"We Have To Go Shopping"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Friday, December 13, 2013

It's that time of year again. The retailers are pounding on us at every turn to get out there and gather up all the bargains.

Like most of you, I have not completed my shopping. How can we still have any items left to purchase when we had all the “Black” days and a holiday day to shop. We were offered prices that were claimed to be unbeatable yet a few days later, those items were “on sale” for less.

It’s hard to believe but some shoppers have not even begun to shop. What could they be waiting for? In the past, many waited until “Black” Friday. But this Thanksgiving you could have your turkey, skip the nap, and hit the malls.

Special Thursday holiday sales were posted throughout all the shopping centers. Many employees had to report to work, at their regular pay rates. Undoubtedly many missed their big family gatherings and the turkey feasting. New hires had to agree to work long hours at stores on the holiday before they were accepted for the jobs.

It all seems ridiculous when you remember the first Christmas sales began before all the pumpkins were sold. Santa was hanging out and Christmas carols filled the air while the Halloween candy was still on the shelves.

Wouldn’t it seem, if every time the stores claimed 10 percent, 20 percent or even 50 percent off on an item, by now you should be able to get it free? If they have to live up to all their sales claims, perhaps they will be paying us to take the items off the floor for them so they can re-stock.

Be sure to keep all the pre-holiday sales in mind when you shop after all the Christmas presents have been passed out. I wonder how much more we can save on the year-end, tax clearance sales.

The TV ads for Rolex watches and all those fancy new cars with big bows on them may keep the TV stations profitable, but I doubt sales of those items will cover the price of the ads. I must be missing the point of all the so-called sales. Whoever made the decision regarding opening on the holidays, looking for early sales, and continued pushing for more shoppers has missed some facts.

In these times, which are still financially challenging for many, it’s a constant struggle for many to keep a roof over their family’s heads and food on the table. If there are a few dollars to spend shopping, how could anyone think extra days added for shopping would be an incentive? For the store CEOs or CFOs that believed they would get the jump on those using their credit cards here is a news flash: many people’s cards are maxed.

Yes, unemployment numbers have fallen a little and spending is increasing at a slightly greater rate. This means some people are beginning to get back on their feet and are able to keep the collectors at bay.

One more short trip and I’ll be done with my shopping. May I suggest with winter weather bearing down, you may all wish to finish up your shopping locally. The stores in your neighborhood may be a bit higher priced but think about how much you’ll save in fuel and wear and tear on your vehicle, plus stress on yourself. Did you see those mobs at the mall?

You would be surprised at the unique items you can find in the gift departments of our local shops. Huron County’s hardware stores are great places to shop for tools and housewares. The local clothing shops have selections you will not find in the big-box stores, so you won’t be dressed looking like everyone else. If you are a business owner, I find it is often the case that those you shop with will usually shop with you.

One more thing: Keep in mind how tough the past few years have been for many of your friends and family. A special card or note, maybe a phone call, would make a great gift to let them know you haven’t forgotten them.

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