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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Shopping season ideal for anti-shoppers

    “”It’s the most wonderful time of the year””

    The mall is designed to disorient. On a journey to find the photogenic Santa and his underpaid elves, a helpless shopper has to dodge barking kiosk attendants, avoid making eye contact with the jumpy security guard looking for an excuse to keep busy and cover innocent eyes while passing vibrant displays of holiday lingerie.

    “”With the kids jingle belling””

    By the time Santa kicks that shopper off his lap, the human hurdles blocking the exit are too exhausting to avoid and another victim runs for the food court to find comfort.

    “”And everyone telling you be of good cheer””

    “”People tend to be more irritable during the holidays, which makes it more stressful when it’s busy and people are impatient,”” said Amber Moore, who works the Macy’s cosmetics counter at Park Place Mall this holiday season.

    Impatience accompanies irritability: Just hours after Thanksgiving ended this year, a Wal-Mart employee in New York was trampled to death after unlocking the doors for a crazed stampede of early-morning present seekers.

    “”It’s the most wonderful time of the year””

    Yet some people wonder how shopping can be intimidating.

    Every holiday season people born without the shopper instinct are forced out of hiding and into mainstream consumerism. The timid group is easy to identify.

    “”All this time between Thanksgiving and a week before Christmas, all the wives come in to do their shopping, and the girlfriends, the people that are normal. and then the last week all the guys come in. And it can be two days before, the day before, until … three hours before we close Christmas Eve,”” said Dave Beeson, a volunteer gift-wrapper at Park Place.

    Ah, the sacrifices we make to show loved ones we care.

    However, change is in the air.

    The halls of Park Place Mall are eerily quiet. Vendors are bored. The big bad Grinch, the economy, is keeping shoppers away.

    Sales associate Matt Duffy has worked at the Dillard’s at Park Place for three years and has seen business dwindle.

    “”It doesn’t really seem like it’s the holidays yet just because of how bad things actually are,”” Duffy said.

    The dead mall is getting to Gym Torgenson, a volunteer gift-wrapper at Park Place since 2000.

    “”You see two or three people and you want to say hi, because you don’t know if anyone else is alive in the world,”” Torgenson said.

    For the anti-shopper, this means now is the time to take care of holiday needs.

    A generally light crowd makes finding the right gift a quick get-in-and-get-out process – ideal for people looking to avoid any shopping hassle.

    “”It’s probably going to be a pretty slow Christmas in general,”” Duffy said.

    In addition to smaller crowds at the shopping meccas, slimmer customer wallets are forcing vendors to lower their prices.

    “”Consumers are looking for deals, and if they cannot find those deals, they decide not to spend their money, so I would assume this is a very difficult time for retailers,”” said Ying Huang, family and consumer sciences assistant professor.

    Yet fear not mall dodgers – the stores are empty and the deals are plentiful. Take care of the holiday shopping now instead of waiting until the last possible hour on Christmas Eve. It’s not as scary as usual this year.

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