Former Winners Employees Dished Out Insider Tips On Shopping & Saving

Who doesn't love saving money?

Assistant Editor, MTL Blog
Exterior of Winners store in Canada.

Exterior of Winners store in Canada.

Whether you're looking to shop the latest clothing trends or spice up your living space, Winners has a little bit of everything for everyone. Although you may have already found some impressive deals in their stores, there are a few secrets worth noting that could score you some of the best bargains and other savings on your next shopping trip.

Narcity Québec spoke with former Winners employees, Marie and William* and they dished out all sorts of juicy details to totally enhance your Winners experience.

According to Narcity, Marie worked on the floor at the TJX-owned department store for three months, while William worked full-time at both the Laurier Québec and Neufchâtel locations in the Capitale-Nationale between 2019 and 2021.

Here's what they had to say:

What are the best ways to save money at Winners?

If you're hoping to get some major bang for your buck, there are a few things you can do to save money during your next stop over at Winners and one of them is looking for any product defects and inquiring if a discount is available.

"I had a pair of Merino socks with a hole in them that I was able to repair at home," Marie told Narcity. Apparently, when you've found something that is either stained, torn or defective in any way, you could score yourself anywhere from 5 to 10% off.

"If a cap is broken on a shampoo bottle. You can't seal it up, but you can still use it at home. On furniture, they make them more worthy if there are scratches or a drawer that doesn't close property" William added.

Does Winners have any fake discounts?

Yes! Many brands and products sold at Winners are usually designed specifically for sales and discounts.

"Sometimes brands make cheaper models but put the logo everywhere. It's a bit of a stretch, but brands like Michael Kors do it very well. All the bags sold at Winners are rarely sold at Michael Kors even though the quality is not as good and the logo is not written in the same way," William said.

"You really have to be careful when the deal looks too good. It can be a sub-brand that will wear out in the washer and dryer faster, or an item that will unravel faster. In the end, there will be no discount," he continued.

What are the best and worst Winners sections?

According to Marie, the best bargains are usually found in the women's section. "A bra for $19.99 instead of $59.99 is really fun to find," she said.

Marie isn't the biggest fan of the shoe section. "The discounts are not as good as the other sections (25% on average) and better discounts can be found in shoe shops."

If you shop at Winners with the sole purpose of saving money, William recommends checking out the clearance section of the store. "We don't look at them so there are often items already on sale at the regular price in the shop that are going to be on discount there," William said.

When is the best time of year for sales at Winners?

According to Narcity Québec, items at Winners don't usually stay in the store for longer than six months. Markdowns usually occur in February and then again around November.

"Winners will take anything that's about to go six months and sell it at 70 or even 90 percent off. The goal is really to get everything, everything, everything out. The period lasts about a month," William shared.

You can also score some savings by shopping toward the end of the season. For instance, summer furniture will sometimes be marked down a lot if it's still around come the winter and coats trickling into the summer season can also be found at good prices.

What customer behaviour annoys Winners employees the most?

For Marie, customers who want even more of a discount annoy her. They "want bigger discounts on items that are already cheap. Winners is already cheaper than anywhere else in general…" she said.

Also "customers who are stubborn with the poor 16-year-old cashiers who have no power over policy and work for minimum wage," is another major peeve of hers. "Come on!" Marie said.

*Names have been changed to maintain anonymity. Narcity has verified the identity of the speakers.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Mike Chaar
Assistant Editor, MTL Blog
Mike Chaar is an Assistant Editor for MTL Blog focused on recalls in Canada and is based in Montreal, Quebec.
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