Is it just us or is there always a sale on? We aren’t complaining or anything, it’s just there’s nothing like seemingly incessant seasonal discounts to make the concept of January sales seem lacklustre - or defunct.
What once were The January Sales now operate as Intermittent Winter Sales, and while Black Friday (that American export denoting the Friday following Thanksgiving) used to signal the start of the Christmas shopping season, it’s now more commonly found as just another day in ‘cyber week’. Now, despite ‘cyber week’ being over, brands such as Net-A-Porter and Browns do additional discount on top of sale. And this is before the post-Christmas shopping sales, which starts in earnest before you’ve even vowed never to spend Christmas with your immediate family ever again because of an argument over a smoked salmon blini.
Sweet baby Jesus! It wasn’t always like this. Does anyone remember when the January sales started, respectfully, on Boxing Day? Or even when they started on New Year’s Day? There would be footage on the news of hordes pouring into department stores. You’d wonder what they could possibly want that badly in order to camp outside to attain it at a discounted price. Would it fill the void in their hearts? Who knows! Most of them - as I imagined at the time - were probably too busy fighting over heavily-discounted full-length fur coats with half-price Manolo Blahniks to turn the experience into a therapy session. The January Sales were traditionally about shopping for yourself, the main event when it came to Christmas money and gift cards. Nowadays you could just as legitimately buy Christmas presents on sale without looking miserly and be shopping for yourself constantly.
So, the January Sales aren’t the institution of selfish seasonal shopping they once were. It’s a shame, but at least you’re in the midst of a long winter of getting what you want - if rampant consumerism has anything to do with it.
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