We learned from one study that people are more inclined to purchase items if Christmas songs are piped into the store. (Presumably the songs didn’t include “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” or any song by the Chipmunks.)
We learned from another study that shoppers were more likely to enter a mall store if the shop windows were dramatically decorated with a holiday scene. (We’re not referring to the large seasonal photographs in the Victoria Secret windows.)
And we learned that you could be pepper-sprayed, assaulted or shot for simply trying to put a waffle maker in your shopping cart. (Health insurance carriers now judge people for three high-risk behaviors: smoking, high cholesterol and shopping the Black Friday sale at Walmart.)
Now we learned another vital trend. According to a New York Times report, online merchants are gearing sales promotions for those who have had too much to drink. Some are merely tipsy, others are downright drunk – and either way, they buy stuff on their computer they normally wouldn’t buy.
As an example, one accountant pounded down too many cold ones, returned home to his computer and bought a $10,000 motorcycle tour of New Zealand.
One analyst said alcohol encourages “impulse buying.” And eBay executive admitted people tend to buy online while “decompressing” at home over cocktails. Online retailers don’t want to be seen as encouraging drunken shopping, but they are not denying that shoppers open up their wallets after a few shots of Grey Goose. In England, a study found that 50 percent had made online purchases after drinking.
Hey, I can understand the drinking part. I have been known to end the workday with a glass or two of merlot. But never have I finished that second glass, turned on my laptop, and made a decision to “decompress” by bidding on a Napa Valley villa or by buying a $5,000 Tiffany cheese tray. Not once have I sipped a single-malt scotch and then figured I could buy a new Lexus.
Normal people don’t do these kinds of things. A few drinks could make a person more sociable, but not turn him into a shopaholic.
But if the study is correct, the State of Utah should lead the way to correct the problem.
First, we should require liquor stores and restaurants to post signs: “Warning – drinking alcohol can lead to wasting money on stupid things. Stay away from computers.”
Secondly, the Utah legislature should require all laptop computers to contain a breathalyzer component. If the user’s alcohol content is more than .08, he or she won’t be able to access Amazon.com.
One woman told the New York Times Reporter, “I was drunk and I bought it (a cell phone cover), and I forgot about it, and when it showed up in the mail, I was really excited.”
She blames it on the demon rum. I blame it on sheer stupidity.