Sunday, 28 December 2008

New Year Wishes

I ventured into town yesterday for my annual trip to the sales. This news will doubtless come as something of a shock to those readers who imagine old Bill is immune to the seduction of retailers.

It shouldn't do. A semi-retired journalist has to make his limited income stretch as far as he can, and a canny trip to the sales has become a staple in my quest to make ends meet.

Of course, those of my vintage may well remember when, here in the UK, we had something called The January Sales. They at least allowed a certain amount of time to pass before we had to endure the horror of seeing everything we'd bought as Christmas presents for our nearest and dearest savagely reduced in price.

Now, the sales begin not just on Boxing Day, but in the days (and weeks) leading up to Christmas. If you're after a new sofa, in fact, there afre few days of the year when you won't manage to catch one in the sales. Amazingly, millions of people spent their Christmas Day on the internet, taking advantage of online sales to supposedly save yet more money. That's one rubicon-shaped threshold I haven't stepped over.

In these uncertain times, though, it's clear that folk aren't spending as much as they have done in previous seasons. Wandering around PC World and Currys looking for a laptop yesterday, a sense of the nervousness of retailers could be glimpsed. Of a good two dozen laptops on display, fewer than a quarter were in stock - and I don't think it was because they'd been flying off the shelves. I was invited to buy the display model (at no additional discount, I might add), but the risk averse, anti-MRSA side of me baulked at the idea of a machine that hundreds of people had already had their digits on. I sensed a real anxiety in the sales staff, and I only hope they're still in jobs this time next month.

As for other shops... well, Next wasn't as busy as I remember from previous years, and good old M&S had little to offer in the way of real bargains. The latter had already shot their bolt with a series of pre-Christmas discount days when all stock was reduced by 20%

It's cold out there, campers - so don't forget your booties!

All the very best for 2009!


Crofty said...

And a happy one to you too Bill.

I can't help but agree with you that their may be a chill over 2009. Already we know three people who are now redundant - one from Woolworths (bless 'em), one from Yorkshire Bank mortgage department (no surprise there really) and one from the motor trade (presumably car servicing is one of those things that people will do less, with less money to spare).

Good wishes to all.

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year Bill

Anonymous said...

Please Thomas to stop over SKDD for a visit. Happy New Year Bill!

Daddy Papersurfer said...

Happy New Year Mr Blunt - may it bring everything we deserve ......