Tuesday, April 26, 2011

24/7 Shopping

I brought Daughter to the walk-in medical clinic, which is located in a strip mall, and the only place to get medical attention on an Easter Sunday (other than the emergency room.)  I have to say I was rather surprised to see so many vehicles in the parking lot as I drove up.  In fact, it actually took my small brain a rather long time to figure out that the vehicles were there because all the stores in the mall were open!  On an Easter Sunday!

I am shocked to come to the understanding that going shopping on a holiday appears normal.  Personally I would rather spend time with my family than visit the retail gods - I can go shopping any other day of the week. I also feel bad for the employees who are pulled away from their families on an Easter Sunday... I guess the Easter Bunny comes extra early to their homes and Easter dinner must be a very quick affair.

Is Christmas Day the only day in the year in which stores are closed?

Husband says the stores wouldn't be open if people didn't demand to shop on holidays or just didn't go to the stores on a holiday.  Supply and demand... but I have to wonder if the demand is actually there?  Does the consumer demand the shops to be open, or do the shops being open entice the consumer in?

I remember when shops closed at 5 or 6pm every night other than Friday when they were open until 9pm.  No shopping on Sundays, Mondays, or holidays.  (Some of the smaller independent stores in town are still closed on these days.)  People scheduled and shopped when the stores were open, and that was that.  But... these days consumerism is king.  You just have to look at the advertising, the sales, the 'you must have this' item.  People shop for many other reasons than the actual need for the product; boredom, emotional rewards, whatever. I find it strange that they can't put those needs into a different form.  Purchasing 'stuff' for no real reason is destructive - it wastes resources and energy, wastes people's money, adds to landfills, and takes away from our families.

I shop, everyone shops, but can't we plan it around our family time and make use of of our holidays in a more constructive manner?  Honestly I think the 24/7 shopping mentality (and ability to do so!) is very destructive to our society as a whole.


Rueby... said...

I completely agree. Stores in Switzerland are shut at 6pm except Thursday when they are open until 9pm. I can't remember about Sundays, I think it is hit or miss. The only thing open later than 6pm during the week are store in the central train stations and gas stations. It was lovely to have to "plan" to go shopping after work on Thursdays; other days if you wanted entertainment after dinner you had to hang out with FRIENDS...*shock*

Chris Lodge said...

I totally agree Uta, there should be a law against shopping on Christams Day and Easter.

Carpe Diem said...

Hi Rueby, I remember when I lived in Germany the stores even closed around noon on Saturdays. Perhaps it is different now. Saturday afternoons, for me, were spent with friends, out for coffee, or sitting with a blanket and book beside the lake.

Hi Chris,
I figured you would agree with it too!

Samual said...
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A. Lee Firth said...

Only small independent shops are allowed to open on Easter Sunday in England. From friends' status updates on Facebook I know that several people were seriously inconvenienced...in fact their days were completely ruined.

Ute said...

It is totally different in Germany nowadays though shops always close for public holidays. But even in our small town the groceries are open til 9pm from Monday to Saturday, the other shops close at 6, 6.30 or 7pm depending on the shop. Sunday shopping is possible on 4 Sunday afternoons a year with a special permission of the town. When I was young, all shops still had a lunch break and closed at 6pm, on Saturdays at 1pm.

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