Friday, November 23, 2007

Black Friday Absurdity, Part 1

No way in hell would I get up to be at a store for a 4:00am opening just for a $10 off coupon.

No way in hell.
The extreme hours highlight how desperate stores are to win over consumers this holiday season, which is expected to be the weakest in five years because of rising energy prices, falling home values and a tight credit market.

In another sign of retail desperation, more stores are opening on Thanksgiving night, as if one day of mayhem isn't quite enough.
At the CompUSA at Fifth Avenue and 37th Street in Manhattan, store staff handed out individual pumpkin pies, served on red paper plates, to compensate for missed Thanksgiving desserts. As the clock struck 9 p.m., the doors flung open and hundreds of shoppers dashed inside, ransacking displays and overwhelming the staff. Fifteen minutes later, the employees began delivering the bad news: the best deals had sold out.

“No more GPS, sorry,” said one manager. “Those laptops are gone,” yelled another.

Exasperated consumers left the store in anger. “They are toying with the public,” said Syed Sha, 52, who drove to the store two hours before it opened to buy a Sony laptop — regularly $800, on sale for $549 — for his college-age son.

“ I called ahead and they told me they had at least 14 in the store,” he said. “How could they sell out?”

Toying with the public? How could they sell out? Well, perhaps it has something to do with far more than 14 idiots all clamoring for the same crap at the same time.

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