Sleep was good this past weekend. I was off from Christmas retail craziness and didn’t set an alarm Saturday or Sunday. Bliss! However, tomorrow my day starts earlier than the past couple of weeks to allow ample time for credit card transactions and hard-earned cash to fill the tills I operate. Considering how much retailers rely on the Christmas buying period to balance their books for the whole year, I doubt the longer hours can salvage any budgets on the high street.
I mentioned the strange shopping climate a few posts ago, but today I looked at it from a consumer perspective. We headed into town today for coffees and sandwiches and popped into the shopping centre for a bit. Even though Santa (and his ill-fitted beard) was there, the place didn’t seem much busier than any average weekend.
There were several shops having 20% – 50% off sales, but the whole shopping climate is just plain different this year.
I bought several things from The Body Shop (my personal opium den), taking advantage of a 20% off sale. They weren’t presents though- just stuff I needed. I wonder if that’s what a lot of people are doing with the sales- buying things they need, and not so many presents. I remember the ‘economic stimulus’ checks in the US and that my family and several of my friends ended up spending that money on things like groceries, plumbers, and veterinary costs rather than the iPods and DVDs I think the government was expecting. Foolish government.
I did my bit by dropping about £60 in the shops today, but not a penny of it was for anything related to Christmas. I just couldn’t pass up the savings for things I would have bought anyway. Perhaps this recession is the monetary kick in the pants the world needs to make Christmas a tiny bit less about presents and more about people again. Or maybe I’m just being silly with that idea… Of course, working retail, I guess I should hope consumerism wins. And perhaps that’s a perfect example of nobody winning.