Sale mania

In retail a sale used to be an annual and special promotion. There used to be few if any pre-Christmas sales – that was traditionally a period of maximising turnover and maximum margins. Now sales are common right through the last months of the year.

For many outlets ‘sales’ now seems to be a weekly marketing tool – so much that unless you are desperate buying many things at non-sale price is foolish.

Rather than give people a break from sales after the commercially over-driven Christmas, an onslaught of post-Christmas sales has become the norm.

I saw ‘Boxing Day Sales’ being advertised on the afternoon of Christmas Eve. One large retailer advised that you could start shopping online for their Boxing Day Sale at 10:30 pm on Christmas Eve.

Boxing Day was full of sale mania – manic marketing and manic shopping.

It seems that it is now the biggest retail day of the year. That seems nuts to me. Christmas can be a very expensive time, so who would then want to load up the credit card even more or spend what’s left of their holiday pay? Many people, according to the ‘news’ (media outlets who benefit from the sales’ advertising give free promotions in a slow news period).

Sales are the new norm. Boxing Day sales will inevitably morph in to End of Year sales, then New Year sales, then marketing maniacs may have to get creative thinking of names for their promotions.

Shopping seems to have become an addiction, created and fed by retail chains. Many people seem to have become chained to over-commercialisation, and gross over-consumption. This adds to a lot of waste and rubbish and pollution.

Not everyone is afflicted. Many people will be on holiday (but some on holiday may simply have shifted their shopping addiction to a different location (albeit with largely the same retail chains).

I didn’t venture out at all yesterday, we had a family day at home. I did buy a lawnmower at a boxing day sale six years ago, but I don’t think I have indulged in post-Christmas wallet emptying since then.

Retail addiction has been given a euphemism – retail therapy. That’s a cynical and ironic description for a modern problem, trying to normalise the trashing of our planet as if we need and deserve it.

We will get what we deserve when we get sucked into sales we don’t need, to buy crap we don’t need, that adds pressure to our planet’s resources that it doesn’t need. Or if we manage to survive unscathed it will leave a burden for our children or grandchildren.

The retail spiral is out of control, with no sign of it abating. The population in general is addicted thanks to pervasive and calculated marketing messages.

Who needs a government to mind control their population when they can leave it to retail proxies? Of course the Government is complicit as they rake in the taxes. It has become a massive ponzi scheme, with no sign of a way of the ride to self destruction.

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28 Comments

  1. Blazer

     /  December 27, 2017

    that Capitalist beast has a voracious appetite.Continual growth,refelected in spending…consumerism,materialism the malaise of …humanity.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  December 27, 2017

      Materialism has been around since human beings have,

  2. robertguyton

     /  December 27, 2017

    Potlatch.

  3. Corky

     /  December 27, 2017

    The joys and sorrows of first world living.

    • Corky

       /  December 27, 2017

      Anyone noticed the art of saying ‘excuse me’ is gone , along with good manners in general? Now you just cut in front of somebody. Stuff them if they don’t see me coming seems to be the attitude.

      • Gezza

         /  December 27, 2017

        Manners generally seem to be on the decline, especially with young people. I remember my parents complaining about the same thing when I was a teenager.

    • robertguyton

       /  December 27, 2017

      There’s more than one world???

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  December 27, 2017

        Wyclif said the same in the c.14.

        I suspect that people forget what they were like. I have a collection of old magazines going back to the 1880s, and this is a hardy perennial. Eliza Lynn Linton was complaining in the 1860s about the awful manners of the then modern girl.

  4. Hollyfield

     /  December 27, 2017

    From Pete’s post: ‘Who needs a government to mind control their population when they can leave it to retail proxies?”

    This has reminded me of an article in the Herald a couple of weeks ago about the psychology shops use to get us to spend money. It said that malls overwhelm us with stimuli (eg tinsel, lights, music etc) as a technique to make us less resistant to impulse purchases.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11961652

    I’d like to know other people’s experiences, because I think the opposite is true for me. All the noise and bustle just irritates me and makes me want to leave. I went to my local mall twice in the week leading up to Christmas. It wasn’t crowded (by past year’s standards), lots of nearby parking etc. However the mall itself had Christmas music playing, every shop had music (different music to the mall and to each other), plus there were not one, but TWO groups of carolers who moved around the mall and seemed to pop up outside every shop I was in. They looked cheerful and were probably good singers, but the noise, plus the noise of people talking as they gathered to watch … And I was annoyed that several people were filming the carolers on their phones, and as I didn’t want to feature in the videos of unknown people I felt trapped and unable to walk past.

