The Day After Thursday — ‘Rapid Crowd Movement’

November 25, 2011

From the police playbook of mob control:

A woman shot pepper spray to keep shoppers from merchandise she wanted during a Black Friday sale, and 20 people suffered minor injuries, authorities said.

Fire department spokesman Shawn Lenske said the injuries to least 10 of them were due to “rapid crowd movement.”

And the pepper-sprayer got away — police were still looking for the woman.

(Illustration found here).

Despite all the pushing, shoving and pepper spraying, The National Retail Federation, an industry trade group, forecast a 2.8 percent increase in sales this holiday season, though, down from the 5.2 percent last year.
The big sales, however, just ain’t there: In a research note on Tuesday, Wells Fargo economist Mark Vitner said: “Bargain hunters may have a tougher time finding those markdowns this year, as retailers are keeping a sharper eye on profit margins.”
So that pepper spray really won’t do you any real good.

Reportedly, shoppers will be cautious today, and onto into (shudder!) Christmas.
According to Accenture, a global consulting firm, 72 percent of US consumers plan “careful” or “controlled” holiday spending with 88 percent spending the same or less than last year, but that flies in the face of a supposedly 19 percent of customers this year compared with 14 percent last year, who plan to spend $750 or more.

One idea for this ugly, Black Friday, is don’t spend.
Lindsay Curren, editor at Transition Voice, recommends doing a whole lot of different shit today, but also to celebrate Buy Nothing Day:

But the best part of Buy Nothing Day may not even be the sticking it to The Man part.
It really may be the profound relief of taking the day off from any and all forms of consumer interaction. If I go out, it’s for a walk.
I don’t drive, because that “spends” gas.
I don’t see movies, because even though we have a locally owned cinema three blocks from my house, it’s just the day I choose not to go.
Instead we keep our lights low and kick back for good reads, family games, a little outdoors time, and yummy Thanksgiving leftovers.
Buy Nothing Day has turned into my Thanksgiving bonus day — no cooking, just hanging and relaxing.
I believe if you try it, you’ll like it.
For me, the best path to success is planning to use Buy Nothing Day for ease and reflection.
Make sure you’ve got enough food on hand, some good stuff to read, and ideas for filling those glorious unstructured hours.
Talking to your family members can be so cool!
Or try throwing an old fashioned family theatrical.
Play charades!
Make cards!
Look at old family photos.
I don’t think you’ll miss the low, low prices at all.
And it’s just a small step from there to looking at what else you can give up in this frenzied culture to buy yourself some peace of mind and time instead.

If you do go shopping today, don’t forget the anti-pepper-spray solvent.

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