Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Shopping Around

Reports of poor sales over the Thanksgiving weekend lead one to believe that the consumer-led spending boom may be petering out.

Oft-quoted reasons for this - from the absence of rebate checks to the rising cost of living driven by oil prices. A couple of other reasons can be provided - comparison shoppers analyzed discounts at stores using sites that shall remain nameless, made the most of early-bird specials and then finished off the bird. Another reason, from a personal perspective is the lack of anything really new in the marketplace. Most consumer technologies are at the tail end of the current generation - from video game consoles to digital cameras. When one has it all, what else is there to get?

The most exciting thing I bought this weekend was a Lego table with a bucket of blocks for the little one - it brings back fond memories, and has meant a return to playing patterns at home that one experienced oneself in childhood. The television has retreated to a source of background noise, and the Shrek 2 and Family Guy DVD sets, also purchased this weekend, lie forgotten.

More aggressive discounting by the retailers might be pitched by over-enthusiastic marketing departments, but it is a dangerous game that contributes little, if anything, to the bottomline of the insatiable business.

Lego table

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