As Madrid kicks of its winter sales five days early, a Spanish shop chooses a novel way to lure in the crowds: the first 100 to arrive in their underwear, leave clothed... for free.
MADRID, SPAIN (JANUARY 2, 2011) REUTERS -Braving winter temperatures over 200 people queued outside a Madrid store ready to strip down to their underwear on Sunday (January 2) to take advantage of the shop's winter sale offer: come semi-naked and go home dressed ... for free.
With Madrid starting the winter sales five days before the traditional 7th of January date, the Barcelona based company Desigual dared the first 100 young shoppers to show their flesh in exchange for two free items of clothing - a top and bottom piece.
Shoppers queued from 15:00 local time (14:00gmt) on Saturday for a crack at a new free outfit.
"Since 9:20 (pm). And we are here because my father saw it on 20 Minutes (newscast) and told us, so we came, my sister, my girlfriend, by brother in law, my other brother in law," Ricardo said.
Friends Jenny and Lisa from New Zealand had been waiting since before midnight and said it was a great opportunity to meet new friends.
"We have been here since 11 last night with my friends," Jenny said. "New friends that we made here!" Lisa interjected.
Erica, from Brazil, earned her number one spot by waiting from 3pm the previous day and was happy with her choice, although she intended to buy more, in addition to the two free items.
"I am number one and I have gotten a coat and trousers, but I am still picking things, there a lot left (to get though)."
Madrid and Murcia decided to start the sales before the traditional January 7th date, a move designed to boost sales in financially-strapped Spain.
It is tradition in Spain to celebrate the day of the Epiphany, when the three wise men are said to have visited baby Jesus, on January 6th, a time when families get together and give each other presents.
Eva Garcia, Desigual´s communications officer, however, says the shops offer to give free clothes to customers has nothing to do with the economic crisis.
"For us it's more, a fun experience they can remember and tell their friends about, rather than something to fight the crisis," she said.