Thursday, November 14, 2013

Dear big, giant retailers...

Dear big, giant retailers,
I am writing today not really to complain, but more to express some deep concern for your lack of spontaneity and those who enjoy it.
You see, I myself am a last-minute shopper.  I don’t internally have the capability to plan far in advance, nor do I have the desire.  I’m a self-proclaimed shopping-hater because I don’t care for crowds of people, standing in line, spending money, or carts that have completely wonky wheels so that walking in a straight line is impossible.  But still, as a consumer, I have needs.  And because my children continue to grow, they have multiple needs in multiple sizes.  And because the seasons continue to change, my whole life has ever-changing needs, which brings me to the main point of this eloquently worded letter containing a plethora of large vocabulary.
At the time of this writing, it is late summer and as a family we are squeezing the last bits out of our sunblock and bug spray and attempting to avoid the inevitable return of school and all that comes with it.  And despite our best efforts at ignoring it, we find ourselves staring eye-to-eye with the start of a new school year which requires new clothes, various school supplies, more sleep, and a personal secretary to keep paperwork and activities organized.
But really, for the time being, we need scissors and notebooks and underwear that fit and pants without holes, stuff to pack lunches and some party music for mom to celebrate with when the kids are all finally back in class.
So upon entering various stores for these obvious essentials, I am disappointed to find the aisles filled with Halloween candy and a section of Christmas trees and other festive accouterments gracing your place of retail.  
For real.  Christmas trees and Halloween candy.  I just want a pair of Fiskars and an unbroken box of crayons.  And there are barely any left.  
It seems to me that in your attempt to please the over-prepared and extremely organized people, you have forgotten to tap into an entire different set of consumers: the last-minute shopper, or as I like to call myself, the “Carpe Diem Shopper,” who lives each day as it comes, not four months in advance.  I cannot fathom thinking about Halloween until late October, and Christmas doesn’t even cross my mind until the day after Thanksgiving, the way the Pilgrims intended it.  It would not surprise me if come early December I trot off to your store for trimmings and find myself having to decorate my tree with Easter grass instead of tinsel.
But despite the bashing, I would like to offer you a solution, something that wouldn’t be very expensive and still supply the masses with the things they need as the year goes on.  My solution is: a calendar.
You may even sell them yourself, or chances are you got at least one free one in the mail or from your bank.  I would like to suggest one that is organized by month with seasonally appropriate pictures of cute little kittens or dogs, whatever your preference, so that you can be reminded of the needs that last-minute people have at any given time of the year.
Is it August?  Sell some pencils.  October?  Candy.  November? Turkey decorations.  December? Ornaments.  It’s not rocket science, although I’m afraid that’s what it takes to stay ahead of your stocking schedule.  
I, for one, would be very appreciative if you offered appropriate items and didn’t rush the season or shove holidays down my throat before their time.   Making me think about Christmas presents when I am hunting for a bathing suit gets me a little fired up, even fired up enough to sit down and pen this letter.  Call me irrational, call me impulsive, call me crazy.  Just cater to me a little bit, please.  I beg of you.
Sincerely,
The Carpe Diem Shopper

Ps.  It would be really nice if it were all on sale, too.

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