Prices fall as retailers get ready for autumn

July is all about clearance.

Retailers next month will scramble to offload “small, piecey stuff” to clear space for autumn shipments, says Dan Butler, VP of retail operations for the National Retail Federation. Plus, “people are usually going on vacation in the summer months, so retailers really have to promote their values strongly to get their customer in the door.”

So keep your peepers peeled in July for these deals:

SLR cameras: “We’ve noticed lately there’s been a spike in the number of ‘editor’s choice’ deals [on single-lens reflex cameras] in May and June already,” says Lindsay Sakraida, features editor at consumer website “We’re hoping that will continue into July. It might be a good thing to keep an eye on if you need a [late] graduation gift.”

Apparel: Look for 40 to 70 percent off spring holdovers. “Some retailers will get very aggressive and mark things down dirt cheap just to get rid of it,” Butler says.

Sandals: July introduces the best deals on sandals, and might include discounts from Steve Madden, Crocs, Polo Ralph Lauren, and Teva, Sakraida says. Many national retailers will drop prices on flip-flops to under $5.

Garden/tools: Live plants intended for spring gardening are on a ticking clock, and garden centers will be shoving them out the door. July also begins sales on patio furniture. “The reason for that is they want to be clean by September,” Butler says. And stores that don’t sell garden supplies year-round, like Big Lots, will attempt to clear the racks by offering garden tools for 50 to 70 percent off, he says. Also look for deals on general tool sets, accessories and storage units.

Restaurants: “During the summer months, the restaurants have kind of a lull because everyone’s out barbecuing,” Butler says, “so there can be some really great deals.” For example, Concentrics Restaurants (Murphy’s, Flip) is offering 50 percent off coupons for most of its metro Atlanta properties. Chick-fil-A is offering a free entrée in July — for patrons who dress as cows.

Also look for: Beach gear, summer white sales.

But wait for …

  • Clearance sales on grills and sunglasses.
  • “Black Friday” sales: Some retailers have hijacked the phrase, including stamping it on sort-of-summer-sales. Don’t buy something just because of the sale’s name. “It’s pretty obvious to most people that they’re not as good as Black Friday,” Sakraida says.
  • Back-to-school promotions: Retailers will receive shipments in July, so you might see some “first markdowns” on those products, especially in the young men’s, juniors and children’s departments. But they’re not rock-bottom prices, Butler says. Savvy parents might want to wait for Aug. 10-11, when Georgia brings back its sales tax holiday weekend for back-to-school items. Expect retailers to piggyback on the tax break by discounting a host of qualifying items, from clothes to computers.

Check out’s “The best and worst things to buy in August.”

– By Lauren Davidson, Atlanta Bargain Hunter

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2 comments Add your comment

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Busy Mom

June 26th, 2012
8:13 am

Why is Georgia doing the tax free weekend after most schools start?