    So both times at the mall I just got the one thing I went in for, and got out again as quickly as I could.

    I tell myself I’m smarter than the mall psychology, but then again maybe I’m just a Grinch!

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  December 27, 2017

      I detest loud music (sic) and it makes me hurry past. Farmers in Hamilton has begun having it so loud at the front of the shop especially that one can’t make out any announcements. Malls where the shop music is loud enough to be heard outside and they all compete with the mall’s own muzak are horrible.This actually goes against the retail psychology that people want to feel relaxed and linger, so loud noise is a bad move because it has the opposite effect.

      I particularly loathe OUTSIDE muzak.

      The term ‘conspicuous consumption’ was coined in the 1880s, which surprised me, Eliza Lynn Linton’s diatribe against the girls of the 1860s could have been written yesterday; their materialism (she doesn’t use that word, of course, but she describes it) is timeless.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  December 27, 2017

        In Farmers one can just hear that there is an announcement, but not what it is at the front. They could be telling everyone that there’s a gas leak and nobody woulf know.

  5. David

     /  December 27, 2017

    I was a victim myself yesterday bought a gorgeous Tag Heur watch for the wife and it needed the strap adjusting but could we get to the mall, hell no traffic was backed up all over. Consumerism is killing society

  6. duperez

     /  December 27, 2017

    There’s no way I’d risk getting the Bentley bent going anywhere near the Boxing Day mayhem. Take her out only when the plebs are at home sated or broke.

  7. Gezza

     /  December 27, 2017

    I shop when I need something. But never around Christmas/New Year. I sometimes have a look thru any relevant flyers & online for the best deal if it’s a major item, but for most major items like appliances I’ve gone between the nearest large stores at the Porirua Megacentre where they’re all close to each other & tell them what I can get the same or similar for at their competitors’. I buy & I leave, mission accomplished. This is because I am a man & real men do that.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  December 27, 2017

      I just look online and see where they are cheapest when I need such things. $5 is the delivery charge for Briscoes and the Warehouse, and $7 for Farmers. It’s worth it not to have to go in.

      I have just bought a new sewing machine as mine is not going well, and it was free delivery from Warehouse Stationery as it was over $46. With cashback, it will have cost under $100-just. Online is the way to go when it’s something that you don’t need to choose, like my new fans-essential in the ghastly heat that we have been having up here.

    • Blazer

       /  December 27, 2017

      Yes real men love washing machines, dryers and other. .appliances. .

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  December 27, 2017

        I am not going to say it.

      • Gezza

         /  December 27, 2017

        Absolutely. You can keep ya bashing your animal skin trousers on ya stones in the river. Ain’t got me no time for dat shit no mo.

        • Blazer

           /  December 27, 2017

          What vacuum cleaner do you recommend. .

          • Gezza

             /  December 27, 2017

            Cheapest one you can find that’ll do the job & that looks like it might last longer than a year.

          • patupaiarehe

             /  December 27, 2017

            For you Blazer, I’d recommend one that has some cushioning around the end of the nozzle. And a few vent holes above the cushioning, so that it doesn’t suck…too…hard… 😀

  8. patupaiarehe

     /  December 27, 2017

    Personally, I can’t stand wandering around a store, aimlessly looking at things I might want (or not want) to buy. My ataahua wahine, however, could happily spend all day doing so 😀 . Which is one of the many things I like about her. She puts $30 aside per week, in ‘Te WareWhare Christmas Club’, starting in January, so that come December, we have over $1500 to spoil our kids, nieces, & nephews with. I really enjoy seeing the smile on her face, when she comes home from a hard day of ‘retail therapy’, and shows me what she has got a bargain on, & who it is for. 🙂