Magazine article CRM Magazine

Gettin' Schooled: Facing the Fourth "R"-Retail

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Gettin' Schooled: Facing the Fourth "R"-Retail

Article excerpt

SEPTEMBER'S HERE, and it's a busy time in North America. Labor Day, a holiday on which most of us don't labor, kicks off the month. Oddly enough, the only people who are laboring on Labor Day (except delivering mothers) are the folks we actually refer to as laborers--the sort who don't get vacation days--as opposed to workers, but that's not the topic I intend to address this month.

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No, I'd like to confront another bit of weirdness known as Back to School Sales. Many of you reading this are parents, so you know what it's like from the perspective of the one who has to lay out the money. I only recall it from a kid's point of view, albeit one who wasn't caught up in having the latest Trapper Keeper and a brand new Spider-Man backpack.

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Let's consider the crowds--this is painful, but it will be cathartic to share it with my readership. Summer is a long stretch of time for the young, filled with nothing to do but bug the parents to entertain them. The desperation on both sides to come up with something to do, even for an hour, is palpable in most homes. Yet the shopping waits until the dog days of August (when dogs don't want to go out) or even the night before school starts anew. This means adults rushing about with their kids, the latter deep in the throes of schoolphobia, fighting all the other families for the last three-ring binder with Fashion Fever Barbie on the cover. Advice: School supplies don't go bad. Buy them in June, when the brats still remember what goes on in a classroom; don't wait for the minuscule savings that the late-summer sales bring. …

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