Mary-Martin France


When the temperatures rise, conventional wisdom tells us to think cool thoughts. The warmer months can also be a good time to think “SALES” and “BARGAINS.” Mary-Martin France, owner of the Magazine Street home design store Hilltop Shoppe says summer can be a good time to take advantage of savings.

France says store owners head to market in the months of June, July and August for the fall and winter months, so they offer discounts at various times during the summer to make room for the new fall and winter merchandise they are ordering. She advises marking summer holidays like Memorial Day, Father’s Day, July 4 and Labor Day on your calendar so you can look for corresponding sales. Furniture sales often take place on major summer holidays like Memorial Day, July 4 and Labor Day. Big box stores also have appliance sales on those dates to clear out old stock in preparation for holiday items. 

“I think from Memorial Day to Labor Day there is a sale in each month,” she said. “Labor Day is when you put out fall. The hottest months generally are the largest discount sales just to spur consumer purchasing.”

France has an annual Christmas-in-July sale that’s both a welcome diversion from the oppressive heat of summer and a good time to find half price discounts on such things as holiday linens, china, ornaments and candles, and off-season things like winter throws. End of summer, when people are taking Labor Day vacations, is a good time to find hot weather items that are still needed, such as beach towels, beach bags and other brightly colored summer-suited goods.

While major auctions are typically not held during the dead of summer, France recommends estate sales, which tend to be year-round, as another good place to find deals on antiques, china and more. She suggests following the Facebook pages of estate sale businesses or googling estate sales in your area.

France also recommends asking yourself a few questions before each purchase to determine whether it makes the cut. If the item is on sale because it’s damaged, ask yourself whether the damage is something you can live with or whether it can be fixed. If it’s furniture, ask yourself whether it’s versatile – can it go in different spaces, will it go with you if you move, can it be painted or reupholstered down the road. And finally, ask yourself whether you really want it and can use it or are just buying to buy. If the answer to the last question is “Yes,” hold off for something else. Summer sales have something for everyone.

  1. Shop summer estate sales for bargains on antiques and china.
  2. Spring clean and take note of things needed/things wanted before hitting the summer sales.
  3. A Christmas-in-July sale is a good way to beat the heat indoors and save on holiday/winter décor.

About The Designer

Northshore native Mary-Martin France is the owner of Hilltop Shoppe, a Magazine Street home décor and accessories boutique named after a hilltop cabin location at the summer camp she attended as a girl. France, who opened the store in 2017, is currently obsessed with china and always relishes finding a bargain price on something she loves. “There is no greater thrill than getting a deal on a good home item that you have been eyeing for a while,” she said. 

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