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As the name suggests, Ross Dress for Less (more commonly known as just “Ross”) offers a wide variety of clothing, accessories, home décor, and other items that are priced to suit your budget. These stores are a reliable destination for holiday shopping, helping you score gifts at a lower price than you would at other stores. But frequent shoppers say the best time to head to your local Ross is actually after the holiday season concludes. Read on to find out why customers say you should wait to shop until January.
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When the clock strikes midnight as Dec. 31 comes to a close, we celebrate the official start of a new year. But for retailers, the year isn’t over on Jan. 1, as they utilize a “retail calendar” instead. This calendar lines up holidays and makes sure that each period has the same number of days so that it’s easier for stores to do sales comparisons with previous years and pinpoint optimal times for sales and marketing events, according to retail software company Brightway.
Stores like Ross follow this calendar, with a March 2022 press release confirming that the retailer’s “year” will end on Jan. 28, 2023. That might seem like a strategic way to up sales, but Ross also offers something unique for shoppers before ringing in its new year.
Ross shoppers know to take advantage of “Monday Markdowns” and the senior discount on Tuesday. If you wait until the end of January, however, you can expect Ross to have the very best prices—going as low as $0.49.
Videos posted on TikTok documented shoppers’ “hauls” from the 2021 sale, held before the end of that year’s retail calendar on Jan. 29, 2022. Several videos have the hashtags #ross49centsale and #49centsale, encouraging shoppers to “run” to their local store to cash in on some of the best deals.
In a Jan. 24 video, TikTok user @kalyncousar showcased her finds, which included winter apparel at the $0.49 price point, a mirror she found for $4, and multiple clothing items ranging from $0.49 to $2. A commenter on a haul video posted by @b_woodard said that they go annually. “My favorite time of the year!!” the comment reads. “I literally buy a whole new wardrobe.”
A former employee, who uses the TikTok handle @insomniacraftshop, stated that she worked at Ross for seven years, and the sale is something that happens annually.
“I noticed that every year around January, they make the whole entire store less than like $5,” she says in a Jan. 18, 2021 video. “You find shoes, purses, Michael Kors, wallets, sunglasses for less than $5.”
The social media user went on to say that the sale is held when the retail calendar concludes. “Most retailers do this because their ‘new year’ starts in February, so they like to start off with new merchandise starting in February. You can even find a whole bunch of stuff for only $0.49,” she says.
She posted another video in Jan. 2022 to remind shoppers about the sale, clarifying that not everything is going to be at such a low price point and advising shoppers to “check your stores, go early, and don’t bother the employees.”
Another ex-associate backed her up in the comments. “I was an Assistant Manager for 8yrs at Ross & I can definitely verify her information,” they wrote.
Several TikTokers noticed the trend and took advantage of the “sale,” but it doesn’t appear to be a formal Ross policy. Shoppers and other Ross employees commented on a range of videos, either claiming that their store doesn’t run the sale or that the low prices are just part of standard markdowns.
On Jan. 25, a shopper using the TikTok handle @couponingwithwen filmed price tags at their local store, which were discounted, but not down to $0.49. Other shoppers said their local Ross didn’t have any of the same deals that they saw on social media.
“I went and nothing was marked down,” a commenter wrote, with another noting that they only found two discounted Christmas items. Patience might be a virtue, as another commenter said that employees might not have gotten the chance to mark them down yet, but other shoppers allege that they were too late and deals had already been cleared out.
A current employee commented on @b_woodard’s video, claiming that “there is no such thing as a sale” and that the store just continually marks down items, including those in the clearance section. Several employees echoed this, adding that shoppers had actually called Ross stores to ask about the “49-cent sale.”
If you’re up for it, visit a Ross store before Jan. 28 and see if deals are available at your store. You might be able to snag some finds before new inventory makes its way onto the floor.