CHELSEA — Tourists, fashionistas and regular old bargain-hunters spent the first days of the semi-annual Barneys Warehouse Sale digging through massive inventory and avoiding the rain to find the best deals.
The sale offers shoppers discounts of up to 75 percent off Barneys' normally steep prices.
"I had to come while I was here," said 31-year-old Pernilla Ericson, from Stockholm, Sweden. She walked away with a gray Barneys leather bag for $75, marked down from $100.
"It's better than what I can find at home."
While there were no lines out the door after the sale began early Thursday morning, the crowded women's section of the warehouse at 255 W. 17th St. was still packed that night. Waits on the cashier line topped out at an hour most of the day.
Hundreds of satisfied shoppers piled out of the store's rear exit on West 18th Street to admire their discount finds.
"These are perfect for blonde girls," said 24-year-old Olga Moshkovska, holding up a pair of crop leopard-print heels she got for half off. "This is why I came."
The Barneys Warehouse Sale is typically known for its huge crowds on weekends, though it's not clear how it will be impacted with Hurricane Irene bearing down on the city.
The sale runs through Sept. 5.