I wasn’t really tempted by the 6.00am start to Next’s Boxing Day sales. I’m sure I didn’t miss much by failing to queue at the Crack of Sparrow’s Fart to wrestle a little ol’ lady to the ground in order to get a pair of bargain boxer shorts for my ungrateful husband!
Having said that, I was in the store by 10.00am, after a leisurely Starbucks and breakfast Panini. It was busy in Edinburgh, but not absolutely manic and I really do wonder what Next got from the whole exercise.
When you really think about it, they got 3 extra hours trading from it and some free press coverage. But at what cost?
When I got to the front of the queue at the checkout I tried to engage the somewhat frazzled looking lad who was going to take my money.
‘What time did you start this morning?’ I asked, expecting him to say 6.00am.
He looked slightly desperate before he replied, ‘Oh, about 4 O’clock.’
‘What time are you finishing?’
‘It’s not too bad for me. I’m off at midday.’
Well, I certainly hoped he was getting paid for it because he looked knackered. When I told my dad about the conversation all he was really worried about was the fact so many people weren’t able to enjoy their Christmas because of the early start they had to make.
Of course, I disagreed with him (mostly because he’s my dad), making the point that it was simply the way a commercial organisation works… maximum profit as quickly as possible.
But was he so wrong? Would it have really hurt to open the doors at 9.00am, rather than at 6 in the morning?
I’m not sure. I do feel sorry for the staff who had to work but then I guess some of them might have been glad of the opportunity to get back to work and earn extra money. But mostly, when I really think about it, I’m sad for the loss of a traditional Christmas.
Christmas Day and Boxing Day were always sacrosanct in my family when I was growing up. Christmas Day was at our place and Boxing Day everyone piled round to my old Nan’s. Of course, the grown-ups went over the pub at about midday and I was usually sent to fetch them because dinner was ready and on the table!
You see what I mean – there’s so much I don’t do anymore. I’ve always been pretty commercially minded but in 2012 I think I’m going to concentrate on creating a more Balanced Scorecard for my life… sure I need to make money, but some fun is important, too.
By the way: 5 shirts for my husband, 2 pairs of jeans and 4 T-shirts for me. The sale was a good one!
Congratulations for still being with us in 2012… I have a feeling it’s going to be a good year.