Friday, November 28, 2014

A black day for retail

Sign up to receiving a few emails from retailers, and the Black Friday deals on offer today won’t seem anything out of the ordinary. Barely a day goes by without receiving seemingly unrepeatable discount offers… until another arrives tomorrow.
Given this background noise it’s amazing that Black Friday has gained any traction at all. However scenes of shoppers fighting to get 50% at best off an inflated RRP that you’d be a fool to buy at, seems to indicate that you can sell any old tat if you slap a sale sticker on it the enduring appeal of a discount.
Retailers are certainly giving it a go. Black Friday has definitely entered the common parlance this year, and will probably only get bigger over the next few years. So retailers have two options: stand aloof and hold their noses, or get down among the frenzy and start cutting prices. It looks like option two is the winner at the moment.
Or maybe not. Given the unsavoury images from today, I’m predicting that Black Friday will be about as welcome as a looter’s convention in a few years. Weigh up the advantage of a few extra sales, at deep discount, against the additional costs of opening at stupid o’clock to catch the buzz, Fort Knox security to satisfy the local plod that they’re not going to spend all night separating swivel-eyed bargain fans, and the cost of general wear and tear from thousands of shoppers rampaging through the aisles trampling over stock as they go, and it suddenly doesn’t look like such a great idea. I'm not even mentioning the first cases of store staff suing for PTSD.
I may be completely wrong, but I’ve stayed well away from the high street today.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Mornings are the worst

6.00 am. Hmm, lie in today is it?
Boys, can you keep your voices down please, it's still quite early. No that's not really a morning voice, is it. A little bit quieter. A bit more. A little bit more. I know it doesn't sound like shouting to you, but it does to mummy and me, and I don't think our neighbours really want to hear you.
Why not? Well, they don't have children in the house. They're retired and they don't have to get up this early.
They can hear you. Our staircase shares a wall with their's so they can hear you jumping and shouting on them. Okay, not shouting, talking. Actually, that is shouting now.
Look, just stay in your room for now and shut the door. Don't slam it! Don't....
Okay, daddy will get up now and make breakfast. Who wants porridge. One for porridge and one for Cheerios. We don't have any Cheerios. You don't want porridge. Cornflakes?
Look, this isn't a cafe, and I'm not going out to get anything else from the shop. You'll have to have porridge.
Oh, we don't have any milk. I will have to go the shop. No I'm not getting Cheerios. Because I'm not, that's why.
Can you both behave until I get back. Leave mummy alone - she's still asleep. Because it's early and she's tired. She got up with you yesterday.
Okay, I'm going to the shop. I'll only be five minutes.
Why did he hit you? Why did you hit your brother? Okay, so what did he do to you to start it? He did, did he? What do have to say to that? Oh, he took your book. Look, it doesn't matter who started it. It stops now!
Right what happened there? I didn't even get out the door. If you can't behave then one of you will have to come with me. Yes, I know it's raining. I'm not exactly thrilled about going out myself.
Well, you're the oldest, so you should know better. Put your clothes on and come with me.
Stop shouting. I know it doesn't seem fair. Life often isn't.
Okay, last chance. Do you think you can not kill each other in the time it takes me to go to the shop and back. Promise?
Now, who wants a drink?
Water, milk, squash or orange juice. We don't have pineapple juice. I do not put too much water in it. I'm only thinking of your teeth. You have lovely teeth and I'd like them to stay like that.
What would you like on your porridge? Actually we don't have any banana, or raisins. Okay, you can have syrup today. No it isn't very good for you. It's a treat.
Where are your school clothes. I've got your trousers, but not your sweatshirt. Can you go and find it. Well I don't know where it is. If you took it off and put it where you ought to then we wouldn't have to go on a treasure hunt every morning.
No, we're not doing a treasure hunt. There isn't a prize, because there isn't a game. Maybe mummy will do one when you get home from school.
Well you have to go to school. Because it's fun. Okay, because you will learn things. It will help you get a job and earn money.
No you're not. You're not staying here forever because children don't do that. Well he's different. You wouldn't want to stay with us when you're older anyway. You'll want your own house.
Of course we don't want you to go away sweetheart. You can stay here as long as you like, now get your shoes on and go to school.
Toast? I don't think you've got time. Okay, you find your shoes and put your coat on and I'll make some, but only if you help me.
You can't have peanut butter because some of the children at school are allergic to it. It means they'll get ill if you touch them. Yes, or kiss them.
Did you? I'm sure she didn't mind, but the school doesn't like it. I don't know why.
Look, your lift to school is here. I'll pick you up in the afternoon this week.
Why didn't you tell me earlier that you need to take in a shoe box today. There might be one upstairs, hang on a minute. There you go, now go!
Have a lovely day at school.
Yes, I love you too.

Silence falls...