Thanksgiving time is wonderful. The cold and bitter winds bring with them the holiday spirit, the twinkling lights and wondrous Christmas Trees. Overnight, the bleak dreary streets turn magical and one hears of the avid shopper waiting for deals.
The crowds milling around in malls are a welcome boost to any economy. Some stores go for the cheap tactic of artificially boosting queues and lines just to get the public curious. Sauntering along in the mall, I couldn’t help noticing that the Coach store had a line snaking outside. I owned a coach bag once a long time ago when I was a proud bargain shopper on the platform shops lining any proud Indian city, and I must confess I did not understand the significance of the ‘Coach’ brand name then. You see, I picked out a bag, and the tenth grade drop out who worked at the store (well pavement really) asked me what label I would like on the bag – Coach or Prada. I went with Coach, and he just stuck it on and gave it to me. I had no idea folks had to work this hard for the label – life, I tell you. I peered into the store and saw there was a sum total of 3 people in the store not counting the three sales personnnel and two cashiers. While, those poor blighters stood outside in a snaking queue thinking the store was bursting to capacity. Just waiting to get themselves a bag that cost anywhere between $400 and $5000. My heart went out to them when I thought of the idli sambar that might spill inside the pristine depths of the expensive bags. One of them was actually pure white. The husband caught my imagination before I ran away with it and reminded me that folks buying themselves a Coach bag weren’t likely to be taking idli sambar in their tiffin boxes to work.
Shoppers of all flavors spot the world. While there were the patient bunch standing in line outside the Coach store, these two shoppers shocked me by deciding to camp out for 9 nights outside Best Buy to see what the Electronics Giant had in store for Thanksgiving. I can’t think of any word other than over-zealous to describe this behaviour. According to the pair of shoppers, they did not know what the deals were going to be, but trusted their guardian angel to perform double duty not only by guarding them at night, but also whispering favorable deals to those who decide at Best Buy. A lot left to chance one would think. Of course, the strange is rewarded in unexpected ways, and they were gifted an iPad each for their trouble and the positive publicity they brought in for the store.
But of course, this news items beats it all – at least the coachers and the random-best-buy-deal shoppers were trying to get themselves something they can use. Not exactly what can be said about these folks who were checking out Bernie Madoff’s checked boxers.
Whatever makes life interesting, so be it.