Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Retailers are ruining my life ;-(

If it is not obvious to you and pretty much all citizens of the United States that we live in a consumer driven society, you might be a  hermit. I have just heard that this year stores will be open on Thanksgiving day as opposed to waiting until Friday to open. Noting the consumer driven passion our country has, consider the following quote:

"Retailers have basically ruined every holiday,” says Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at NPD Group, a retail research consultant. “They have commercialized every single holiday by creating a good reason to promote something and drive traffic.” - http://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-are-retailers-ruining-thanksgiving-2012-11-19

What I find hilarious is this tendency for Marshal Cohen to give retail stores power that they don't have. How can a retail company come over to my house and force me to spend my time shopping when I would rather spend time with my family and giving thanks - they can't. For Cohen to have this idea, that a retail store has the power to ruin a holiday, I think there are a few revealing assumptions.

Assumption #1.
1) Cohen believes that people MUST shop when retailers tell us to shop. By retailers telling us that they will be open Thursday, Cohen believes he now has to show up and shop on Thursday neglecting our traditional day. My idea: don't participate.

Assumption#2.
2) Cohen's holiday happiness is the retail craziness. By assuming that the point of Thanksgiving is to rush into a store and buy cheap electronics, retailers changing the mode and time therefore changes Cohen's happiness. My thought: if retail craziness is the reason for the season, get a new reason. Don't allow corporations to dictate your happiness.

Assumption#3.
3) Commercializing a holiday is a terrible thing. Cohen believes that commercials will dictate what people do, feel and think. Statistically speaking he is correct, however this is only true because people watch advertisements and allow them to influence the way they think and feel. My feeling: Don't allow what someone else thinks you should do with your life, money and time swayed you from what you want to do with your life, money and time.

What I find interesting is that there are plenty of people who find ways of avoiding the hustle and bustle. They shop early, or their family doesn't obverse gift giving. But they do this because they want to. Others, love the hustle and bustle, like the excitement and competition and add to the holiday craziness. The point is, its your choice. You cannot blame retailers for your problems.

If you feel that the Christmas is over comericalized, simply don't participate. If stores are open all day on Thanksgiving, our family would still spend the day cooking, reading, watching football and running around outside. I have yet to participate in black Friday and will not be visiting an retail establishments on Thursday.

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