23 January 2011

Shopping, Sales, Money – Real and Invisible Value

Cold and rainy weekend. After the best part of Saturday was wasted in front of the telly, overeating and sleeping, got up early on Sunday. Shaved, showered and then checked the weather. Another rainy day predicted so headed out to the dreaded Brent Cross mall. Dreaded as it is unfortunately filled with like-minded people as me. Basically filled with Asian Diaspora who likes to collect shopping bags. Look to only shop at sales and consider it a bargain if its under £10.

We were a tad early, so I headed off to Starbucks to fortify myself with a Granola Bar and Tall Soy Latte. Now usually on shopping expeditions I make my coffee stop and disappear inside a bookshop to be summoned by the female folk after they finish. A Saturday of inactivity prompted me to this time around walk around and look at stuff with the spouse. The fact that she looks very young and looked exceptionally cute helped. (The spouse not the sales girls, although they were not too shabby either).

As we were early, so for the first time in my life I stood outside one of the store’s, Marks and Sparks, for it to open, surrounded by the afore mentioned Diaspora consisting mainly of Asian ladies in Shalwar Kameez. I was in for a treat. As soon as the big steel shutters rolled up all these ladies in one swarm ran inside the store. I mean actually sprinted to this one rack of clothes. I was mildly alarmed when even the cutely booted one of mine increased her pace from chilled to accelerating. I watched from a safe distance as the ladies just proceeded to grab any or everything from the said rack. It took me a couple of minutes to solve this strange scrimmage. The rack said clearance, all the garments hanging there were priced £3 or less and some of it did look decent. The ladies would grab move away from the scrum and then choose the one’s they wanted. The better prepared among them had wing-women for assistance. My cutely booted one (MCBO) returned in disappointment while narrating to me how last weekend she was on time and managed to get a total of seven items for just under £30. It was a first for me and I did wish I had the foresight and bravery to record this all with my mobile.

So from there it was more a normal and relaxed pace. From John Lewis where we looked without success for a new set of kitchen knives for me, we proceeded to the MCBO’s fave shop – All Saints. None of the stuff met my £10 approval rating but the MCBO did get herself a scarf. I then spied inside this same department store a section for SuperDry. As the avid bloggers and their stalkers know this brand of clothing is in Mr.RD’s  preferred selection of brands. So venture to this section did I. Even on sale much of the clothing there was priced at £50 and above. Way beyond my budgetary approval rating (BAR), so a grit of the teeth and I moved on. RD, however I must admit the tees and especially the sweats were happening and I empathise with your decision to part with good money for this brand of clothes. Unlike me, regular employment and owning your own business I am sure helps one to have a much higher budget approval rating!

So then it was onwards to Banana Republic with a quick stop at the bookstore for me to quickly procure the coming weeks smoking allotment and the Economist magazine. I must admit shopping at BR is no longer an experience for me after visiting this huge outlet mall in Washington DC called the Potomac Mills. There believe you me; most of the BR clothes are priced on par with my BAR. Therefore, my much admired massive selection of white BR shirts, pants and winter coat. There the secret is out! About now I must admit my testosterone started to kick in and I was hoping we could venture back to my Sunday football on the telly and a couple of Heinekens. The MCBO was oblivious to this or pretended to be.

GAP had pleasant surprises for me as I managed to find a really cool pair of 1969 button fly jeans just under one pence from my BAR. The MCBO did spoil the experience a little by informing me I could use them to walk and play with the dogs.  (I had by then already started to visualise myself grooving with Demo and Migara behind the DJ booth at SILK in them jeans and one of my umpteen BR white shirts). Also for £20, double my BAR I proceeded to procure a spring jacket. This purchase however did meet the approval of the MCBO. The MCBO also got loads of ‘lata pat-ta’ including a range of socks for 99pence a pair. My thoughts then did fleet to a fellow blogger, avid shopper San, and all afore mentioned Shalwar ladies who hung out at Mars and Sparks.

Finally after doing the food shopping at Marks and Sparks, bumping into the S-I-L with her two kids Sash and Sunny, it was time to load up and proceed to drive home. Home now, stuffed full of baby ribs and Chinese fried rice, I sprawl on the sofa typing this.

Ah yes, the heading to this post. As day reaches its end it dawned to me how much the real value of money is but how much more important the invisible value is. The amount we’re prepared to pay for our favourite brand, that premium. Like SuperDry for RD and I think in San’s case its shoes, handbags and about ten wedding ceremonies spanning two countries for her younger bro.

I rest now before this turns into a marketing lecture. Monday and another week of earning the daily bread beckons. There are similes’ to my life and our dearly departed Koko the hamster. She ran on her wheel all night, I, 24/7 on weekdays and most Saturday nights 365 days of the year. Then you die, but that’s another day, another post. 

Have a great week everybody.


Rhythmic Diaspora said...

Thank you for the mention DD. I think my penchant for Superdry is perhaps more to do with a bigger overdraft facility than yours more than anything else. I think I may have to move on to other brands now, as I seem to own the whole Superdry stock list!

Have a good week yourself. x

santhoshi said...

Lol surely i can join and push the shalwar ladies to get to those racks first.

Poor koko may she rest in peace!

ViceUnVersa said...

San they were very formidable! Fat Indian and Pakistani ladies who reside in Hendon. They would have brushed you aside like a fly. Or maybe I underestimate your shopping enthusiasm?

Koko rests right by our front door. She has a little shrine of rocks and two pink and red roses!