My head did some serious swiveling this week while working on this column. Summer just officially arrived, but you might think it was mid-August not just by the sizzling temperatures but by what stores are already stocking.
I’m known to chuckle out loud standing in store aisles. Here’s some expected summer supplies, and the unexpected.
Light up the night
If you’ve got an umbrella table on your deck or patio, you might want to grab the attractive black metal filagree “wreath” with six LED tea candles from Big Lots in Fairview Heights. It’s hinged so you can unlatch it and put it around the pole on your umbrella table. (Or not; it will look good anywhere.) All six candles are attached to the base and work off of three AAA batteries you’ll need to buy. Cost is $15.
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Two aisles over, what do I see? School supplies stocked already, particularly college dorm-room storage. I liked the rectangular storage ottoman with tweed-like gray padded fabric for $29.99.
Headed in the wrong direction
So, I’m turning the corner into the patio area at the back of Target in Fairview Heights and what to my wondering eyes appear but six black antelope heads, I fear. You’re supposed to hang them on the wall, somewhere outdoors? They’re on clearance for a reason. Somebody thought they’d find a home. Cost: $19.99, regularly $39.99.
I can always count on Kohl’s in Fairview Heights to have attractive. seasonal household goods. You can pick up hand towels in patriotic patterns and colors for $9.99. A red towel I liked had a puppy holding an American flag. Others were blue with star-burst fireworks on them. Your guests can wipe their hands on one that looks like the American flag. (Not so sure about that one.) If you need something underfoot in the powder room, there’s a red, white and blue rag rug for $24.99. I’d wait another week or two; prices are bound to go down the closer we get to the Fourth of July.
Heading toward the back of Kohl’s, I saw that Big Lots wasn’t the only retailer getting into the back-to-school business really early. I spied a cute fluffy pillow for $27.99 that said “Dorm Sweet Dorm” on it.
IKEA wants you to be family
You might want to make a day of it: IKEA Family Day is Saturday at the St. Louis store and if you’re one of the first 200 IKEA customers (adults) in line to show your IKEA family card, or sign-up to become an IKEA family member, you’ll receive a mystery envelope with an IKEA gift card valued at $10 to $500 or a buy-one-get-one cinnamon bun, hot dog or frozen yogurt.
Get a $1 breakfast Saturday by showing your card or signing up for one. The loyalty card is free and getting one takes just a few minutes. The best part is that you’ll get special discounts and announcements of sales in advance just by having it.
Bring the kids because a balloon artist will be around from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., with story time at 1 and build-your-own-sundae from 2 to 3 for kids 12 and younger.
Stop by the kitchens department at noon and enjoy a “Taste of Summer Sampling.”
There will also be a DJ, special one-day product offers and prize giveaways.
Time for more cutbacks
Really, how long can a store that’s closing expect customers to get just a 10 percent discount on goods?
I stopped in at Tuesday Morning, which is closing its Fairview Heights store, to see what was still on the shelves. The store still is fairly well stocked, though colors, sizes and variety are down on things like sheets and rugs. But there are plenty of garden pots, outdoor seating sets and baskets.
I was told the store might close by August, so I keep waiting — and waiting — for deeper discounts.
Crazy ’bout a sharp-dressed man
Dillard’s is having its semi-annual tailored clothing sale for men through Aug. 7. Get suits, sports coats and dress slacks at a 30 percent discount, with nominal fees for alterations. It’s a good opportunity for any guy heading off to a new job.