Thursday, December 20, 2007


As we all know this is a special time of year, a time of giving and receiving when shops strongly resist the urge to simply hoick us by the ankles and shake us 'til the money comes out.

As gets passed around as 'common knowledge' the amount stores make over this period can equal the amount they make for the rest of the year. So any downward trend in what they delightfully term 'footfall', and we would call 'shoppers', may cause distress.

And yes once again the shops are bemoaning the lack of footfall this Christmas - poor babies, issu not getting customers, issu competing with online retailers selling the same goods at half the price issu having to start sales at a time when people want to buy things instead of afterwards, issu, issu, ahhh poor babies.

As you may have gathered I'm slightly indifferent to their plight, yes yes wider economic implications etc., but it's hard to feel sympathy for a group that are whining that people who are still paying off last year's debt aren't putting themselves into more debt by buying stuff off them.

The attitude of people that were interviewed on one news programme broke down into two camps - 1) We can't afford it, 2) We're waiting for the sales.

Selfish people don't they know the economic well-being of this country is based on debt and shopping. Spare a thought for those poor CEO's unable to get a brand-new car in April to replace their old and tired car bought way back in September.

Anyway they should hate me and mine, we've all decided this year - presents for the kids and that's it, it's getting stupid trying to either second-guess what someone wants or to bluntly ask them. It makes shopping so less stressful a tip I'd pass on to this gentleman. We're doing the same for birthdays and it's something I've always practised for Mother's day etc.

Before the cries of Scrooge let me make this clear - I don't feel the need to buy someone something just because the calendar tells me to, if I see something that I know someone will like (and I can afford it) I'll buy it them there and then; that's it, end of story.


Invisible said...

Aren't these the same guys who complain that "sales have fallen by 5%" when in fact what has happened is that sales are rising, but by "only" 8% when they were expecting the trend of 13% to continue?

Poor multi-billion dollar corporations. How will they cope?

FlipC said...

Yup it's known as "the fun you can have with statistics without actually lying about the data" The classic example is -

In 2000 the company made X profit
In 2001 the company made X+10% profit
In 2002 the company made (X+10%)+5% profit

Therefore profit in 2002 is down 5% compared to 2001 or increased to 105% depending on whether you talking to staff after a pay-raise or stockholders about to invest in your company.

Invisible said...

Reminds me of some anti-piracy website where they tell you "In 2006, record sales fell by 5%." No attempt is made to demonstrate that this is actually due to piracy; they simply state the statistic and imply that this is “obviously” due to evil piracy activities.

(So, not because you flooded the entire market with cheap cheesy music that no sane person would pay money for then?)

FlipC said...

Oh sure that's taking two statements that might not have anything to do with other and putting them together so they appear to.

So I could say

'The majority of Conservative MPs are married men and studies show that in an abusive marriage it's normally the man who's the aggressor.'

I've taken two true statements and linked them together to imply Conservative MPs beat their wives up, which as far as I'm aware they don't.

The tabloids love playing tricks like this -

'The rumour-mill has it that footballer Flibio was seen exiting Club Nowhere, a spot that has garnered a reputation for holding drink and drug-crazed parties'

Note I'm not saying Flibio was at such a party or confirming that he was even at the club, I'm not even saying that Club Nowhere holds such parties. I'm just reporting that it has a reputation for such and it's been rumoured that he was seen there.

It's all good fun and sells papers.