What Day to Shop? 12 Insider Tips on Store Markdowns

June 9, 2014 by Kyle
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(Updated 5/27/17) Have you ever been shopping the clearance rack at your favorite store and wonder when the heck they add new stuff to the rack? Or when do they markdown the stuff that is already on the clearance rack in an effort to get rid of it? Or when do stores put stuff on sale? So many questions, so little answers. Well, until now that is. I went through the painstaking research of figuring out when some of your popular retailers mark stuff down. I hit the streets in search of answers and here is what I found…

Best Days to Shop? Store Markdown Days

Anthropologie

I have it on good authority that Anthropologie typically does their in-store markdowns starting on Monday and wrapping up by Tuesday. This is when they either add items to the clearance section or further reduce stuff already in the clearance section. Shop on Tuesdays and you’ll have the first dibs on newly marked-down merchandise.

Babies R Us

Expecting a baby, or need to buy something for one that has already popped out? Remember this one word….”THURSDAY.” That is the single best day to shop in-store at Babies R Us. Why you ask? Well, I got information from a very credible source that Thursdays are the day when employees have to be finished with their weekly markdowns, making it a great day to shop for a bargain. Make sure you shop with a printable Babies R Us coupon as well to save even more money.

Store Markdowns

Best Buy

Shopping for electronics, appliances, or maybe a new laptop? Shop on a Wednesday at your local Best Buy as that is the day they typically change pricing based on what competitors are adjusting. Also, I have it on good authority that Sunday is also a solid day to shop at Best Buy in order to take advantage of any errors that might be printed in their Sunday newspaper circular.

CVS Drugstores

Shop early in the week. Like on a Monday or Tuesday if you can. A manager told me that most CVS stores start their markdown process on Sunday, so shop early in the week and take advantage of the selection and savings.

The Gap

Did you know that if the price ends in .97 it typically will not go any lower at Gap? True, check it out yourself the next time you’re shopping. How about the day Gap tends to mark stuff down? I recently had a current Gap employee tell me they mark things down every two weeks on a Monday. Figure out which Monday and you’ll be good to go.

JCPenney

I just got word from a former JCPenney employee that they do their store markdowns on the 1st and 3rd Friday of every month. She also said that when they do these twice monthly markdowns they put a blue price sticker on the items they are reducing.

She said the savings is often up to 75-90% off the original JCP price. Be sure to grab one of our printable JCPenney coupons as most are good for clearance and regular-priced items and really pile on the savings.

Joann Fabrics

According to many loyal Joann shoppers they mark things down on Sundays, making it a great day to shop, especially if you have a Joann printable coupon good for 40% off any one item. A friendly sales associate also had the great advice of shopping on a Monday as the store is typically less crowded and you’ll still practically have first dibs on new markdowns.

Kohl’s

I had a super friendly sales associate tell me all about the markdown schedule at Kohl’s. She told me that while they are constantly marking stuff down, and putting stuff on sale, the best days to shop occur twice a month.

They are the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month. She said those 2 days are typically when they mark the most stuff down and mark it down for the biggest saving (percentage-wise). Shop with a Kohl’s coupon in hand and make out like a bandit. News you can use right there!

Macy’s

Macy’s is notorious for starting their in-store markdowns on Sunday’s with the goal of being finished marking things down by Tuesday. Shop on a Tuesday or Wednesday to get the first crack at newly marked down apparel, jewelry, and household items. Most of the printable Macys coupons we get here on Rather-Be-Shopping.com can be used on clearance merchandise as well.

Marshalls

Here is what we know so far about Marshalls. They markdown their clothing twice a week. The actual day seems to vary by store so just politely ask a store associate and try to get the inside scoop. We also have it on good authority that they do their markdowns early in the mornings.

Shopping for a deal on shoes? Marshalls marks down their shoe inventory every 2 to 3 weeks. Again, ask an employee about upcoming markdown days.

