Founder’s Closet | 7 Tips to Survive the Mall

Welcome to the Founder’s Closet where we take you inside the world of Kelly Ernst, the CEO of Redenim for tips, tidbits, and peeks into what we’re up to!

Hey everyone! This week I’m addressing something that makes people audibly groan: the mall.

Believe me, I know that malls are retail dinosaurs. And it’s no surprise considering the convenience of online shopping (I mean hey, you can shop from your couch) and the fact that most brick and mortar stores can’t compete with the selection online.

However, I will defend the mall on 3 key points… and I’m not just saying this because I’m nostalgic for the days when it was cool to just “hang out at the mall.” These are pretty legit:

  1. It’s still really great to be able to get what you need in the same day. Amazon prime is awesome but there’s something to be said for being able to just walk into the mall and come out with something you need right then.
  2. You get to touch things to assess quality and construction before you buy them. I’m a very tactile person so I like to be able to get my hands on things and touch them before I commit.
  3. You can try things on before you decide to purchase them. Easier said than done, but there is a bit of relief that comes from trying something on and seeing how it fits before you decide to purchase it.

All that being said, malls still suck. They are overwhelming, exhausting, and can rob you of precious time, money and sanity. That’s why I’ve assembled 7 quick tips to help get you in and out of the mall quickly, easily, and hopefully with a little cash saved.

Check out the video below for my tips or read more after the jump! Spoiler alert: don’t miss my tip on getting a hold of clearance items before anyone else can get to them…

#7 Go in with a plan

This is the biggest reason the mall is so overwhelming to people: they don’t go in with a plan and wander aimlessly for hours. It’s not the 90s anymore. We don’t go to the mall to just hang out! Think about what it is you actually need and go in with a specific plan. I literally keep a list on my phone of things I need at the mall. Currently it just says “undies.” Anyway, this will help you determine what stores you’re going to go to and keep you on track.

BONUS HACK: Google map your mall

When it comes to your plan, knowing where you’re going to go in a mall is super helpful. But do you ever get annoyed that mall maps are always impossible to find? Yeah, I think they do that on purpose. Regardless, did you know that most malls have detailed maps right in google? Pull up your local mall on google maps on your phone and zoom in until you see stores. Boom! Mall map right in your hand!

#6 Shop on off days

Don’t go to the mall on the weekends. Just. Don’t. Everyone goes to the mall on Saturdays and Sundays which means you’ll have to fight with crowds, fitting rooms lines, and stores that look like they’ve been ransacked. Plus it’s almost impossible to get the attention of store associates if you find yourself needing a helping hand. The best time to go to the mall to beat the crowds is during the week after work. This is an obvious benefit, but there’s a second reason shopping on a Tuesday or a Wednesday is superior to a weekend mall trip…

BONUS HACK: Markdown days!!!

This is one of the most awesome hacks I have for getting the best clearance and sale items before anyone else. If you’re a sale shopper, it’s important to know that things don’t just sporadically get put on clearance. Stores have what are called “markdown days” every week, usually on a weekday because it’s quieter. This is when all new markdowns are labeled and it usually happens on Tuesday or Wednesday nights. SO, what that means, is if you hit the mall on a weekday right after markdown days, you get the first choice of clearance and sale items before they’re picked over by weekend crowds.

And markdown days aren’t some big retail secret. All you need to do is ask a manager or store associate what their markdown day is and take note to shop the day after. So not only is weekday shopping easier on your spirit, it’s also easier on your wallet!

#5 Pre-shop online

Just because you find yourself needing to go to the mall doesn’t mean the internet can’t still help make it easier. If you made that plan we were talking about earlier and have a clear idea of what you’re shopping for, you can hop online first to see if it’s available nearby. Google shopping allows you to search for a specific item and then sort for it in nearby stores to see if it’s available. In addition, many retailers give you the ability to buy online and pickup in store that same day. That way all you need to do is run in and grab your items from an associate minimizing your time spent at the mall and potential for being distracted by things you don’t need.

#4 Go in a good mood

This is one of those tips that should go without saying. Before you head to mall, take a personal inventory of your mood and how you’re feeling. If you’re hungry, tired, or in a bad mood that is NOT going to improve by going to the mall. Trust me. Going to the mall hungry means you’ll waste time tracking down a meal in the food court that’s probably not-so-great-for-you fast food. And if you’re tired or in a bad mood it’ll probably result in you feeling overwhelmed and ready to pick a fight. No one needs that. If you’re feeling off and a trip to the mall isn’t essential, just skip it and go when you’re in a better headspace.

#3 Park in an off area

Most people will park their cars outside the mall food court because it’s usually in a central location and pretty easy to find again once you’re inside. But of course this means that tons and tons of people are going to be parking there which increases your chances of hitting traffic, having to park way far out from the entrance, and losing your car. A better option is parking outside a department store, preferably a centrally located one. Department store entrances (or other non-food court mall entrances) are often less trafficky so you’re able to park closer — which is great in bad weather — and it’s also easier to find your car when you’re on the way out.

#2 Ask for help

As far as this tip is concerned, I feel like I could write a whole book on it. Without getting too far in the weeds, part of the reason mall shopping is so difficult is because stores are set up to make you fail. Think about it — the most important thing for you when you’re shopping for clothes is fit. But it’s almost impossible to tell how something is going to fit you looking at it on a rack. You are attracted to items based on how they look which means you have to go through the time and energy of trying them on to see how they fit. And you may be thinking “well, yeah, that’s how shopping is” but that’s also EXACTLY why everyone hates it!

Ok, so we know that fit is the most important thing, and mall stores can’t reorganize themselves to show you things based on your fit BUT the easiest way to find things that will work for you is to ask for help. Seriously, store associates are trained to understand how things will fit your body and it’s their job to help you. They also know the store’s inventory and where to look for things that might not be immediately apparent to you.

#1 Skip the mall altogether

One of the biggest reasons I founded Redenim was to save you the hassle and time suck of going to mall by finding the perfect fitting jeans for you. Again, when mall stores set you up for failure it’s almost impossible to quickly find jeans — or any clothing for that matter — without wasting tons of time searching and trying things on. That’s why we take the time to get to know you to find the perfect fitting jeans and deliver them right to your door to try on in the comfort of your own home. It’s as easy as taking a 5 minute quiz to get started.

Hopefully these tips help you out if you find yourself in a position where you have to hit the mall. But we’re here for you if you’re ready to skip it altogether. Hit to get started on your profile today and get the perfect fitting jeans delivered right to you without the trip to the mall!

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