Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday Code For Shopper Insanity?

Lines Outside a Walmart in Buffalo NY

The above photo which appears in today's Toronto Star I am sure looks like good news to retail executives, but personally I find it just a little bit creepy!

Is it just me, or do the shoppers look more like animals being herded and led to a slaughter? Note the partitioned barricades that clearly control the number of people at any one time being allowed through the doors, desperate to snap up the ten foot television for $10, or whatever other 'specials' are used to entice people to behave like crazed beasts.

People line up in freezing temperatures and wait overnight, others have to vie for tickets for the right to buy deeply discounted items, others sleep overnight inside the store waiting for items to begin selling at 5 AM. And on and on it goes, with a different case of shopper insanity being reported at stores all over the US.

One of the specials to get a lot of attention was a 32" television regular price of $328 on sale for $198, which is a saving of $130. Anyone lucky enough to actually get a ticket to buy one, would have had to wait in line for hours and hours just for the ticket and then many more hours before you actually can get your hands on the product. Then snake your way through the insane crowds to the check out, and get yourself home. Considering your time, you might have earned $5 or $6 per hour based on your saving of $130.
I understand that buying stuff is all a part of the American dream,  but I still find images like the one above just plain creepy.


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