The day is called Thanksgiving for a reason

Our own Suldog explains why some retail chains should be ashamed of themselves.



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    People already camped out...

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    How sad, spending your holiday with strangers, worshiping at the altar of consumerism.

    Every year I'm thankful I have a loving family and a well-honed hatred of shopping!


    Great article

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    But I thought here at UHub we were all about "Herald Bashing."


    If Suldog

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    ran the Heralds editing decisions, I don't think you'd see much complaints here.

    As for the article, while it is consumerism edging in, it's also just another surefire sign of the death of retail. The next 5 weeks are important to the retail industry and as it becomes harder and harder for them to use this short time to get out of the red, they're desperately looking for ways to extend the good times. They can't afford not to be open. And soon they just won't be open.


    I really don't see how it

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    I really don't see how it helps them to try to lengthen the Christmas shopping season so much that they started at the beginning of November. Whatever gifts I do happen to buy for people, I'm not going to buy more just because store decorations were up earlier. I don't think this is atypical of me. The most that will happen is that the same amount of money gets spent over a longer time than otherwise.


    If retail would just wake up and rid itself of the

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    "we didn't make enough money during the last holiday season, so let's start next year's season a few days earlier" mentality, then they could actually make just as much, if not more, money (both in sales AND reduced labor and inventory costs) by deliberately restricting the sales season to between Thanksgiving and Christmas.


    Suldog makes sense as usual

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    But in addition to the retailers, the shoppers need a good dope slap as well. Nobody is forcing them into the malls. The stores wouldn't be doing this unless they had a complicit partner in the moronic consumers.


    Which consumers?

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    You could argue that people shouldn't be so hung up on getting "things" for their loved ones as expressions of love and family. You could argue that the cost of the gift isn't important. You can argue that people should only do what they can afford to do. You could argue a lot of different ways that what I say next is wrong. But, that would be to idealize and ignore how the holiday currently exists in our culture.

    Now, given the premise that people will buy lots of stuff to give for Christmas, it's easy to understand why a growing segment of today's consumers are not moronic, but forced into this shopping mode. They're doing the only thing they can in today's world. The deals offered around "Black Friday" are the only way many families can afford to maintain the holiday the way they want to have it given the increasingly little margin they're able to afford it in their checkbooks.

    Does your kid want to play on the PS4 with all of his friends? Then, you have to find it when it's not hundreds of dollars.
    Do you need an extra $100 for the holidays? Then, you have to find the XBox One on discount so that you can resell it on eBay.
    Do you want to have a tree full of toys for your kids? Then, you better take advantage of every deal possible every time it's offered no matter what.

    There are lots of answers to those questions that don't involve a buying frenzy on exceptionally discounted crap on the one day of the year you should be celebrating with family over a nice turkey dinner. But that's not where we are and we aren't making the decisions nationally that will help everyone make better or easier choices in their lives that would let them say "No, I don't need to go shopping that Thursday. It can wait until later (or earlier)".

    Being "moronic consumers" is a means to an end. For some, it's the only means.

    Have you ever "experienced" Black Friday?

    The reason that there are lines and stampedes is because a store NEVER has enough of the featured item in stock to meet the demand.

    So, yes, moronic consumers don't take into account that their chances of actually buying the item of choice are slim to none - even with a raincheck.

    This isn't about finding an item at an affordable price - it is about creating a deliberate shopping frenzy and getting people into the store, who then buy all sorts of stuff when the prized items are taken by the first two people.

    Does not refute my point

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    There's more than enough of those other things (which themselves are discounted just not to the extent of the rare Snitch). People don't buy those other things because they are remorseful that they didn't get the big deal of the day. They were going to buy those other things anyways because that's what they are "supposed to do" when it comes to the holiday and how you treat your family to gifts whether you can afford them or not.

    It's not the rarity that drives demand. It's just the rarity that drives the anger and fighting that ends up occurring. These people are there because they want to get gifts at the best prices...the prices that allow them to afford getting more gifts than they would otherwise. If there's a rare, extremely discounted, and highly sought item, then all the better for their ability to satisfy their gift-seeking, gift-purchasing mission. However, if there were no deals, they'd still spend as much, just on fewer items....or the same items but cheaper/worse versions.

    If the point is to end the creep of sales and frenzy buying, it's going to be by convincing people that there's no advantage to the deal (not likely) or that they should focus on something other than buying the most gifts for the least money to fill their tree for their loved ones (less likely).

    Or a responsibe parent could ask

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    themselves "Does my kid REALLY need a PS4 or an Xbox or whatever latest piece of c@#^ whose games are totally incompatible with the past umpeen video game systems I've bought them and will become obsolete within six months".


    We might disagree about many things -- but on this topic (as on the delightfulness of Pleasant Cafe) we are united. ;~}


    Why is it the fault of the retailers?

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    If retailers opened their doors at midnight, and people didn't come, that tradition would end. Instead, there was clearly incredible demand for early hours the day after thanksgiving, and now on Thanksgiving Eve. Is that Best Buys fault, or is it the fault of the American consumer who is so desperate for a "deal" on a flat screen that they won't stay home with their families and enjoy the holiday?


    There's clearly demand becuase

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    people are sheep. They have cheap items dangled in front of them like horses with carrots and they do their damnedest to get that carrot, family and holidays be damned. All one has to do is look at the morons who stand in front of Apple stores every time a new product is launched. Will that product be there a day after launch? A week? Of course it will ,but taking into account the sheep factor, they have convinced people that their lives will be empty with out that new gold iPhone.

    If one major retailer said no, we're not going to be open at all on Thanksgiving, would those bargains not be there the next day? And do you think the CEO's of Best Buy and Wal-Mart will be working on Thanksgiving?


    I've always said the best

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    I've always said the best feeling of contentment is to browse through the many store flyers that come with the newspaper and coming to realize you don't need any of the cheaply manufactured crap therein. A long time ago I decided I would not buy products for my friends and family for the holidays, instead opting for musical or theatrical events we can all go to together, or just having people over for some food, drink and charades. Memories are more important than things. Camping out to save $100 on a flat screen? It's sad to see people conditioned to think that this is what is important.


    Unfortunately there are

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    Unfortunately there are people who live to shop. That's mall parking lots are packed on beautiful summer days. It's their favorite hobby. My sibling's in-laws cut coupons and examine the sales circulars for hours after Thanksgiving dinner. They are in disbelief that our side of the family hasn't made a similar Thanksgiving tradition of midnight Black Friday shopping.

    Coming Attractions

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    The Herald just informed me that they like two more of the pieces I've submitted. I'm not sure of publication dates, but keep an eye out (or check my blog once in a while; I'm sure to toot my own horn over there when they publish.)

    I know that at least a couple of the thoughtful comments I received at the Herald website came from regulars here, so thank you very much for that.

    Happy Thanksgiving!


    Not even for you...

    ... my (not infrequently disagreed with but still appreciated) friend, would I cope with Herald comments pages. Please do let us know when your other comments show up.