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Winter's wrath takes a toll on retailers. Bargains up to 90% off Sat.

Posted by: John Ewoldt under Retail Updated: February 21, 2014 - 1:31 PM

Once you get your home and your vehicle shoveled out from Thursday's storm, consider how often this winter we've taken a pass on retail because it's too cold, snowy or expensive. High heating bills have some dialing back their thermostat and their discretionary spending. "The jump in home heating bills will act as a temporary tax and slow spending into spring," wrote John Lonski, managing director and chief economist at Moody's Capital Markets.

In the short-term, until temps warm and snow melts, consumers should be on the lookout for bargains that are even better than most post-holiday periods, whether big ticket or small. For example, U.S. light vehicle sales fell 3 percent in January after strong fall sales. That puts buyers in a stronger bargaining position.

Locally, there are three sales happening this weekend with much better than average discounts.

Grethen House, the upscale women's boutique in Edina, will have a 90 percent off sale from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22. This is the first 90 percent off sale at Grethen House since 2011, but it's twice the size of the previous sale. (Its sister store GH2 has more regular 90 percent off sales.) Sale prices on more than 300 pieces range from $7 to $190 after the discount, but most will be $15 to $55, said employee Annie Rhoades. It will be a mixture of seasons in sizes 0 to 14. Rhoades said it's been a terrible winter but that's not the primary reason for the sale.

Gabberts furniture had a warehouse moving sale two weekends ago but is doing one last blast Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The warehouse in Bloomington is being combined with Hom Furniture's warehouse in Coon Rapids (Hom purchased Gabberts in 2008). Discounts are 50 to 70 percent or more in a few cases. General merchandise manager Steve Platt said that 80 percent of the merchandise will be different from the last sale and the remaining 20 percent gets an additional markdown. This sale will include 40 mattresses and a blend of dining room, bedroom, upholstered and outdoor furniture. The sale is at 10759 Hampshire Ave. S. in Bloomington off Old Shakopee Road.

If you're looking for mid-line clothing for men and women, try the liquidation sale in progress in Hopkins where men's and women's suits are only $29 to $35 and shirts, pants, blazers, vests and other clothing for men and women is between $5 and $25. Hours: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tues-Fri., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays at 1401 Mainstreet, Hopkins, 763-210-5833.