Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Death by sales - don't be fooled...

It was almost like some sort of battle ground.

There were piles of clothes scattered in various places across the store, most of them disregarded and left to be trodden on, with some of the lucky remaining few still balancing unsteadily on the tables. I could see two women in the distance reaching for the same jacket, and then trying to gently snatch the jacket off one another, and the queue went round the store like a huge snake, it's tail stopping just before the doors.

This was a shopping centre by the way. Actually, to be more specific, this was a Zara store that I went to on Monday morning. Hectic doesn't cover it, and just the sheer amount of people was a bit overwhelming. I could see girls walking past me with hundreds of items piled in their arms, whilst I stood in the everlasting queue with only one t-shirt and a skirt.

Honestly, it's like people were buying all their years worth of clothing in one day! Although, we know that's not true at all - we'll be back shopping in February for some retail therapy, even if we have no money.

But why do we shop so much in the sale? What is this almost compelling attraction to discounted items? It's become a festive tradition, and for women, it's like a obligation to the female race.

Because, if I'm honest, these sales are nothing spectacular. Dresses in French Connection aren't suddenly 50p, and half of the clothes in the stores aren't even on sale. That's why, as I carefully made my way round the shops on Monday - or rather, as I got pushed and practically beaten around every shop -  I was just shocked at how much people were buying. Had I been transported into some sort of upper class society shopping centre, and thus surrounded by rich people? Was the recession and failing economy all a lie?

Because, when I actually looked at the sale items, there was only about 25% off, if that. I mean, the skirt I bought was £17, from around £24 before. Not exactly a huge amount different? I could still see jackets going for £50, and boots way over £30. Basically, the sale WASN'T that good.

Yet, there were thousands of people? And why?

Just a bitta Santa Propaganda for you....
It's all down to advertising of course. The media. How sales are hyped up all year round, how we are taught, and conditioned, to think that we need to go to them, that they are spectacular, and that we will save hundreds of pounds. Which, of course we won't. In reality, we'll save about, hmmm, £10 off a dress maybe? And, even if we do find a bargain, it doesn't make up for the money spent over Christmas, or the fact that we'll still be shopping later on next month with a higher tax increase. Great.

So, I'm not saying never go to sales, because, let's face it, the industry needs us to be spending. Just make sure that you're not completely fooled by what you see on TV - things may be on SALE, but it doesn't mean it's CHEAP. And it doesn't meant it's GOOD either.

Just a thought...


No comments:

Post a Comment