Black Friday is supposed to be the busiest shopping day of the year.
The stores may be packed the day after Thanksgiving, but shoppers aren’t always buying. They’re just looking – the saddest three words in retail.
But the busiest shopping day of the year is only days away. It’s the Saturday before Christmas. That’s according to the International Council of Shopping Centers.
The Saturday before Christmas is when shoppers really open their wallets and retailers see green.
This year, the big rush is supposed to be Saturday, December 20th.
Stores can also expect scattered shoppers and a light dusting of desperation on Wednesday, Dec. 24. Christmas Eve is when the most clueless shoppers rush into the stores.
Many are men desperate to buy something, anything, to save their romances. These men point to size-two saleswomen and say, “My wife is about your size.” Since the guy is somewhere in his fifties – and so is his wife – what he’s really saying is “I wish my wife was your size.”
He buys a dress that’s way too small. His angry wife returns it after Christmas.
Meanwhile, clueless women are buying men ugly ties, sensible sweaters and unwanted socks.
Here’s my advice to avoid those many unhappy returns:
Gift cards are always the right size and color. They’re more thoughtful than handing someone you love a pile of money.
Save your marriage. Save yourself. And have a happy holiday.
(The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of St. Louis Public Radio.)
Elaine Viets is a freelance writer.