Old Navy

My wife was shopping at our local Old Navy store a while back and asked an employee about their markdown policy. She was told they do markdowns, and add new stuff to the clearance rack, on Sunday and Monday, or sometimes early Tuesday morning. So in order to get the best selection, consider shopping at Old Navy on a Monday or Tuesday, Wednesday at the very latest.

Also, before you head out on your next shopping trip, check our Old Navy coupons page for a printable coupon to help you save even more.

Pier 1 Imports

Thanks to reader Tatum, who works at Pier 1 for the inside scoop. She said they do their “markdowns every week on either Sunday evening or Monday morning before the store opens.”

She also said that when you’re shopping on a Monday and “find something you like, don’t be afraid to ask an associate to double check the price!”

Ross – Dress for Less

NEW info (3/09/15): Thanks to reader Kylie, “I was head of clearance at Ross and MONDAY is the day we only do mark downs.”

A friendly sales associate dropped the goods on when they do price reductions at Ross. He told me they mark stuff down, or put new items on clearance, starting on Monday and end by Tuesday evening. So he recommended shopping on Tuesday afternoon or early Wednesday to get the best shot at newly marked down items. He said this was especially true for shoes, luggage, apparel, and home decor items.

NEW info (3/09/15): Thanks to reader Kylie, “I was head of clearance at Ross and MONDAY is the day we only do mark downs.”

Target

Target has one of the most widely known markdown schedules around so I went to a great source for All Things Target and got the scoop on exactly when they mark things down. Also, be sure to crack the price tag code on Target clearance stickers so you an score the best savings. Here is when they do their markdowns:

  • Monday – Electronics, Accessories, Kids Clothing, Books, Baby and Stationery
  • Tuesday — Domestics, Women’s Clothing, Pets and Market (food items)
  • Wednesday — Men’s Clothing, Health and Beauty, Diapers, Lawn & Garden items and Furniture
  • Thursday — Housewares, Lingerie, Shoes, Toys, Sporting Goods, Decor & Luggage
  • Friday — Auto, Cosmetics, Hardware, & Jewelry

Let me know if anyone has new information on this Target markdown schedule.

TJ Maxx

I was told by a TJ Maxx employee that they tend to be a little random on markdowns. I was also told that the key to finding the best markdown deals tend to happen mid-week as most locations use those days to re-stock shelves and thus will add more stuff to clearance to make room.

New Information for TJ Maxx (5/13/16): Thanks to an anonymous TJ Maxx employee for setting the record straight. Here is the scoop: “Hi! I recently worked at TJ Maxx and markdowns are not on Wednesdays. We do markdowns in 2 cycles (cycle 1, & cycle 2). Cycle 1 is men’s, women’s apparel, juniors apparel, lingerie, and kids (toys and apparel). Cycle 2 is home, bath, handbags, jewelry, beauty, active accessories, shoes, and luggage. Mostly the weeks will vary.

We will markdown one cycle Monday-Thursday and then the next week, do subs (marking down already clearances items for a bigger discount the next Friday). Let’s say this week we marked down cycle 1, then next Friday, we do subs cycle 2. Then the week after, we markdown cycle 2, and the week after, is subs cycle 1. And sometimes we have final sales weeks where we put yellow stickers on items. It will be the lowest they go and if not sold, they are donated.

You can always just ask a TJ Maxx markdown employee nicely. the regular employees will not know the markdown calendar. All we ask is that you don’t rummage through our bin or racks. We separate them by no tickets/ damaged tickets/ and matches, wrong priced items, and clearance. Those items will be put on shelves within 30 minutes for your viewing pleasure. Hope this helps!”

Ask the Reader: What other stores do you have an insider tip for when it comes to their markdown schedule? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll get it added to my article, thanks!

(Note: Be aware that this is a rough estimate of when stores do their markdowns and should be used only as a guide. Results could vary by geographical location.)

By Kyle James

Photo credit to Kevin Dooley.

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28 Comments on "What Day to Shop? 12 Insider Tips on Store Markdowns"

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We stop at CVS every Sunday after church. The manager is usually doing markdowns for the week. We’re such regulars that she asks if we’re looking for something in particular and/or lets us know if something we tend to buy is on sale, but not marked yet. WE LOVE HER!!!

