Thursday 13 December 2018

The nightmare of the post-Christmas sales

Deborah Coleman - Straight Talking

The festive season came and went in the blink of an eye and while many people are enjoying their last few days off work with loved ones, or relaxing, far too many others are queueing in the cold for the January sales.

Years ago, the January sales were just that - in January, but in recent years, St Stephen's Day has become a highlight in the calendar for bargain hunters.

I cannot understand why anyone would choose to enter busy shops and scramble for a few Euro off an item rather than stay wrapped in the festive bubble at home for as long as possible.

Given that most people have just spent at least the month of December preparing for Christmas it is nothing short of bizarre that they would be so keen to hit the shops again the very first day after Christmas.

It reflects so badly on us that we can barely spend a single day away from shops, buying even further into the consumerism that now surrounds Christmas.

Everyone likes a good sale, and a bargain, but why can retailers not wait until January? People will still shop, they will still spend, but at least society would be afforded the opportunity to enjoy the festive season for what it actually is for more than 24 hours before the shops swing open their doors enticing people back in to spend.

It must be the worst time of the year for those working in retail as they have to trek back into work to deal with frenzied customers who just have to get that bargain.

In the days before Christmas, people fill their trolleys as if they are awaiting the Apocalypse and yet, just a day or two after, they are back in the shops wrestling over discounted clothes, electronics and whatever else they just cannot live without.

I really feel for those employees who really should not have to go back to work the day after Christmas, yet are forced to because of the customer demand.

The demand would be still there the day after, or in January but since the recession, competition has gotten so fierce that stores are barely willing to forgo a single day of trade.

Anyone who queues for hours in the freezing cold to get a cheap deal or who sits on a camping seat half the night to be first in through the doors must be seriously dedicated to the cause of sale shopping because to me, this sounds like a complete nightmare.

Enniscorthy Guardian