Actually, a visit to Futureshop was not as terrible as one would expect on Boxing Day this year. The crowds and the lines were more orderly as barriers were erected to guide people to the correct lines leading to the cashiers; the cashiers were brisk and kept the lines moving at a reasonable pace; and there was even less cut throat competition between salesmen this time around, keeping in line with the “festive” part of the season! To see all these improvements in the afternoon was really reassuring as Futureshop’s in-store “performance” can really be awful for Boxing Day shopping.
However, the only problem that drew my attention – and everyone else’s I’m sure – was the carelessness some of the staff. Flyers were strewn about in some corners of the store; some of the places where one would expect to find particular items on-sale ended up in other sections of the store; and some of the on-sale products carried incorrect price labels. This year I wanted to buy a 4 GB USB key which happened to be more than half-off at $27 – yet their price label read them going for $82! This was also the case with a wireless mouse on sale for $20, but labelled for $52. When I brought these inconsistent price labels to the attention of a staff member, they seemed more eager to leave to attend other matters. No one suggested correcting the labels to reflect the advertised price.
Thus, it doesn’t make sense to go out shopping on Boxing Day without knowing exactly what it is one is looking for. The chances are slim that someone, without research, can walk out for Boxing Day to shop for a good deal and come back with everything he intended to buy. The items you want are likely misplaced, mislabelled, and even hidden from view. While Futureshop isn’t the only store making such errors on Boxing Day, the expectation that all of the on-sale items in store will be properly labelled and easy to find is probably too high.
I don’t have any ideas to offer in terms of remedying the problems at Futureshop as they’re obvious and simple. But, for consumers, I suggest to review the flyers and select the items that are practical. By practical, I mean items that will likely be available at most times of the day. There’s little point in “door crashing” or rushing for hot deals when the available stock is less than a dozen. The prices probably aren’t that great, but, if they are, the product is getting old anyway.
Be surgical! Walk into a store, track down what’s on your list, quickly append to the list any deals that are truly worth your while, hit the lines, and leave! To do anything else places oneself at a disadvantage. You’ll end up using more time than you would have expected and with less than you may have wanted.
Lastly, do keep your eyes open and be aware of what is happening around you. People are in a rush to their destinations and may not be completely aware of what is around them. Take note of the atmosphere and try to avoid angry groups of people. Everyone may be out for the great holiday deal, but you don’t need to be caught up in a potential fight of strangers.
Really, everyone knows what they’re doing. They don’t need a stranger, such as myself, to tell them what they are doing. But, if you really are out to shop, just keep in mind these are merely suggestions. To the guy who fought with me for a parking space, walked into the store for an hour, wondered aloud whether Best Buy had a better deal, and rushed out the door with nothing, this is for you.