The Worst Type of Shopping

In Canada, December 26th is called Boxing Day, and that is our big sale day, sort of like the Americans’ Black Friday. Unlike Europe, who are civilized and have sales on for the whole month of January, North America creates these barbaric sales days where everyone camps out over night, lines up for hours, and fights for crappy merchandise that is barely discounted. Ok, not everyone, as I refuse to line up for that type of thing. I’ve lined up for sales before, but they were samples sales in Paris, where luxury brands were 90% off. I don’t line up overnight to get a cheap DVD player.

Canada is even worse than the US, in that people actually go and sleep outside after their Christmas dinner. This defeats the whole point of Christmas evening, which is to be warm at home cuddled on the sofa feeling stuffed!

I’ve had a bone to pick with H&M recently, as I was unimpressed by their Lanvin sale. I think it is barbaric to make any customers line up overnight, outside, IN NOVEMBER, there are other ways to do things, but I was even more disgusted by their Boxing Day promotion (which are available in most Canadian stores):

  • First 100 people in line get up to $100 off their purchase
  • There will be items on sale for $5
  • Doors open at 7am.

Let’s go through this. First of all, what kind of asshole company makes their staff start at 6am or whatever on Boxing Day? Secondly, what kind of store opens at 7am on a HOLIDAY???? Third, I am confused about this “up to $100 off.” “Up to” can mean $100 off, but it could also mean $10 off, or even $1 off. Fourth, they are advertising the fact that there are items for $5. I was in H&M last week, and there were TONS of items on sale for $5. There were also items for $2. And you can go in there any day of the year and buy things for $5, is it worth lining up for? Lastly, and certainly not least, why would anyone go to H&M for a sale? The concept of a sale is to buy things at a reduced price, but H&M is already so cheap. Is it worth getting up at 6am, or not going to sleep at all, on one of the only days of the year most of the Western world has off, just to buy cheap clothes even cheaper? If you are going to be pathetic and get up at 6am on Boxing Day to shop, do me a favour and line up for something worth buying on sale.

  • Jen Cunningham

    I totally agree. Nothing makes me angrier than seeing assholes lined up outside of stores on Boxing Day. Same idea with cross boarder shopping on Black Friday. I recently wrote about how it’s not worth driving to the US for one day for the sole purpose of getting “good deals”.

    Oh, to dream of a more civilized society.

  • lisa

    It’s a pretty asinine promotion. I mean, I like shopping at H&M as much as the next person, but I walked through it recently and didn’t want to buy anything that they had in stock at the moment. What makes them think I’d want to line up at an ungodly hour to buy stuff I didn’t want in the first place?

  • Denitsa

    This Lanvin collection is so overrated. One week ago there was a store in Berlin that still had almost all the dresses even in the small sizes and I was thinking about maybe buying one but the quality didn’t look good at all, or at least not good enough for 150 euro for a H&M (cause in the end it is H&M) dress that so many people have already seen, bought and discussed.

    And in general waiting for hours in front of the store… I would do it MAYBE only for something that is really worth it like real Lanvin or Louboutin shoes or whatever, not H&M so I can buy something for 5 euro instead of 10.

  • Anonymous

    Agree that the real Lanvin is worth lining up for. People wait for hours
    outside the big Paris sample sales, but they are worth it because:

    1-You are getting Yves Saint Laurent or Louis Vuitton or whatever discounted
    usually at about 90% off
    2-It is invitation only so you know only a select group of people are going
    to have access to these goods
    3-A lot of the pieces are press samples which sometimes never make it into
    production so there may only be a few in the world.

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  • Diana Zapata

    I did the whole “Boxing Day” thing only once, a few years ago. I didn’t even have money to spend, I just literally needed one specific thing from one store, but I went with my friends. Never again. I hate malls when they’re practically empty, so I despise them when they’re full of people trying to get “good deals”. I went downtown after work today, and even though it was still pretty full, I went into the store where I wanted to buy a sweater I had my eye on, found it, tried it on, and went to pay. It was nice to get 20% off, but it’s not like I reserved an entire day to go out shopping for more stuff I don’t even need, just because there’s sales going on. North American society is completely brainwashed and we don’t even realize it half the time.

  • Anonymous

    20% is a pathetic discount anyway, which is another thing that annoys the
    hell out of me in North America. In Europe, the stores put EVERYTHING on
    sale (with major discounts) from the previous season, because they want to
    get rid of it all before the new season. Here, they keep the same crappy
    stock for seasons on end, discounting it 10% here and there.

    And yes, you are right about the brainwashing, it is sad.

  • Chelsea Rae

    I lived in Michigan (about 30 minutes from Windsor) for most of my life. Though I now live in New York, I have had my fair share of Boxing Day experiences, and I must say, I think those experiences are the reason I don’t “do” Black Friday…EVER! I never lined up overnight or even woke up before 8AM to shop on Boxing Day, but the number of people foraging for clothes, cheap or not, in one mall gave me anxiety. I also have had to hold down the fort as a PR intern at my fair share of sample sales, and that’s about as anxiety-inducing as Boxing Day. I just can’t deal with people acting like animals of clothes or accessories. I love fashion and shopping just as much as the next girl, but honestly, I will not have a tug-of-war or a shirt whether it’s from H&M or Chanel.

    Oh, and I secretly love deceptive promotions. It’s sort of amusing to see how many people don’t actually realize they’re being swindled.

  • Rachelle

    Boxing Day sales have become such a scam. Many of the big chain stores bring in huge racks of nasty cheap merchandise to sell at a discount, as opposed to offering deep discounts on their regular merchandise. I stay away until late January, when the really good deals can be had. The selection is limited, yes, but if you’re looking to save 70% or more, it only going to happen when retailers need to make room for the spring collections.

  • Anonymous

    Agree, on the rare occasions I’ve actually ventured to the shops on Boxing
    Day, I have never actually gotten a good deal on something I really like.
    Waste of time.