It occurs to me, having watched the insanity of Black Friday shopping attempts online, in person and for layaway – that retailers are not really interested in their consumers. It is a shame. The idea of lining up thousands of shoppers to offer a few deals with only a few units of the “deal” actually available seems to be so prevalent that it is obvious the retailers couldn’t care less about those coming to their stores. And, don’t even try to layaway something shown online during the Black Friday hours at the sale prices shown, because it can only be purchased for layaway if the local stores have it available that moment and after the swarm of crowds in person, the few goods offered are actually gone at the sale price. Therefore, the websites of major American retail stores won’t allow it to be purchased online or on layaway online at all – long before 10 am or noon or 3 pm on Black Friday actually arrives.
In fact, the Black Friday deal prices online, regardless of the store’s layaway policy – simply can’t be purchased even at 11 am the day of Black Friday because the websites won’t allow it. The stores that even offer layaway are very few, despite the current economic conditions as if all of America is having an economic reality like that of the store’s CEO and CFO and other decision makers. Oh well. Why should vast numbers of households be allowed to participate in Black Friday “deals” at all, or online “deals” or layaway options or sale prices – which is what these store’s behaviors and decisions reflect? Why not simply exclude 90% of American consumers from participating in Christmas and holiday shopping? The stores obviously don’t need those sales anyway and that is certainly the important thing in their estimation. Instead of making it possible for the greatest number of customers to participate and take advantage of the Black Friday sales and specials and deals – there appears to be a tendency to narrow that number as much as possible. So, why do it at all?
There must be an attitude among merchandisers and retailers that embraces bait and switch tactics – announce that all these deals are available and online, as well – then make it impossible to purchase any of their sales items using any reasonable policy. And, there must be a decision process among retailers that sees the customer as both the enemy and the hoped for adversary in a sales transaction rather than as a team mate in the sales process where goods are delivered and satisfaction is guaranteed. Why would it be that way when stores are crying for customers and telling news shows that the retail industry is seeking higher revenues? Where do they expect to get those in an adversarial role with their consumers? How can that possibly work in any positive manner?
Would the manufacturers whose brands are being affected negatively by this nonsense actually be pleased in any way by it? Of course not. Sony, Toshiba, GE, Sharp, Samsung and other major players would be offended to know that this is why their brands sold so few units in comparison to their desired levels of sales. They wouldn’t want these kinds of games to be run on the consumers of their products through the American retailers, distributors and outlets for their goods. In fact, it would piss them off as much or more than it pisses off the consumers who are trying in good faith to purchase these products. Why do retailers even have the right to do this? Is it because the laws simply don’t prevent it or is it, in their estimation – “good business practices” for the 21st Century and their online brand presence? I won’t ever buy from any of those retailers who I’ve watched this year jerking my relatives and friends and communities around this way. When a purchase decision is made anywhere around me, I won’t encourage people to participate in any way with any of these stores and I will definitely tell the anecdotes from this year that I have witnessed both for online purchases with them, layaway attempts with them and for in-person attempts to purchase with them. And, at those moments – I will most certainly call the stores by name to get anyone I know to simply spend their money elsewhere.
Maybe those losses in sales won’t affect those retailers and probably they don’t need them anywhere I might happen to be, but then – who knows, it might be just those sales decisions by a multitude of Americans which mean their shareholders don’t get paid. It would serve them right.