Last weekend I was dropped off at Macarthur Square shopping centre by Clinton’s Toyota to alleviate the boredom of having to wait for hours meticulously at the dealer’s while my car was being serviced. A free service that every customer leapt at without the slightest reluctance, especially when the offer was backed up by a free pick up. As I entered the threshold of the massive shopping complex at 10:00 am, Christmas shoppers had begun to busy themselves with their purchases striking off items from their what seemed to be endless shopping lists. However, what arrested my attention were the decorations in place for the festive occasion, the prime intention of which is to lure the customers, to trap them in that make believe consumerist world and as I walked into the shopping centre I felt like an insect walking into a spider’s web as escape was impossible.
Sensibility being my middle name, I prided upon the wise choices I had made while shopping in the recent years; a practice that I had to forcefully cultivate when I suddenly woke up to the fact that I was being exploited like millions of shoppers by retailers and wholesale dealers in the name of consumerism. However, when I saw the innumerable sale signs assuring reduced prices for all kinds of goods at Mac Square, prudence vanished into thin air and I could not resist adding a few more items to a well planned budget shopping list. Am I the only victim of commercialisation ending up with a hole in my wallet? Haven’t the shoppers realised that ‘Sale’ was a manipulative business term, which meant more money in the pockets of retailers that caused a drain on their purses? Hence, it was not difficult to comprehend why sales was becoming a recurring phenomenon in the recent days when compared to a quarter century ago.
The art of persuasion through the creation of the right ambience had been resorted to, by many an organisation, to convince shoppers that the time was ripe for being magnanimous with presents and gifts for friends and family, contrary to the dictates of common sense. As far as ambience was concerned, Mac Square scored points alright, as all the three levels/floors pronounced it. When I received a phone call that my car was serviced and that I needed to wait for a pick up at the taxis stand, I exited the complex with a sinking heart as I could not dispense the thought that I was a sheep following the herd.