Fun in the hunt

If you have read my <<About>> page and the previous post, you know I love shoes. I said I could wax lyrical about them the entire day so of course, I am going to have another post about them.

Actually, to be precise, I am not solely talking about shoes but how, in my last three months in Toronto, I have managed to find solid bargains and spent more than I should. I am also aware that I have mentioned in my previous post about becoming more price-tag sensitive. Ha! I mock myself.

Before I stopped earning my own keep a couple of months ago, I have always enjoyed indulging in some beautiful and at times expensive shoes once in a while. The Carrie Bradshaw in me, fortunately, and unfortunately, is still very much alive and kicking, all pun intended.

Not a single person I know prior to my trip gushed about the shopping in Toronto. In fact, it was quite the opposite. I remember the words “boring” and “meh”. Let’s face it, this city is known for many things. Great shopping? Not so much. So imagine my surprise, pleasant of course, by the number of good stuff I found.

In my 3rd week here, something magical happened. I discovered Winners (cue magical harp music).

Yes, Winners. They are everywhere in the city. In fact, there is one just across my apartment building. The dangers in life.

It was a cold but sunny weekday afternoon, rare and a much-needed window for me to get out and explore the neighbourhood. I walked in, not expecting anything at all. At first glance, it was not impressive. More like a mishmash of items ranging from active wear, equipment, shoes et cetera from different brands, somewhat haphazardly put together.

As I delved deeper and began to check out the merchandise and their price tags, things got more interesting. I mean, I love a good bargain just like anyone else. It is only smart to hunt down the best price one can get on any item of desire, especially if that item is expensive. I walked out with some beauty and hair care products. I also kept in mind to check it out again. Like the next day.

Things got really interesting when they started their Runway event – a collection of designer labels for less, which I found out from its customer newsletter. Actually, I want to digress a little. From a marketing perspective, I think Winners has done a great job. I was introduced to its reward card by its sales staff. It is free and the process to sign up is fast and simple. I started following them on social media. It was also around the time of the event when I started noticing their TV commercials. Super hilarious. Check it out here.



Ok, back to bargain hunting. I visited the one near my apartment and lo and behold, they were not joking about the goods! I made a beeline for the shoe department. It was crowded. There was a dizzying array of merchandise. In a good way. I spotted Saint Laurent, Gucci, Salvatore Ferragamo and Bottega Veneta, just to name a few. All new and many in unbelievable prices. I had to do double takes on the price tags for quite a few. (Disclaimer: I am not saying they are inexpensive. I am referring to their significantly lower price compared to their original retail. Even during a sale, I am not certain if it is possible to get that sort of price point on offer here.)

resistance was broken. It must be the lack of oxygen with all those women also hyperventilating around me. I scored a pair of BV flats in a gorgeous cobalt blue in soft, woven lambskin for less. Way less.


Guilt trip #1

I walked out feeling high and elated. Also, a tinge of guilt because, you know. Then the unthinkable happened a week later.

I went to the store with the sole intention to purchase earphones for running. I walked out with a pair of Jimmy Choo’s.

OMG. Yes, it was in my size and further marked down to an (repeat after me) u-n-b-e-l-i-e-v-a-b-l-e price. I was feeling high and guilt-stricken at the same time. Maybe it was the stress of the relocation acting up. I put it on my own card, a poor attempt to alleviate some of that guilt. Ok, all lousy excuses. Please don’t judge me. I know you are. I will judge me too.


Guilt trip #2

So, yes. The discovery of Winners has been one of the highlights since my move here. It has also caused, erm, some damages to the bank account.

I am glad the madness has somewhat subsided. I still check out the store weekly. It is an entertaining place to visit, much like a treasure trove where part of the fun is in the discovery. (Disclaimer #2: I am not working for them nor am I paid to talk about them. I am just amazed so it is a genuine, voluntary shout-out. Another pat on the back for its marketing team. Word-of-mouth is priceless.)

Oh, and my husband doesn’t know about my shoes. Yet. I plan to keep it as that for as long as I can. Or come up with some excellent excuses when discovered.

Any other great places for good value and bargains that you are aware of? Sharing is caring.


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