Saturday, January 24, 2009

A Patagonia Education, Part One

Last Friday the 16th, I sat down to write a new entry for the Patagonia Community. Here's how it started (thanks to the hard-working people at Blogger who make sure that drafts are auto-saved):

I've noticed that when I walk into a Patagonia retail store, I'll rarely ever find anything on sale. I know they have their sales a couple of times a year, but outside of those times, the Patagonia retail stores are havens for full-priced items. I'm going to be heading to one of the Patagonia stores this weekend and am looking for evidence to dissuade me. I'm guessing I won't find much. Nevertheless, I enjoy the Patagonia stores because I get a chance to get up-close and personal with their newer gear and I've always found the sales people to be quite helpful.

So the part about their sales people being helpful remains true, but I was so wrong about the first part. Shortly after I typed the paragraph above, I visited and to my amazement, found that they had begun a 30% Off Sale. I then went to their store locations page and checked in on the Palo Alto store which was where I was headed last Sunday. I was pleased and surprised to read that the store was also participating. Therefore, lesson number one in my Patagonia education was that sometimes they do have sales out of the blue (though the downturn in the economy no doubt spurred the creation of this sale on; wouldn't expect this in "normal" years).

Usually the Patagonia Winterfest Sale is only a few weeks from this time of year, so to have a 30% Off Sale in mid-January seemed strange, but was welcome. I browsed through the website and found some pretty good deals though I didn't make any purchases. On Sunday I was off to Patagonia Palo Alto where I've visited a couple of times before. Here's a shot I took from Alma Street:
The rest of my Patagonia education last weekend took place within this store. My first clue was the print on the window:
The "30% Off" sign applied to everything in the store (with the exception of books and things like that). The website had some things on sale, and some for full price. Not so at the store. To verify, I asked one of those helpful sales people who reassured me that I wasn't going crazy.

When it actually came time to try on some items, the real education started. I've been a fan of Patagonia clothing and gear for the last 10 years or so, yet much of my admiration has come from reading about their company or perusing their well-produced catalogs. On this day I would be able to try some items on with the intention of purchasing. I grabbed several items and headed to the fitting room and that's where the real education in Patagonia began.

I'm going to post the second part of my Patagonia education this Wednesday. Stay tuned.

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