Retail Frenzy

Written in response to: Set your story during a sudden change of season.... view prompt

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American Christmas Creative Nonfiction

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.

Valentine's Day

February 14th

Hearts abound

Bouquets of flowers in every corner

Chocolates and candy hearts on every end cap

Greeting cards in every shape and size

Lace and ribbon

Cupid

St. Patrick's Day

March 17th

Oh Blarney! Top o' the day to ya!

Beaded necklaces in every shade of green

Sparkly top hats with black buckles

Gold coins

Four leaf clovers

Pot of gold at the end of the rainbow

Easter

April 4th?

Plastic egg frenzy

Bunny ear headbands

Aisles of colorful baskets with handles

Jellybeans and marshmallow figurines

Pet Rabbits

Cinco de Mayo

May 5th

End caps of Corona bottles and limes

Chips and salsa

Party lights

Mother's Day

May 9th

Greeting cards

Bouquets of flowers

Florals and paisleys

Ribbon and Bows

Memorial Day

May 31st

Cemetery visits

American flags

Fireworks

Veteran Discounts

Reflections

Father's Day

June 20th

Neckties

Stripes and plaids

Greeting cards

Long lines at the hardware stores

Fourth of July

July 4th

Red, white, and blue

Stars and stripes

Blueberries, strawberries, and whipped cream cakes

Fruit baskets carved from watermelons

Fireworks

Aroma of grilling outside

Back to School

August ?

Tax free weekend

Pencils, pens, paper

Crayons and glue sticks

Clothes, computers, calculators

Backpacks and lunch totes

Orientation dates

Labor Day

September 6th

First optional teacher workday

No mail delivery or garbage pickup

A long weekend for most businesses and schools

Halloween

October 31st

Boo!

Bags of candy lining each aisle

Costumes strewn about

Cosmetic aisle ransacked

Porch lights

Trick or treat

Haunted houses

Bobbing for apples

Ghost stories

Thanksgiving

November 25th

Gobble gobble

Pies and cakes

Ham and turkey

Casseroles galore

Afternoon siesta

Christmas

December 25th

Deck the halls

Joy to the world

Oh Holy Night

The gift that keeps on giving

Evergreens

Bows, lights, ornaments

Stockings

Santa Claus

Elves

The North Pole

Reindeer

Sleigh Rides

Ice Skating

New Years Eve

December 31st

Seafood

Adult beverages

Party favors

Auld Lang Syne

Snack food

Music

Crystal laden ball

Fireworks

Midnight

New Year's Day

January 1st

Collard greens, Black eyed peas, Pork meat

Resolutions

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.

Footnotes:

1) https://www.omniconvert.com/blog/consumer-behavior-in-marketing-patterns-types-segmentation/

2) https://astute.co/using-marketing-psychology-to-influence-consumer-behavior/

3) https://www.autocheatsheet.com/blog/top-10-end-of-the-year-car-buying-tips/

4) https://psychcentral.com/blog/balanced-life/2013/11/why-holiday-traditions-might-be-more-important-than-you-think#1

5) https://www.freightcenter.com/freight-transportation

6) https://usatruckloadshipping.com/whats-the-deal-with-freight-shipping-delays/

7) https://epacflexibles.com/planograms-101-what-they-are-and-why-theyre-important-for-your-brand/

8) https://www.ghp-news.com/why-holidays-are-important-for-our-mental-health/

November 01, 2021 02:09

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