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The holiday (shopping) crunch

5 December 2013 No Comment

The scene is a familiar one for this time of year Legions of deal-seeking shoppers scramble from one aisle to the next, searching for that elusive gift. Workers on duty dash about, assisting in any way they can. Up front, the lines stretch longer than your imagination or patience can believe.

With the Christmas holidays right around the corner, the much-feared holiday rush is soon to follow. With the possible exception of Black Friday, there is no worse time to be a consumer in a hurry.

11225333985_da96992752_oThis can make the going tough in shopping malls or large locales such as Wal-Mart, which sees more than its fair share of bargain hunters throughout December.

Wal-Mart manager Steve S., says planning for the holiday season is done in well advance, judging by the previous year’s turnout.

“We prepare months out,” he said. “We look at previous years and basically go off that. So we’d look at last Black Friday, Christmas, or Boxing Day, and just prepare that way.”

Despite Wal-Mart offering some special Black Friday deals, Steve maintains that the whole Christmas season is a bigger challenge.

“Black Friday for us isn’t major,” he says. “It’s more of an American thing. Christmas and Boxing Day is the bigger rush, especially the last week before Christmas, with everyone coming in and buying things.”

“The only reason we do Black Friday now is because of the States; everyone’s going down there to get the better deals. We try to keep the customers in Canada, so we can keep up with everybody else.”

While the retailers maintain the prolonged hectic atmosphere of Christmas shopping is harder to contend with, some shoppers, such as Juliene Gauthier, beg to differ.

“Black Friday is more of a stampede,” said Gauthier. “Whereas Christmas shopping is a bit warmer. It’s not just “I need a deal”; it’s more people thinking about someone else, considering what they would or wouldn’t like.”

Whatever the case may be, aspiring gift-givers would do well to tread carefully as the twenty-fifth of the month draws ever closer.

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