Every year, like clockwork.
It’s become an American tradition to shop ‘til you drop from the day after Thanksgiving through the following Monday, participating in Black Friday and its upstart partner, Cyber Monday. There’s always chaos surrounding doorbuster sales (which normally don’t take on a literal sense) as consumers vie for this season's hottest items and best deals.
This year, only one death is officially attributed to the madness, along with 15 injuries. Only one death. Murder for ultimately extraneous items. Let that sink in.
But for those amongst us still human enough to not trample, beat or stab our fellow shoppers for new game systems, phones or blenders, a thought occurs: Where did all the technology junkies spike their credit card debts this year?
Let’s put the obvious out there: People bought PS4s and Xbox Ones. Some pushed and shoved for them. But what about the rest of the tech budget? Reduced-price PS3 and 360 bundles made a strong showing, beating Wii and WiiU sales (even though there was a killer deal on WiiUs).
Tablets and laptops, as always, sold well. But they’ll sell straight through the Christmas season, just like the game consoles. Nothing unexpected.
But what is unexpected is that, in spite of record-breaking customer counts, this year’s sales were lower than last year’s. Maybe that’s attributed, at least partially, to the lack of a hyped “affordable” toy (think Tickle Me Elmo and the like), but I can’t help but feel that the high prices of today’s gifts discourage more shoppers than they produce revenue. It’s hard to buy all your nieces and nephews presents if half of the bunch wants a $500 game system.
A good thing to come with all of this, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, is Cyber Monday. Granted, you could still get a lot of the Black Friday deals online, but lots of electronics deals were offered on Cyber Monday. Two clicks - add to cart, confirm purchase. No lines, no crowds, no fights.
Just peace. Why did anyone bother going to the stores for electronics, when we have the Internet?