Winter of learning 1 (2018) Boxing Day
One of Canada’s long lasting traditions has been “the Boxing Day sale” – at its height people in BC would line up over night for a $19 CD player at A&B Sound. Neither of which exist at the end of 2018. Black Friday is the “home date” for big sales – but I still like popping around malls et al to see what is happening.
Still lines – lines to park your car at the mall. And smaller/longer lines to get into some stores – but 70% off at Michael Kors!! But more often, usual sale prices. Unless the store is “closing forever”. And even at the new mall near my in-laws, there are many “everything must go” signs with people looking through the last items while seeing how low prices will go for items not wanted a week previous.
I still remember the speakers and receiver unit I got on a Boxing Day sale to hook up my CD player (portable and not $19 at the time) after having discussions with music aficionados in our school hallway about cassettes vs cds vs ‘what might be next’ – not seeing mp3s for over another decade….. and one admitting he had invested too much $ into his cases (and cases) of cassettes to change now.
But I loved the clarity of cds (only supplanted by mp3s being either crystal clear or having elements of old vinyl embedded in them) and adjusted my music selections. In other words, I embraced change.
While walking the mall and seeing a range of stores – but names aside, more than a few were closing out, but some like Nike had a line…that was a tad awesome….
The line just went on and on, dwarfing the ones we saw for other brand names. And even my daughter wondered what they were doing to drive such a line – because there certainly weren’t any signs advertising “must get sales” in such quantities that everyone in that line could expect to get the same deal….
But there is the experience of “getting something” live and in person that is better? different? than clicking items online. It’s why I joined a snake like line to pay for a few fragrances for my daughter and niece – they were quite the deal….unless you factor in the wait time….
But the bigger experience has changed. It’s no longer a “line up or nothing for you” shopping experience – though online quantities may be limited (as many of us have experienced) but quantities are always limited. The bigger question is how retailers are reacting to their customers – much as schooling needs to react to our learners and find out what works for them – not simply offer a deal and hope everyone flicks to your doors!
A personalized experience matters – and lines work for some but not all (much as traditional memorization-focused tests work for some but not all) – but the “some” are becoming fewer and fewer as we better work to have our needs met in a variety of ways until we find a “best fit”. Because if one retailer doesn’t adjust…another will….and if brick and mortar schools don’t adjust…something else will.
But it is time for me to pay and then head off for some self regulation – aka a clover pressed coffee and the latest GRR Martin addition to his Song of Ice and Fire series.