December 9, 2012

"[T]he less comfortable you are during the seasonal shopping spree, the more money you’ll spend."

"So stores crank up music, repeat the same songs, over and over again, pipe in smells, race shoppers around to far-flung points of purchase and clog their heads with confusing offers. All of which makes it more likely we’ll part more readily with more money."

Oh, really? I'd say it makes it much more likely that smart, sensitive people will shop on line. (Preferably, going in through the Althouse portal.) You can play any music you want, enjoy blissful silence, or — as I'm doing — listen to your loved one softly singing "Golden Slumbers."

Side note: I love the illustration by Sam Vanallemeersch (at the first link).

22 comments:

HoTouPragmatosKurios said...

"your loved own" - Don't correct that. It's a poetic error.

Aridog said...

The chance you'll ever catch me in a Mall shopping is near zero, and for holidays like Christmas, absolutely zero.

Multiple root canals are more appealing.

And...like a lot of men, I already know what I want to buy and seek a way to do so with least hassle. In short, I'm not going to be doing much idle comparison shopping in crowded corals with pushy people and snotty kids, let alone teen agers.

Big visit retail's chance of getting my money is slim, but I do shop on line occasionally for pick up in store. Make me uncomfortable and it is zero.

Inga said...

I hate malls. I get a headache from the piped in scents. Plus the crowds and lugging of shopping bags isn't my cup of tea anymore. I'd much rather shop in my pajamas, braless, with a cup of coffee and a cat in my lap.

ricpic said...

I'll bet Hillary shops online. Hysterical article in the NY Times about the "countless possibilities" in her future. The Times is terribly concerned that if she doesn't buckle down and earn some big money quick she and Bill won't be able to afford the seven figure home they've got a yen to own on Nantucket Island.

wyo sis said...

"You're gonna carry that weight a long time."
That's what my UPS guy sings at this time of year.

ALH said...

"Oh, really? I'd say it makes it much more likely that smart, sensitive people will shop on line. "

Exactly. This year, I will spend zero dollars in retail stores for presents. All of my purchases will be on line. Getting a good deal while avoiding the sites/smells/noises of the mall is a no-brainer to me.

Erika said...

Eh, that article's long on claims and short on sources and evidence. I'm married to someone who's been in retail management for fifteen years and their intention is anything but making you uncomfortable so you'll leave the store. They want to foster a certain sense of holiday bustle to put you in the "Christmas only comes once a year!" spending mood, but they certainly do not want to make the experience unnecessarily unpleasant and stressful such that you will want to stay away.

edutcher said...

I don't mind the malls at Christmas, it's the parking lots that are dangerous.

ricpic said...

I'll bet Hillary shops online. Hysterical article in the NY Times about the "countless possibilities" in her future. The Times is terribly concerned that if she doesn't buckle down and earn some big money quick she and Bill won't be able to afford the seven figure home they've got a yen to own on Nantucket Island.

As they say, the Clintons only have rich friends.

Who are gullible enough to be sponged off forever.

If Hillary had any sense, she'd retire and dedicate her life to being Willie's constant companion.

Enjoy all that money while making him miserable - the perfect revenge.

Paco Wové said...

Interesting that most of the comments to the NYT piece (the ones I bothered reading, at any rate) agree with the author, and then go on to say "but I'm not like that at all!" -- essentially arguing en masse that the author is wrong.

I suspected the article was unmitigated bullshit, then I saw it was written by a Guardian columnist, so I knew for sure.

rhhardin said...

John and Ken's explanation long ago for why there should be no sales tax on online sales is that the brick and mortar stores deserve the disadvantage for the rotten customer service and abuse they inflict.

Aridog said...

When I state I avoid Malls, all year long in fact, I don't mean I don't shop otherwise. Small stores, along the streets, in my community or those near-by, are pleasant experiences for me. I'm an old fart so I can be that way I guess.

Nichevo said...

Whenever I read you writing about how smart and sensitive you are, professor, and everything you write is about you, I metaphorically reach for my revolver. You think people go out in that because they like it? There's a large category of people who've long avoided the Christmas shopping madness without earning the plaudits you seek: they are called men.

