SHOP TALK : Merchants to Cut Prices as They Move Outdoors : About 30 to 50 retailers are expected to offer big savings at the sale, sponsored by the Downtown Ventura Assn.


You had better sit down for this one.

In case you weren't aware, on Saturday and Sunday, the Downtown Ventura Assn. is sponsoring the second annual Downtown Sidewalk Sale.

Anywhere from 30 to 50 retailers are expected to slash prices on their merchandise--antiques, thrift items, clothing, furniture, just about anything you can find on and near the downtown section of Main Street.

Are you still conscious? Have a glass of water. Check your pulse. Read on.

We spoke to some of the merchants planning to participate in this mass sale to see what kind of meat they were going to throw to hungry shoppers. So, without further ado, here's a taste.

Ventura Bookstore: "We'll be selling overstocked, brand-new books at ridiculously low prices," said Ed Elrod, co-owner of the store. "We'll have the mis-shipments, the ones the dog chewed up, the ones the parrots chewed up, a lot of new stuff that was missent to us or came damaged that had been marked down. We'll also have leftovers."

Look for the damaged books to be 60% off and the rest to be discounted 50%. And, yes, there are a few children's books that were chewed by the store parrots.

Apparently the books used to be stored near the bird cages.

Ventura Leather: Purses will be going for about a 30% markdown--from the $60 range down to the $30 range. Wallets and belts will be going for a 20% discount.

Follow Your Dream: The gift store, specializing in Victoriana, will have Victorian wrapping paper and Mary Engelbreit items--greeting cards, T-shirts, mugs, etc.--at 15% off. Other selected merchandise will be marked down 20% to 50%.

Fantasia: Clothing will be on sale, and some of the store's wide selection of trolls will be 30% off.

Art Deco Boutique & Shoe Salon: Much of the store's designer label clothing will be 30% to 50% off, and a good selection of shoes and jewelry will be discounted similarly.

Sea Things: As co-coordinator of the sidewalk sale, store owner Sherilene Oelschiager said she hasn't had much time to think about what she will put out on the sidewalk. But she did say some sand dollars, nautilus shells and selected other shells will be on sale. Don't be surprised to find some discounted wind chimes and fish mobiles as well.

Ladies & Gentlemen: Georgia Olivas Madrid, owner of this new and resale designer clothing store and the event's other coordinator, said at least half of her merchandise will be on sale. "From 30% to 40% to 50% off, at least," she said. "There's a lot of merchandise I want to move."

Standing Room Only Bakery: Look for retail items such as Thermos bottles, mugs and serving trays to be sold at discount prices.

The American Cancer Society Discovery Shop: The thrift store will have selected merchandise--clothing and otherwise--at 50% off the usual price.

For Your Home and Landmark 38: These sibling furniture stores will be selling sale-priced lamps, artwork and a variety of furniture--chairs, coffee-table and end-table sets, living room furniture, bedroom furniture, accessories and other items.

And, by the way, For Your Home, a new kid on the block, started its 60-day grand opening sale last week. A wide selection of furniture and artwork has been marked down.

The sidewalk sale will run 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. That's 13 hours of discount shopping. We suggest you rest up.

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