My friend Home School Dad had an interesting article recently about stores and their perception of when holidays occur, as well as their importance. It got me thinking. You know what happens when I think.
This time of year, anxious to bring customers in, stores resemble a desperate teenager, full of drama and ready to date the first person who asks. The problem is that desperate isn't pretty. Desperate people tend to embarrass themselves. And when they do get a date, they can't understand why they end up with losers with no loyalty. That sounds harsh, but consider our stores this time of year.
When I was a kid (and yes, I know I sound ancient using that phrase), we used to spend Thanksgiving with family. We would watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade without even noticing it was a giant ad for the department store. They were so nice, they offered all this entertainment, giant balloons and marching bands, and left you all warm and fuzzy before you sat down to give thanks and enjoy a huge dinner. After dinner, you either watched football, or if you were in my family you watched the lineup of giant ape movies. Mighty Joe Young always came on first, so I've never seen the beginning of it because it overlapped with our meal or traveling to relatives. King Kong followed. I remember these not so much for the movies, but for the Toys R Us jingle every time a commercial came on.
I don't wanna grow up!
I'm a Toys R Us kid!
They have a million toys in store
You'll really flip your lid!
From bikes to trains to video games
They're the biggest toy store there is!
I don't wanna grow up
Cause baby if I did
I couldn't be a Toys R Us kid!
Sad isn't it? That was from memory. But that's my point. Back then, stores used Thanksgiving for not-so-subliminal advertising while people were sedated from turkey. These days, many stores are open on Thanksgiving. They can't even wait one day to start the holiday shopping madness. Desperate!
And then it got worse. Not only did they try to entice you to leave the comfort of home on Thanksgiving, they also wanted you to get out before Thanksgiving! Shop til you drop! Doorbuster sales! Lower than Black Friday prices! Desperate!
I am not saying stores shouldn't entice you to spend. They have stuff, and we need stuff. Maybe not as much as the stores think we need, but still, it's a symbiotic relationship. My issue is with the desperate tactics. Because this is a case of the desperate preying on the desperate. Stores play upon our desperate need to find a bargain. Think about it. Do you really need to get up at 5am because a TV or video game is 70% off? Do you really want to risk getting into fights with other customers or getting trampled to death in sale-fevered crowds? And all this for a store that isn't thankful enough for its customers and employees, it needs to open on Thanksgiving?