Friday, November 25, 2011

NYT: Black Friday Shoppers Forced To Go Out in the Dark of Night for Deals While Idle Rich Stay Home

If one is to believe the New York Times, all you Black Friday shoppers out there are miserable, poor underlings forced to leave the comfort of your Thanksgiving tables and stand in line at WalMart in the dark of night with a passel of kids in tow because you can't afford a babysitter.

Meanwhile, the idle rich never leave the comfort of their warm, comfy homes simply because they don't need to do all that:

Budget-minded shoppers will be racing for bargains at ever-earlier hours while the rich mostly will not be bothering to leave home.

Toys “R” Us, Wal-Mart, Macy’s, Kohl’s, Best Buy and Target will start their Black Friday sales earlier than everat 9 and 10 p.m. in some instances — with dirt-cheap offers intended to secure their customers’ limited dollars. A half a day later, on Friday morning, higher-end stores like Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom will open with only a sprinkling of special sales. 

Is The Times suggesting that retailers are sacrificing profits to help the lowly, unemployed shopper?

The low-end and midrange retailers are risking low margins as they cut prices to attract shoppers, while executives at luxury stores say that they are actually able to sell more at full price than in recent boom years. 

The Times misses the point that stores are opening earlier and earlier, not so much because people have fewer dollars and they're just feeling benevolent, but because they're trying to scoop each other.  

It's less of an altruistic move on the part of the big box store than a profit hugging move by savvy retailers.

And those damned rich people!  They can stay home and order their cashmere sweaters while tucked under their down comforters using their iPads and their American Express cards!

Meanwhile, many affluent shoppers will avoid the scene altogether, he said. “The women who are shopping the fourth floor at Saks are not Black Friday shoppers,” he said.

The Times also misses the point that a lot of those Black Friday shoppers actually enjoy the "sport" of it:

“Those in a more modest income situation are the people who are going to the Wal-Marts and the Best Buys and the Targets at 8, 9, 10, 11 p.m. with little kids in tow because they can’t afford a baby sitter,” said Craig Johnson, president of Customer Growth Partners, a retail consultant firm. “It’s a very unpleasant shopping experience, frankly, for a lot of people.” 

 I know a gal who gets together with her girlfriends and they comb the ads, plot their stops, and fan out.  They aren't miserable, poor shoppers having to suffer the indignities of WalMart at midnight while dragging kids behind them.  They just like the thrill of the chase.

The Times is simply adding fuel to the OWS fire.  The evil, idle rich get to sit home on Black Friday eating bon bons and tallying up their money market accounts while the unwashed masses sit in pup tents in front of a Best Buy in the drizzling rain.

Oh!  The unfairness of it all!

(Photo:  Henrietta Widsmith/The Shreveport Times)

(More at Memeorandum)

1 comment:

Bride Of Rove said...

My sister's daughter recently made her mom aware of the fact that the Brandon mall, in which they shop, has all the high end stores on the second floor and the cheeper stores on the first floor. There is steerage in the mall. The kid said that when she is shopping on her own and not wioth mom, she never bothers to go upstairs because she can't aford it.