More on shopping

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More on shopping

Postby rapturos » Thu Nov 24, 2005 8:33 pm

Something of a praise report I would think; the Internet news sites report that some of the big stores on the Mainland (WalMart, etc.) decided to stay open on Thanksgiving Day to get a jump on "Black Friday" (the day after) when the retail stores experience the first day of the year in the black. But outside of K-Mart, it looks like the "big box" stores stayed closed for Thanksgiving here in Honolulu. But then again, thank goodness for Zippy's being open if you really must have a late night meal even after all the Thanksgiving Day fare that was scarfed during the rest of the day.
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More on shopping

Postby Champuru » Fri Nov 25, 2005 11:17 am

Is there nothing sacred? Open on Thanksgiving Day? I feel for the workers who had to pull a full shift at the store, away from their families on Thanksgiving. I'm glad Hawaii's stores stayed closed, though. I'm sure it won't be long before we follow suit, however. $ talks, especially when it comes to the Big Boxes.

So, how many of you are going shopping on Black Friday? And what did you buy?

I'm writing this as I'm on my way to Costco for the usual stuff. I am hoping that everyone went to the mall and won't be crowding me at Costco. (No mall time for me. At least not yet. I can't stand crowds.)
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Oh, the horror! the horror!

Postby rapturos » Sun Dec 18, 2005 1:48 am

A buddy of mine calls me at 11:30pm on Thursday, the day before Black Friday to see if I want to go to the midnight opening of WalMart on Keeaumoku Street to get in the on the killer bargains that will be unveiled at the stroke of midnight ... I am about to rebuke him sharply for this call to madness but I decide to play along, never having experienced this cultural extravaganza ... so there we are with several hundred people in the line outside the building with only one coupon sheet between us ... then without so much as a whistle blowing we all launch into the store looking for the "good stuff" (aka loss leaders) ... we even have a map WalMart has provided ... my buddy starts stuffing his cart with the $15.00 toaster oven and the $18.00 food processor meanwhile trying to find where the bigger specials are stashed ... to my horror I discover that a cruel twist has been added to this drama ... the "good stuff" is stacked and ready, oh no, under sheets of impenetrably black plastic sheeting with a tiny sticker that announces that these items will not go on sale until 5:00am in the morning! That's four hours away! We respond strategically by racing to the line already formed for the $378.00 laptop. There are people already in the line sitting on lawn chairs that they have wisely brought for the long wait. My buddy snags a place in line but we are far down the roster. I decide to investigate the obvious: are there enough laptops available to reach to the point in line where we are. I go to the head of the line and start counting. We are in position fifty one. I inquire of the sales people how many laptops will actually be available at 5:00am. They tell me sixty but another says they think seventy. So there we are hoping that nobody cuts in line thereby driving our position past the end of all hope of a bargain laptop. Then my buddy discovers another scurvy turn in this ordeal. Turns out the bargain items like the toaster oven and the food processor that he has in his cart are available for sale at midnight but at 5:00am they will revert to regular price. So now I see the wisdom of my tagging along. I end up holding his place in the laptop line while he buys and then stashes his early purchases in his car. The last I see of him, he is still number fifty one in the laptop line talking to the lady who says that last year they really bummed some folks out who were in line for the laptops because at the last moment they just opened the flood gates and latecomers just bulled their way to the front and made off with the laptops helter skelter. There is a lesson somewhere in here: get there early but it won't help? There is fiend, maybe a group of fiends, working in the marketing department at WalMart? You say you're there to get only what you need but deep down you know you're lying to yourself? No, it's much simpler than that. We should have gone to the midnight line at Circuit City in Aiea where they were selling the laptops for $199.00!
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Postby scrivener » Wed Dec 21, 2005 9:51 pm

Wow. What a great story.

I did a lot of my shopping online, and then picked up the rest of what I needed here and there as time passed. I did go to Ala Moana for a couple of hours on the Friday after Thanksgiving, but not until the evening, and then it wasn't even to shop, but to track down some stupid photographs in a dumb but terrific game I'm involved in at HawaiiThreads.

I do not know why they call it Black Friday. "Black" should be reserved for truly horrible days, such as stock-market crashes. Green Friday would make a lot more sense, or even Red Friday, seeing as how that's what everyone's seeing by the time the day's over, plus all that shopping puts everyone's finances in the red.
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The red and the black

Postby rapturos » Fri Dec 23, 2005 12:14 am

Well, there it is, you see ... all year long the retailers bite their collective fingernails waiting for "The Great Day" ... for it is on "Black Friday", the day after Thanksgiving, that they achieve their first profit of the year, that is, they are "in the black" as the saying goes ... which may actually mean that for some, they don't actually experience Thanksgiving day until the day after Thanksgiving ... or maybe, for the unfortunate few, if WalMart swept up all the the shoppers first, they actually didn't actually go in the black but instead ended up seeing red ... now where did that saying come from?
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I'm with you, Billy

Postby rapturos » Thu Apr 20, 2006 1:04 am

"Stay away from the mall, say Hallelujah!"

http://money.cnn.com/2006/04/19/pf/debt ... /index.htm

The reverend Billy Talen crusades against excessive shopping.

"NEW YORK (MONEY Magazine) - Preaching from the pulpit of St. Mark's Church in lower Manhattan one afternoon, the Rev. Billy Talen looks and sounds a lot like the evangelists on Sunday morning television.

He's loud. He's passionate. He's backed by a gospel choir. His congregation, rapt, nods at his every word. As his sermon reaches a crescendo, cries of "Praise be!" and "Hallelujah!" ring through the nave. As he brings it home, the group responds in joyous unison, "Amen!"

"But there's a big difference between Reverend Billy and Billy Graham. For one thing, his "reverend" credentials are debatable. And he doesn't promulgate the sort of religion most people practice in church."

"Reverend Billy, you see, is the founder of the Church of Stop Shopping. His congregants are the shopping-afflicted. Talen and others who try to help people control their spending are striking a nerve and find themselves in high demand.

Why? America has a shopping problem. For the first time since the Great Depression, the savings rate has fallen into negative territory. Indebtedness to credit-card companies has reached $9,300 per household, and rising interest rates will only make the problem worse.

"People are walking around in a daze," says Talen, a playwright who dreamed up the church as he watched Manhattan's storied theater district slowly become a mall."

"They're feeling a kind of knowing emptiness and they don't know why. So they keep buying more and more, trying to fill the hole in the soul. We say: Stop shopping and start living."

The message is registering. Talen's cross-country crusade attracts crowds everywhere, from the Mall of America to Times Square. He was recently filmed for a documentary that's set to be released later this year (possible title: What Would Jesus Buy?).

Other religious leaders - including some who have actually been to divinity school - are conducting similar events where they preach the promise of better living through less shopping."

The rest of the article gets into the inner game of shopping. But we know why we do it, don't we?

"He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase:" Ecclesiastes 5:10
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