Lululemon Warehouse Sale crowds swarm CE Centre
Published Friday, January 20, 2012 3:55PM EST
Travelers around the Ottawa International Airport experienced delays before they even tried to catch their flight Friday.
The line of cars leaking out of the Lululemon Warehouse Sale on Uplands Drive started slowing south Ottawa traffic before its 9 a.m. opening.
The annual, travelling sale is in Ottawa this weekend for its only Canadian stop, with an estimated 1,000 people lining up outside the CE Centre before it started.
"We even served them hot chocolate for the brave ones out there," said CE Centre general manager Josh Zaret.
Some shoppers showed up at 4 a.m., a full three hours before the doors opened and five hours before the sales began on the hugely popular line of yoga and exercise wear.
The wait wasn't limited to the parking lot as plenty of space was reserved for lines inside.
"We waited about three and a half hours, got here around 8:15 (a.m.)," said Kevin Woods.
"Everybody said it was a great deal, a great sale so I thought I'd come," said Christine Hemsley, who said she'd spent a few hundred dollars. "I was here, I did it, but it's a long wait. I wouldn't go it again."
The sale is attracting people from across Ontario and Quebec, with some making the trip from Nova Scotia and the United States.
"Honestly I'm not looking at prices right now, I'm just looking at things I like and I'm hoping they're going to be on sale," said Anna Lepore.
"I think the appeal of the sale is the product," said Rhianon Rollit. "The product is super high quality."
Some of the men in the crowd said the appeal for them was making their girlfriends happy.
"I told them to be 20 minutes but they said no, they had to go through everything," said one boyfriend waiting for his girlfriend to shop.
It runs from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
There are 2,000 parking spots at the sale, overflow parking on Uplands Drive and a shuttle taking shoppers to and from the CE Centre.
The CE Centre is also hosting the Home and Renovation Show this weekend.
With a report from CTV Ottawa's Karen Soloman