and busy, but don't let that interrupt your shopping zen. All products are retired colors, styles and collections, and there's plenty to go around. While it can get competitive as thousands of people search for that perfect bag, it may behoove some to be patient. Each session is restocked with new material so don't worry that you won't find something for you, your family and friends.
Leave the kiddos at home; this trip is for you
You worked hard to attend this event. Chances are you are requesting time off work, traveling for hundreds or thousands of miles or saving every dollar to spend on some new products, so make sure you enjoy it, and leave the kids at home. Working a stroller around the maze of beautiful bags at the coliseum can easily take away from your desire to hunt for the best deal. Plus, it's a great time to pick up gifts for the kids. Instead, think about bringing along a shopping buddy and make it an event or new tradition.
It's a long day, come prepared
You'll walk more than you think. You'll stand more than your legs really want you to. You'll develop the bargain hunting ravenous hunger. Make sure you come prepared for the long haul when coming to the sale and bring along water, snacks and maybe even your favorite book to read while you wait in line. Pack a reusable water bottle and you will be able to fill up at any drinking fountain. You don't want to ruin your lunch or dinner, so a light yet filling snack such as trail mix or a granola bar can hold you over until you explore the great Fort Wayne restaurants in the area. Also, make sure you have a bag that allows you use your hands freely and doesn't weight you down. The checkout line can take up to 45 minutes so if you're shopping alone bring your smartphone, e-reader or tablet to kill sometime.
Check out the local offerings, make it an event
Fort Wayne has a lot to offer visitors and locals alike. Instead of making your trip a one-day event full of more travel than relaxation, take a breather by checking out the city. Give yourself an extra day or afternoon to explore the Summit City. There's a plethora of chain and local restaurants near the coliseum, and if you're taking the shopping hhuttle to the Vera Bradley store at Jefferson Pointe, there's even more delicious options as well as shopping. The location of the sale is also only 10 minutes away from downtown, which boasts a thriving food, arts, culture and music scene. Want to explore more of what Fort Wayne has to visit? Check out Visit Fort Wayne's website at www.visitfortwayne.com or the Downtown Improvement District's website at downtownfortwayne.com restaurant and shopping advice.