Holiday Shopping. Aboxing Day Takes On a Whole New Meaning. Retailers Try Anger Management For Stressed Out Last-Minute Shoppers. Second City Style Fashion Blog

December 21, 2006 • Shopping


‘Tis the season to be … angry?

The countdown to Christmas has dwindled to the single digits: As the
mall crowds have worsened, so has the stress on shoppers faced with a
creeping deadline to buy gifts — and they are increasingly taking that
stress out on salespeople.

Now merchants from toy sellers to electronics chains have buckled
down to deal with irate shoppers. Their strategies vary but the goal is
generally the same: to keep customers happy (and from wrestling each
other in the aisles) and employees safe.

"We’ve all done it: I know I’ve lost my temper, and everyone else
has probably done it," said Ernest Speranza, chief marketing officer of
KB Toys. "At this time of year, people start out with all the best
intentions. They’re busy buying toys for a young child. They’re happy
about doing that. Then they get caught up in the frenzy … and a nice
experience now starts to spiral out of control."

With shoppers procrastinating even more this year than last year,
according to reports, retailers are bracing for an even bigger rush
this weekend — and doing what they can to manage the mad multitudes.
Stores have beefed up security and coached their employees in anger
management. They are taking the hottest items off the shelves to avoid
fights in the aisles. While retailers are reluctant to say how much
they are spending to manage the mayhem, they do say the measures are
worth it to keep their customers happy, employees sane and stores safe
during the busiest time of the year.

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Source: International Herald Tribune

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