A: Hi Chris,
I don't know of any permanent stores that sell samples and display items, but you can find all sorts of sample sales in most major cities. Of course, NYC leads the pack in terms of heavily discounted designer goods, but companies like Billion Dollar Babes and Gen Art are slowly but surely bringing the shopping joy to the rest of the country. In Chicago (where I am located), we also have Beta Boutique - a store that is essentially a permanent sample. They also hold regular shopping events where their merchandise is marked down even more. Chicago is also home to tons of interior design and furniture showrooms (and the Merchandise Mart), which hold semi-annual clearance sales where you can get all sorts of interesting things very cheaply. Other big cities might have similar options.
Of course, the web has also made it possibe for people to shop sample sales without traveling to the nearest metropolis as well - sites like the Gilt Groupe and the Art of Shopping hold regular sales featuring merchandise from all sorts of designers. The Fashion Spot forum's "shop by city" section is also a good spot to find news of special sales and new stores. Some brands are also starting to sell their samples online, so it's always a good idea to check the websites of your favorites for end-of-season deals.
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