Also, I would be willing to bet the worst of it is to be found where minorities/the poor shop, but no doubt it is racist or something to say so.

Aridog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EDH said...

[T]he less comfortable you are during the seasonal shopping spree, the more money you’ll spend. So stores crank up music, repeat the same songs, over and over again, pipe in smells, race shoppers around to far-flung points of purchase and clog their heads with confusing offers. All of which makes it more likely we’ll part more readily with more money.

As demonstrated by the "Fiscal Cliff" negotiations, Obama has elevated this strategy to public policy.

Nichevo said...

Ricpic: Wigga please. Hillary! has people for that. Probably lousy people given the debacle with the Reset/Overcharge button. See, being Arkies from the sticks at heart, she doesn't know any better. So she's smart enough, aside from the haughtiness and the laziness, not to do it herself; she's just not smart enough to pick good people, but you can always blame your people in her circles.

And she doesn't know many Jews. A Jew would have never let that happen to her. Even my cousin, for whom HRC worked on Watergate - well she speaks Russian, so there you are. She can't pick produce, but even if she didn't know reset from overcharge, she would have called an electrician in Brighton Beach and got the scoop.

Long story short, there are mules in this world, you can put them in racing harness, but it won't make them thoroughbreds.

Aridog said...

rhhardin...what "disadvantage" is there in having to collect sales tax on sales for immediate delivery & carry out by the customer. Compare to the on line sales outlets where they may not collect your state's sales tax, but charge you considerably more for delivery if you want something in less than a week.

Worse, more and more on line stores now collect sales tax for your state even if you have no local store in said state.

Sales taxes are regressive and punish consumption by limiting it via higher consumption costs. Government has never met a tax it doesn't like, especially if it is regressive because it gets everyone while only appearing egalitarian.

And I'm not mentioning the fact that in most states where income tax is collected the law also requires your to report your out-of-state purchases and un-taxed on-line purchases. The law requires you pay sales and use tax on purchases you make, wher-ever they are made if you bring them home. The government does not trust you to do so, so they wish to collect directly.

In my state (Michigan) we have a choice, either a de minimus amount based upon total AGI, or a detailed schedule of purchases and sales or use tax due. You cannot leave the lines blank. Enter zero if you wish, but don't whine if audited....based upon your credit card receipts.

Bah. It is Humbug.

Aridog said...

Nichevo said...

Wigga please. Hillary! has people for that.

OMG...what will Huma Abedin when Hillary leaves department of state?

Enquiring minds want to know
these things.

[ well...not really, but...I figure ole Huma will go with Hillary bringing her K$A connection$ with her. ]

Patrick said...

When my wife and I shop for our teenage nieces, we hate the shops that carry what they want.

Coketown said...

I hate shopping for myself. It's stressful and irritating and the faster I can get it done, the better. I want to try buying clothes online but what a hassle if they don't fit and I have to go to the Post Office to return them. I hate the Post Office.

But I love shopping for other people. The music and the bustle and the frantic dashing about. It's fun! Unless they start piping in the smell of elephant shit, there's nothing about the general holiday mall atmosphere that makes me uncomfortable and want to throw money at cashiers in the hopes of getting out faster.

Chip Ahoy said...

My Jewish friend said his family loves everything about Christmas, the trees, the wreaths, the lights, decorations, all the glitz, and gifts. He said they hold hands together and sing, yes, they sing together, "Oh what a a friend we have in Jesus."

Ralph L said...

I plugged my ears at the Home Depot last night to avoid hearing "Jingle Bell Rock." Later, when I couldn't find the second thing I was after, I put back the first and left with all my money intact, so they screwed up twice.

Gene said...

I've done half my Christmas shopping online. I feel like someone living on a farm in Nebraska in 1920 shopping with the Sears Roebuck catalog. It's easy, relaxed, no stress and no pressure. Also, I believe considerably cheaper.

Yes, you have to pay shipping but if you buy in a local retail store shipping is part of the price you pay anyway--you just don't see an explicit
shipping charge.

On line shopping is like just-in-time manufacturing. It's saves you money because you don't need to pay for a big inventory.