There’s Nothing Quite Like Your Local…..

Many people in Britain have a local. Pub that is.

There, they are well known and recognised, their favourite tipple has been memorised by the barman, and they can catch up with other similar minded patrons of that establishment.  I can see the attraction. (So can politicians.  It’s why they try to get photographed in a pub every time they run for election. But I digress….)

However, despite being able to see the attraction, I am not a frequent drinker.  So I do not really have a local pub.  Certainly not one that would fit the description above. However, I discovered today that I appear to have another type of local entirely.

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I am a big fan of M&S Man, particularly their blazers. Most of mine are from M&S. They fit me like they were designed with me in mind.

Because of the way that I tend to purchase items, I quite often purchase the same item multiple times (and return it multiple times) before settling on it finally.  So I might see an item that I like and purchase it to assess it for fit and function. Having decided that I do like it and definitely wish to add it to my collection I will then return it and wait for the price to fall.  I explain this more fully in How to Avoid Paying Full Price.

M&S, in common with most retailers, run promotions from time to time, and that is when I buy. In particular, I am a fan of buying from M&S online, not least because there are often short-term sales promotions which are only available online and not in store. In addition, l can get free postage if I opt to collect the items from my local M&S store.

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Is it me, or is the 2013 M&S Christmas ad a bit weird…?

So two days ago an email popped into my inbox indicating that there would be a 20% discount on M&S clothing for one day only. It was only available online. There is a fab M&S blazer that I’ve been keeping an eye on, waiting for the price to fall. This was my chance.  So I ordered it straight away.

For some reason that is not clear to me I also qualified for a £10 discount, in addition to the 20% discount, which reduced the price from £119 to £85.  Pretty good.  As usual I arranged for delivery to my local store, and the item was available for next day collection.

So this morning when I popped to the local supermarket to pick up milk, a paper, etc., I also popped into my local M&S to collect my parcel.  They are both around 3 miles from home with plentiful parking.  Easy run.

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Then the oddest thing happened. I was in the queue for the collection point.  There was a woman at the counter being served.  The chap at the desk disappeared into the back, presumably to collect her parcel, and came out bearing two packages.  The first he gave to her, asking for ID, etc., to ensure the correct person was collecting the parcel.

The second, he passed to me, without asking for anything, and before I had even reached the front of the queue!  When I raised an eyebrow at this, his response was: ‘I recognised you.  You come in quite a lot don’t you?’  And off I went.

I still haven’t worked out whether I should be embarrassed that I visit my local M&S so often that they see me coming and go off to check whether I’ve ordered a parcel.  Probably.

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The alternative, which I’m leaning towards, is to celebrate that I appear finally to have a local, and it’s the ‘M&S Arms.’ They know my name, so I don’t need ID, they know what I’m after, so I don’t have to explain, and I get to jump the queue! Awesome! I think I could get used to this….

The blazer is awesome by the way, but not quite as discounted as I would like. The total discount I achieved on this blazer was just under 30%, which is pretty good. However, I would like around 50% (my best has been 80%).  So I am still keeping my eyes open.

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