LOVE THE OPERTUNITY TO SAVE. PLEASE SEND ME ANY ADDITIONAL INFORMATION !

Any suggestions on Home Depot or Lowe’s markdowns? Thanks for very useful news item!

What day is best to shop at Lilly Pulitzer?

Walmart is always marking down stuff. You can always tell by the red price tags.

This is a fantastic guide on when to pick up mark-downs. I will be more strategic when I go out looking for deals. I love Ross so I will be going at the beginning of the week. See ya there haha

As a JCPenney employee myself, I can tell you that we stopped using the blue stickers at least a year ago and replaced them with the original pink “Reduced To” stickers.

We are supposed to mark down clearance every Monday; however, some stores go ahead and do it over the weekend.

False I was head of clearance at ross MONDAY is the day we only do mark downs

Wow head of clearance at (proper English would have been for not at) ROSS!!?? Is that truly all you did on Monday because I imagine that there were customers to be taken care of as well. Please, before shooting your mouth in such an arrogant way learn some sentence structure. It makes a big difference.

Pissed at someone & take it out on someone else? Go somewhere else!!!

Hey Eva, I was a manager at Ross (have worked at several stores) and can confirm that Monday’s are in fact the only day that employees do markdowns. Unless Monday is a holiday – then the employees typically will do markdowns on the Sunday before.

The employees will usually show up several hours before the store opens so that they are practically finished by the time customers start coming in. The sections getting marked down will vary each week and it’s totally random so you’ll never know what exactly will be marked down next until extremely late Sunday evening or Monday mornings. All stores will do the same sections each Monday also.

So you can go to multiple stores to get tons of items if they’re marking down a section you like. They usually do the sections like this but as I said it definitely varies and they’ll switch it up a little bit from this – All of Home items (varies from bed and bath items to kitchen items, pet stuff, garden, storage/furniture, stationary, food, seasonal etc) – all of men’s, all of kids, luggage, electronics (includes clothes, shoes and hoisery, toys and men’s gifts) – all of ladies and juniors. Includes apparel, shoes, purses, perfume, jewelry, accessories (makeup, wallets, hair care, socks and umbrellas etc).

Some mondays they’ll do mark down only the items that are already clearanced. Sometimes things get marked down to $0.49! Most of the time the employees will try to buy all of the $0.49 items (at least they did at my store) but after the holidays is when most items will get marked down that low.

Tuesday Morning – an employee told me their truck comes in every (you guessed it) Tuesday. Depending on the amount of inventory they receive, it’s usually on the shelf by Wednesday afternoon/evening. Unfortunately, I don’t know their markdown schedule.

Wow thanks Tina. You did read the article right? It’s about the day merchandise is marked down.

Eva, why are you so hostile?

I used to work for Dry Goods, which is a women’s clothing store in the midwest that is owned by Von Maur. They do initial markdowns on Tuesday mornings before opening, and further markdowns on clearance items on Wednesday mornings.

I recently worked at old navy as the pricing specialist and they do markdowns Sunday and Monday mornings. And depending on the store shipments comes in Mon, Wed, Fri or Tues, Thurs, Fri. Sales usually start on Thurs and go until Wed. This may change a little when they have a big holiday. For example they don’t have shipments on Thanksgiving even though it’s a Thurs.

What about mall stores? like Rue 21 or Eblens?

Anyone know about Urban Outfitters?

Urban, anthro and free people are all sister companies. Markdowns come in during the week but prices don’t ring until Sunday. Most stores do markdowns on Sunday mornings. Some do them early and leave them in the back until Sunday.

Anyone knows Walgreens schedule

What day does the clearance percent change at kmart?

Do you have any information on the markdown schedule for Nordstrom Rack? Thanks!

I work at Pier 1 Imports and we do our markdowns every week on either Sunday evening or Monday morning before the store opens. Since there are so many things in the store, we often miss a bit during the markdown process.

Your best bet is to come in Mondays and if you find something you like, don’t be afraid to ask an associate to double check the price!

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