FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – Indiana’s NewsCenter takes a final look into the last day of the Vera Bradley Outlet Sale before the doors close at 5 p.m. Sunday.
It may be the last day, but it's Sarah Hathcock’s first time at the Vera Bradley Outlet Sale.
“We didn't know about it until two days ago,” said Hathcock. Hathcock came down to the sale for with her family from Olmstead, Ohio. Lucky for her, the last day means the biggest discounts.
“Every style that is here has had a mark-down, some of them being 80 to 90 percent,” said Holly Wagner, Public Relations Representative for Vera Bradley.
“I've never gotten anything Vera Bradley,” said Hathcock. “So [I got] anything I liked. Not anything specific.” Hathcock says she gathered 15 or more iteam, and said her favorites are the wallets.
Wagner says this year has been a very successful sale, and there’s a noticeable difference in the atmosphere.
“I’d say this year has been better than the years prior. We’ve actually had a lot of customers come up to us and thank us and just say how polite everybody’s been this year, that extra bit of kindness, that extra respect that been shown to everyone, it’s been so nice for us to hear.”
Barb Richards, with Majic 95.1 FM in Fort Wayne, has been an emcee and sponsor for the event for the past 20 years. She says she’s also noticed a change in morale.
“Everybody has been so nice!” Richards said. “All the customers have been great. Everybody seems to be like one big happy family, and I’m sure it’s because they’re getting a great bargain and they know that. Or, maybe it’s a sign the economy’s getting better and we’re all in better moods.”
Wagner says 77 semi trailers of merchandise were delivered before opening day, and Sunday, there was still plenty of variety.
“There’s been so much more color here and selection, that even though people are coming on the last day, they’re still so happy that there is that variety they look for,” said Wagner.
The most popular items this year were the extra large and large duffle bags and rolling luggage with the “A to Vera” pattern.
Wagner said even the wait times have been shorter. On average, the wait was a little over an hour to get in, and 15-20 minutes, on average, to check-out. Wagner says there have been years where both times ranged from four to five hours.
Diane Brahm of Kokomo, says she’s been coming to sale for the past 11 years with her daughter and best friend. She says over the years, she’s attended each day of the year, but Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are the best. She says the bargains are why she comes during the last days.
“I’m buying Christmas and birthdays for my family and friends. Some of them have never had Vera, and now they can’t wait for me to go,” Brahm said.
Brahm and her crew were sporting “Got Vera?” t-shirts while shopping. Brahm made it very clear that she’s a die-hard Vera fan.
“I’ve got all Vera and one Coach, and that’s it,” she laughed.
The first Vera Bradley Outlet sale happened in 1983, in a 10 x 10 tent in the factory’s parking lot. Ever since then, Wagner says the sale has been growing.
“We’ve been having that sale for 27 years now, we’ve outgrown that space, so that’s why we did bring it to the Coliseum to house all of our wonderful product and our guests that come in.”
Wagner says by closing Saturday, 52,000 shoppers were counted for. By 5:00 Sunday night, she predicts a little over 60,000 shoppers would have made their way through the Coliseum.
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