Friday, 29 November 2013

Black Friday

I generally hate 'Black Friday' shopping.  I think the last time that I did any shopping for the occasion....probably was around 2007.

There's something about the mass of crowds.....which push me off into frustration and stress.  Why would you go and drive into a parking lot of seven-hundred spaces.....when there's only six open spots?  Why would you pick up some gift items....then stand for forty minutes in line to buy your selection from a clerk who is taxed by the crowds?  Why stand in a store that can handle three hundred customers....when there are close to eight-hundred folks there?

The last time I did the shopping on Black Friday....it was to a BX (Ramstein).  I remember the line episode.....close to twenty people in front of me.  Things rarely moved, and forty minutes later....I finally got to the front.  Some old guy in his sixties was running the cash register, and it seemed every second customer had some issue and the clerk had to sit and figure the way to correct matters.

I related this story two years ago to an associate at the Pentagon.  Their worst experience was some mall in Maryland where they had spent the day moving around six different stores, moving and parking on a continual basis.  That evening on the last walk back to their car....they found the trunk open, and most everything they'd bought was gone (robbed).

Ever since the internet came along....I've been leaning more toward it's use....than physically going to stores.  My dad is still the old fashioned type.....he'd have to visit a store....ask for prices, and make price comparisons.  This naturally means that he will travel around to twelve stores in the region and spent a long bit of time to find the 'right' gadget.  I'm from a different generation....I just don't have that patience.

The importance of the day on sales?  This is an argument of sorts.  Business owners will simply say that it marks a trend.  If they meet last year's sales....they feel good.  If it's ten percent less....it's a bad note of things to come.  If it's ten percent above the norm.....it's shocking and you have to be more than curious about what is driving the sales.

Germans don't have Black Friday traditions.  Typically....sales start up over the last two weeks of November, and mark the festive nature of the period.  The mark of a successful period.....usually says alot about the economic condition of the country.  There's probably five hundred 'experts' in Germany....noting hour-by-hour analysis and trends during this period.  Gimmicks are introduced and watched for influence.  Ad's fly onto display windows and beg for attention.

Today?  I end up taking two cats off to the local vet.....which is my Black Friday experience of the day.  It's their one-thousand mile check-up.  Both will remember the day for some reason.  Me?  It'll be a low stress day except for handling the cats and putting them into the tote-cages.