Things to Do

Oh Say Can You “C”: C-Mart’s Grand Opening

A trip to the massive discounter retailer reveals that if you're willing to work at it, C-Mart can offer you up some real finds.

Last weekend's opening of the discounter C-Mart in Landover was such a crush that many bargain hunters never even got into the parking lot — the line wound hundreds long.

But I made it there eventually, and discovered that the secret to C-Mart is to go on off hours with the understanding that the merch is a quirky melange of the ridiculous and the sublime.

First, the furniture.  On the day we went, most offerings were traditional and ornate. If you were looking for a marble sink and vanity, a sleigh bed fit for a king, an oriental-style rug, or a painted chest, you were in luck.  A huge armoire, normally $4,000, was on sale for $1,675. 

But if you're in search of low-cost basic furniture, get back on the Beltway and head for IKEA.

The clothing selection is mostly high-end.  We found lots of Jill Sander, Helmut Lang jeans for less than $50, and enough half-price Lilly Pulitzer for both men and women to paint the world pink and green.

Chloe Paddington bags for $948 are a bargain  — when you consider the original price topped $5,000.

This week there are also Prada bags, lots of shoes, designer sunglasses, towels, and an odd assortment of books.  Next week, you may find manufacturers' close-outs or leftovers from a Hamptons' boutique.

The bottom line: This is no place for amateurs or shoppers seeking wardrobe basics.  But you can find great stuff at great discounts, if you are willing to come early — and come often.

Don’t Miss Another Washingtonian Event—Get Our Newsletter

Don’t miss another great party.

Or, see all of our newsletters. By signing up, you agree to our terms.
SIGN UP
We engage readers directly in their mailboxes with topics like Health, Things to Do, Best Brunches, Design & Shopping, and Real Estate. Get the latest from our editors today.
Get The Best Of Washingtonian In Your Inbox!