In an era of constant discounting, the Room & Board Annual Clearance Event is one of those rare sales that shoppers are willing to line up for. All the ingredients are there: It happens every Dec. 26, when a lot of people are off work (especially this year—the day after Christmas is a Saturday!); Room & Board really doesn’t discount its products much the rest of the year; and the deals tend to be legit—20 to 50 percent off on floor samples and discontinued models throughout the store. Now, there have been years I’ve walked in and walked out underwhelmed, but all it takes is one instance of finding an incredible, memorable deal—for me, it was a twin trundle bed for my son's room, nearly half off!—to make you a believer. In other words, to convince you it’s worthwhile to hustle out of bed and over to the store the morning after Christmas.
This time, you can make a more educated decision on whether or not this once a year sale is worth a lost lazy morning at home. Room & Board has given away the mysteries of its sale in a blog post on the company website. You don’t have to wonder if the sofa you’ve been eyeing might get discounted—there’s already an indicator on roomandboard.com. Items tagged “Discontinued 12/26” will be marked down—both in store, and online. But there is still reason to go to the store itself—floor samples will available at a discount, as well as some markdowns on current merchandise. Those are deals you won’t find online. See something that’s already marked sold? The tag will tell you if there might be more of the item online.
More sale tips, from Room & Board:
—A line before the 10 a.m. store opening is typical, so come with coffee, wear a warm jacket, and be prepared. (In my experience, this is not the sort of crowd to “camp out,” so no need to set the alarm for before dawn).
—Floor samples are sold as is and can’t be returned. Know your measurements, and scope out items in advance.
—No phone orders will be taken on floor samples, so don’t bother calling.
—If you were planning to use your new chairs and table for holiday entertaining, be advised: you can’t actually take floor sample purchases home until mid-January, when Room & Board’s new inventory arrives. Patience pays!
I asked a Room & Board spokeswoman if this tends to be an unusually great weekend to shop the retailer's Golden Valley weekend outlet as well, but sounds like it will be the usual hit and miss treasure hunt. Leftovers from this weekend's main store clearance sale might end up at the outlet later in January.
Room & Board has 14 stores around the country, including its hometown store (lucky us), 7010 France Ave. S., Edina