Black Friday Madness

I love a bargain as much as the next person. Probably more-so than some as I’ll never buy things without looking for a Voucheroo code first (Dominos pizza, I’m looking at you!) but I have to say, the whole Black Friday thing leaves me cold. I went into town today to pick something up from Waterstones and walked through Debenhams to get there, and it was genuinely the busiest I’ve EVER seen it. I don’t know if it’s because I’m ill at the moment or what, but being in such a busy shop made me feel a bit panicky.

The thing is, I’ve not actually seen a single bargain online OR in shops which represents anything even close to a decent saving. People are going crazy for items that they probably don’t even need at prices which aren’t even that good. It’s just not British!

I did a cursory Google of “Black Friday crimes” and found stories dating back years of shoppers punching each other for the last discounted TV and even several stories of people pulling GUNS on other shoppers to get the best bargains. I found a report that showed that, since 2006 7 people have been killed doing Black Friday shopping and a further 98 have been injured.

According to Wikipedia “During Black Friday 2010, a Madison, Wisconsin woman was arrested outside of a Toys ‘R’ Us store after cutting in line, and threatening to shoot other shoppers who tried to object. A Toys for Tots volunteer in Georgia was stabbed by a shoplifter. An Indianapolis woman was arrested after causing a disturbance by arguing with other Wal-Mart shoppers. She had been asked to leave the store, but refused. A man was arrested at a Florida Wal-Mart on drug and weapons charges after other shoppers waiting in line for the store to open noticed that he was carrying a handgun and reported the matter to police. He was discovered to also be carrying two knives and a pepper spray grenade. A man in Buffalo, New York, was trampled when doors opened at a Target store and unruly shoppers rushed in, in an episode reminiscent of the deadly 2008 Wal-Mart stampede.”

I mean…it’s surely not just me who thinks that’s insane, surely? It’s capitalism at it’s ugliest.

I will admit to not being a hugely covetous person. I was massively frivolous with money when I was younger and it’s taken a long time for me to go the other way and show a bit of frugality, but I don’t really crave the newest cars or clothes which is probably why I don’t feel the desperate need to go out and spend a load of money on one day of the year. Maybe if the bargains were better I’d be a bit more inclined to get involved, but nothing really seems THAT cheap to me.

What do you think? Are you banging down the doors of your local department stores to get a few quid off or are you like me and a little bemused by it all? I’d love to hear your thoughts.


Family · Fashion and Style

Masses of Dresses! A T.K. Maxx Kids Clothes Review

A couple of weeks ago, the lovely people at T.K. Maxx got in touch and asked if they could send us a £100 gift card to spend in store.

“Err, YES!” I thought, imagining a new pair of Converse for myself.

Except, alas, the cash was not for I, but my darling daughter who was being invited to check out the kids range at T.K. Maxx. I was thrilled for her; watching her face when Husband and I gave her a gift card, loaded with £100 and telling her that she could choose whatever she wanted was a gift that money can’t buy (well, money can’t buy; but a £100 gift card can!)

So off we went to our local T.K. Maxx, located in The Royals Shopping Centre in Southend on Sea and down to their basement where the treasure trove of kids clothes is held. Our T.K. Maxx is fairly large but not as big as the one at Lakeside, so although there was a fair few items in Sausage’s size, there wasn’t as much as I thought there would be. After about 20 minutes of browsing, Sausage had made her choices (click the photo to go straight to the T.K. Maxx a Kids department online):

1. Wearing Your ♥ on Your Sleeve – £9.99

2. Aphorism summer dress – £7.99

3. Ralph Lauren knitted dress – RRP £190.00 – £29.99

4. BeBop teadress – £12.99

5.  David Charles dress – RRP £169.99 – £29.99 reduced to £15

6. Sugar Pink Two piece set – £7.99

7. Apollo leggings – £4

8. Aphorism A-Line striped dress – £9.99

We also let Sausage pick out a little kids nail painting kit, which was £7.99, bringing the total shop up to £105.93, which I think is marvellous considering what we got and the actual original value. A couple of the labels, not all, had what the original selling price of the items would have been and based on these alone, we’ve saved an enormous £315! The Ralph Lauren dress was a particularly awesome find, given that it’s a little big now but will be perfect in the winter and as it’s a thick, knitted style, it’ll be perfect for the cooler weather.

The whole experience was absolutely lovely; Sausage had so much fun being allowed to run loose with her gift card ,which, incidentally she insisted on calling her credit card and was liberal in her very public proclamations about how rich she was! If you have an almost-five-year old girl, or based on my personal experience, any female between the ages of 4 and 64, with a birthday coming up and are stuck for something to buy them, a gift-card is a masterstroke and created unbridled glee in our daughter for days afterwards!

Thanks so much to T.K. Maxx for gifting this to Sausage, she had a great day and has worn almost every item that she bought already.