Now that some stores start their Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving night, columnist Loretta LaRoche can imagine retailers enticing potential shoppers with the notion of burning turkey-and-stuffing calories by shopping. She also marvels at how stores always seem to find more of a particular on-sale item if you pout enough — often in the infamous “back room.”
Well, the retail insanity began this past Thursday night. A handful of stores announced that they would begin their Black Friday sales at 8 p.m., so some people left their families and friends to go shopping.
I’m sure in some cases entire Thanksgiving gatherings headed off to the stores, with foraging through on-sale items serving as dessert.
You could burn some calories by walking around in stores. Retailers could entice shoppers with this: “Lose weight in your waist and your wallet.”
Actually, that wouldn’t fly, because the ads are created to make you believe you’re going to get huge savings on products if you can make it through the front door without getting trampled. The irony is that it seems you can get just as good a deal online or if you wait a few weeks, until just before Christmas.
Of course, the retailers also know how to instill fear. You want the 50-inch high-definition TV that can track your mate for marital infidelity, mute your phone if it’s your mother-in-law and start dinner when you’re on your way home from work, but there are only 20 on the floor. You’d better hustle to get one of those, because you certainly wouldn’t want to risk being in a back-order situation.
Employing fear is always a good way to get people to buy.
“This product will only be available for the next week. After that you have to go to China to get it.”
It’s amazing how they always seem to find more if you pout enough. They are either in another store or in the infamous “back room.”
“Oh, look, I just found the last one,” the salesperson says. “Aren’t you lucky?”
Frankly, I think we’d be lucky if the stores would let us go back to savoring our holiday gatherings. First it was Sundays that became retail days, then Thanksgiving evening and Christmas night. I will guarantee that in the not too distant future Target and Wal-Mart and others will offer Thanksgiving dinners in the stores so you can shop while you scarf down a turkey thigh.
I think I want to get in on this. I’m going to start selling armor that’s made to withstand whacks and smacks from zombie-like shoppers desperate to get through the doors and foam bats to hit them back with. Let me know if you’re interested in investing.