Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Gabes. THE best store for new brand name clothing.


That is all you have to say to ANYONE that has ever shopped at a Gabes store.

What is Gabes? Officially, Gabriel Brothers, a unique off-price retail company that gives shoppers fantastic deals on a wide selection of name brand merchandise.

Gabriel Brothers has been in the discount clothing retail business for more than 40 years. The Gabriel style of merchandising actually dates back to the 1920s, when Lebanese immigrant Z.G. Gabriel peddled merchandise in the tiny coal towns scattered throughout Fayette County, Pennsylvania.

Gabes now has has more than 30 locations throughout West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Virginia.

I was in my first Gabes when I was about 8 years old. It was at the end of an alley in a small, crammed shanty of a house. There were piles of work clothes (this was coal mining territory) at REALLY cheap prices.

Now each Gabes store is about 50,000 square feet of selling space crammed with high quality name brand merchandise. It is a bargain hunters dream.

When I go East to visit my family, I always take an empty (large) suitcase with me. It will be full of Gabes bargains on the return trip.

I was once in a chiropractor's office in Boston, Massachusetts. I was talking to my daughter and I mentioned that we would "go to Gabes when we were at grandma's house." This other lady in the waiting room excitedly said, "Are you talking about Gabes?" I said, yes. Well, she went on and how about how wonderful Gabes is and that there is nothing in the world as great as Gabes, etc.

And ... she was right.

When you shop at Gabes, you expect to buy name brand blue jeans for $7.99 (retail $65). Liz Claybourn dresses for $11.99. Designer suits for $24.99. I mean this is REAL bargain shopping.

Now, here is the drawback. Gabes stores are ONLY located in the mid-east coast of the United States: Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia. (a big boo-hoo for West Coasters) However, if you are even close to one of the stores, it will be worth it to drive, fly, carpool to the nearest store and buy clothes for your entire family (you can buy household items also.)

The other drawback is that you MUST look closely at the items before you buy them. Does the zipper work? Is there a stain or rip or is the back of the shirt sewn on upside down? You CAN return the items (except clearance items ending in .00 prices) but it is a drag to get home and discover that your great bargain is irreparably flawed.

Now, just so you know what I am talking about.... when I go to Gabes and power shop, (and it DOES take hours, ... don't think you can just zip in and out of Gabes) I leave with two or three GIGANTIC bags of stuff for my entire family for under $200.

WARNING: If you can't deal with rows and rows of racks that are out of size order.... if you can't try on clothes in cramped dressing rooms.... if you can't dig for bargains.... then I suggest that you go to the mall and PAY RETAIL!!! Only a shopper with nerves of steel, eagle bargain finding eyes and comfortable shoes can shop at Gabes.... but, if you have what it takes... you will have the best wardrobe in town for the least amount of money.

Go get 'em bargain hunters!

Check out Gabes at: www.gabrielbrothers.com

And... if anyone in the Los Angeles area knows of a store with real (none of this puny 10% discount stuff) deep brand name discounts, be sure to let me know. Write to me at: Bobbisbargains@hotmail.com

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