06.12.00 -- Homer Laughlin Outlet
Twice a year Homer Laughlin has a warehouse sale where seconds of new Fiesta can be purchased for next to nothing. This started about four years ago and each year more and more people show up for these sales. There were about 40 people waiting in line to last one I went to (two years ago.) This year I heard there were much more.
People arrive early in the morning and wait for hours for the doors to open so they can get "good" pieces. HLC constantly restocks these sales so there are always good pieces. You never know what will be in the next bin HLC brings out.
The first one of these I went to was in an actual warehouse. Since then they have built on a special room to the outlet and sell all the seconds from there year round. However, it is the warehouse sales where the bargains are.
The first warehouse sale of this year was held on the weekend of the 16th. I got in town on Saturday the 17th but had no desire to deal with the crowds. Instead I decided to wait until the outlet recovered and put things back in their proper place. The seconds room was open and well stocked but the prices went back to normal. The main room, which, during the big sale is converted into a Wal-Mart like register area to handle the dozens of frantic buyers, was starting to look like its old self.
There were several stacks of "Crunch" Fiesta nappys (see first image.) They are some type of promotion for Giant Eagle stores. Next shows two milk crates of lilac lidless individual sugar seconds. They were priced at $16.50 each (A little high in my opinion, though I don't know if you could get a lid at the counter. A while back, the outlet brought out lilac coffeepot seconds for $9.00 each. The lids were kept behind the counter, but I don't know if this was the case for the sugars.) You might not be able to tell from the image, but I could spot them as seconds a mile away since there was so much variation to the glaze -- some were more white than others and some were more red.
There was a nice selection of black on a table as well as some apricot pieces (mainly flatware.) In the image below are several stacks of black presentation bowls, but there were no boxes. The last photo shows a big, colorful display of one of HLC's newest lines: Hawaiiana Ware. There is at least one piece of Fiesta used in this line, the disk pitcher.
I ran into Steve Sfakis at the outlet and we made plans to meet later in the week. He always seems to find good stuff in the area which makes me think I should get out of South Carolina and move back home to Newell! There were several familiar faces that I had seen at the conference in Pittsburgh. I was surprised to see many were still in town.
I didn't buy too much at the outlet even though there were some nice pieces available. I did get a pair of Y2K candlesticks in juniper. There were several crates of these (all seconds) but after some digging, I was able to find a good pair -- at least what I consider to be a good pair. Each had a small glaze pop on the foot.
There were several crates of Shakespeare mugs in turquoise, sea mist and that special clear/cobalt glaze found on jung bowls and "Red Lobster" plates. I was hoping there would be one in persimmon so I could have a set of four to match the Red Lobster plates, but I couldn't find any.
All the Shakespeare mugs had a general HLC backstamp.
Hopefully, people won't confuse the blue mug with sapphire. I can see the eBay auctions now:
There was a lot of Fiestaware 2000. I already had enough flatware but decided to get a mug in every color including juniper. The middle image below show a bouillon in persimmon and a River Mug in turquoise. These two pieces fit the bill of Fiesta Mates: general non-Fiesta restaurant shapes done in Fiesta glazes. The River Mug is a favorite shape of mine and I was happy to find it in a Fiesta color. Its marking is clean and simple: an HLC logo.