Free Lunch, Haircuts and Other Things Retailers Give Away

by | September 13, 2012 at 12:28 PM | General


This month, J.C. Penney announced they would offer free kids’ haircuts every Sunday, which they ended up extending past its one-month promise. Not only is this a smart technique to lure in shoppers who are trying to balance their budgets, but it also gives other retailers ideas for complimentary services.

NBC News uncovered which other famous retailers offer free products, services and events for their customers. Turns out some of your favorite stores offer everything from free lunch to an interior decorator!

Personal Shopper. Can’t keep up with the trends? You’re in luck. You can live like a celebrity and have a personal shopper help guide you around the store and pick out your best outfits. Just book an appointment online and you’re good to go. Retailers like Nordstrom, Anthropologie and Macy’s all offer this service, and personal shoppers at J.Crew will even keep the store open late or early for you. Now that’s some A-list living.

Interior Decorator. You want wooden floors and your husband wants a blue carpet. Granite countertops or marble? For problems you can’t seem to compromise on, most stores will offer a complimentary interior decorator to help you solve these tricky questions. Furniture stores like Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel and Ethan Allen just request that you come to your booked appointment with photos of the room you’d like to furnish. Make sure to bring measurements and pictures of what styles you like in order to make the most of your decorating experience.

Free workshops and classes. Whether it’s cooking a holiday meal or making a scrapbook for a best friend, many stores offer basic workshops to help you perform all of these tasks. Williams-Sonoma will help you cook the meal of your life with a free technique workshop. Pottery Barn will help add a cozy fall feeling to your living room. Home Depot and Lowe’s will even offer free home improvement workshops to help build your home beautiful from the bottom up.

Keeping the kids happy. How many times have you walked into a store to do some casual shopping, and you find your kids running in and out of dressing rooms, knocking down displays, and starting temper tantrums at the checkout line? It looks like almost every store has a solution to your problem. Toy stores like Babies “R” Us, Toys “R” Us and Disney Stores all regularly host special events for kids, and list them on their websites. Craft stores like Michael’s and Lakeshore Learning offer free workshops to help your little ones get creative on a Saturday afternoon.

You say it’s your birthday. Next time the cashier asks for your date of birth and email, don’t tell them “no, thanks,” right away. Almost every chain restaurant out there has some sort of birthday discount for you to join. However, what can be better than the word “discount” than the word “free?” Jonny Rockets and Baskin Robbins will treat you to a free snack whenever you sign up for their emails. That sounds like a pretty sweet treat to me.

Free babysitting. Say goodbye to the kids nagging on your pants or asking for a cookie next time you’re trying to decorate your home. IKEA offers a supervised play room and ball pit for the kids that will help facilitate your shopping experience. If you’re looking to bang out a quick workout at the gym, Life Time Fitness offers members two hours of free child care every day while you’re schooling that punching bag.

Free health screening. If you’re a member of Sam’s Club, skip the trip to your doctor and head over to this warehouse giant. Each month they offer a different free health screening. While this month is a diabetes screening, next month they promise to offer free women’s health screenings.

Recycle. Freecycle. Old iPhone? Don’t throw it in the trash. Head over to Best Buy where they will accept your old electronics to recycle. Simply check online to see which components they’ll accept in your neck of the woods.

Car talk. Don’t fret over a dead car battery. AutoZone will recharge your battery for free, in addition to testing any of your car’s components like alternators and starters.

There is such a thing as a free lunch. Next time you’re making your weekend grocery trip, take a break from pushing that shopping cart and grab some grub. Costco offers a variety of delicious free samples every weekend that will give you an extra boost to finish off your daily errands.

Casinos. Basically any casino in the country will take care of you as long as you keep throwing some quarters into that slot machine. Take a seat at your favorite machine and be prepared for complimentary drinks, meals and possibly even a free night’s stay at certain hotels.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.