Retail Gone Mad
Based on a true story!
I was walking into a name brand hardware store to purchase some items. It's like I put one step inside and I was immediately whist away to The North Pole. Halloween was approximately two weeks away. What gives! Going from a spooky season straight to what used to be a season of remembrance, have we forgotten about the Thanksgiving holiday? It's not the gift that keeps on giving anymore. It's the gift of receiving or so it seems.
Don't get me wrong! I enjoy celebrations nonetheless. Holidays and celebrations help break up the monotony of the typical weeks of the year. Although they can be stressful, there is usually light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes you need a mental holiday after a traditional holiday. Holidays allow you to physically see friends and loved ones or at least have time to communicate with them. I hope the true meaning of holidays are not going wayward, but I'm afraid it is getting lost in translation.
This is what you see in three month increments when you buy groceries or other household items. Slow down Father Time!
I have listed some of the (not) forgotten holidays and celebrations amongst the more prominent ones. My apologies if I didn't mention any certain holiday or celebration.
Bouquets of flowers in every corner
Chocolates and candy hearts on every end cap
Greeting cards in every shape and size
Lace and ribbon
St. Patrick's Day
Oh Blarney! Top o' the day to ya!
Beaded necklaces in every shade of green
Sparkly top hats with black buckles
Four leaf clovers
Pot of gold at the end of the rainbow
Plastic egg frenzy
Bunny ear headbands
Aisles of colorful baskets with handles
Jellybeans and marshmallow figurines
Cinco de Mayo
End caps of Corona bottles and limes
Chips and salsa
Bouquets of flowers
Florals and paisleys
Ribbon and Bows
Stripes and plaids
Long lines at the hardware stores
Fourth of July
Red, white, and blue
Stars and stripes
Blueberries, strawberries, and whipped cream cakes
Fruit baskets carved from watermelons
Aroma of grilling outside
Back to School
Tax free weekend
Pencils, pens, paper
Crayons and glue sticks
Clothes, computers, calculators
Backpacks and lunch totes
First optional teacher workday
No mail delivery or garbage pickup
A long weekend for most businesses and schools
Bags of candy lining each aisle
Costumes strewn about
Cosmetic aisle ransacked
Trick or treat
Bobbing for apples
Pies and cakes
Ham and turkey
Deck the halls
Joy to the world
Oh Holy Night
The gift that keeps on giving
Bows, lights, ornaments
The North Pole
New Years Eve
Auld Lang Syne
Crystal laden ball
New Year's Day
Collard greens, Black eyed peas, Pork meat
Day of rest
Meanwhile, what ever happened to community events or recess or enriching activities? Surely, these did not go the way of the wind. Are celebrations the only time people can get together?
Every time one turns on the television or computer, an advertisement is displayed. Or when you travel down the road and see rows of marquees, inviting you to come into their stores.
Marketing techniques have a great influence on consumer behaviors. Whether it's the flavor of potato chips or the pair of jeans you wear or the automobile you drive, many factors are portrayed subliminally. Some of these factors are demographics, perceptions, and income.
People can usually process visual images quicker than a written paragraph. Hence the phrase 'A picture is worth a thousand words.' But certain catch words lure you in as well. This plays into impulse buying. Impulse buying can be a blessing if you come across the a display at the present time. But usually this act of purchasing does more “harm” than good. For instance, you grab up flour and sugar at the grocery store, not realizing you already have these items in your cabinets at home. Or purchase a few strands of new lights, so when you arrive back home and start laying them out, you end up with a surplus of unused lights.
The biggest sales and marketing technique that comes to mind is buying an automobile at the end of the year. Demographics and income are certainly huge factors that come into play. Whether the solution is to lessen current inventory for newer automobiles or something else, do your research ahead of time if you can.
Recently, merchandise has gotten more streamlined in some ways. Clothing, shoes, and food, not so much, but other home items. For instance, do you purchase a real Christmas tree or an artificial one? There are pros and cons to each such as regularly watering a real one and storing an artificial one in the off season. If you prefer an artificial tree, you still have your choices regarding height, color, and pre-lit or not.
There are other ways why the merchandise looks smaller. Transportation of freight is a main factor. Getting items from one place to another is taken for granted especially when stores selling similar items are lined up side by side. Another way that merchandise looks smaller is how it is displayed on the shelf or rack. It also never fails that when you find an item, the last one is way in the back of the shelf.