Every Day is Boxing Day

by Samantha on December 26, 2011

Boxing Day used to be a high point for many of us parents. After a year of buying full-price retail items and perhaps getting some items on sale every so often, this one day of the year promised to relieve us from the financial strain of raising children in a modern world. Kids, after all, are expensive.

While the holidays proved to be a high point of the year, let’s face it: getting a snowsuit or new running shoes for our children at 60 per cent off was almost too much to bear. What a bargain!

It almost seemed too good to be true and many of us waited the whole year for those unbelievable end-of-season sales. Yet, as much as Boxing Day seemed to be the harbinger of discounts, those days are long gone, though many of us don’t know it.

How, you ask?

Just look around you. Better yet, consider the medium on which you’re reading right now: The Internet. But it’s not just the Internet that has taken the wind out of the sales sails of Boxing Day. It’s technology in general. Online is just one part of an ever-growing and seemingly unstoppable force. Digital technology specifically, and the 24/7 global marketplace in which we live has made a serious dent in the once-anticipated Boxing Day sale(s).

Image courtesy of www.heartandsoleshoes.ca

Consider this:

  • Online shopping is now widely accepted around the globe, and with one click on your touchpad, you can have almost anything delivered to your door, often within 24 hours if need be
  • The 24/7, round-the-clock availability of shopping - either online, via phone or otherwise - makes doing so a breeze
  • Boxing Day has slowly morphed into Boxing Week and in some cases Boxing Month as retailers scramble to keep consumers interested
  • The ability to conduct one’s own research regarding pricing by going online to find the best deal, regardless of location, has upped the ante and made it more difficult for retailers while empowering consumers
  • The growth of sites such as Craigslist or similar do-it-yourself type classifieds has in many cases eliminated the “middle man”- the retailer - and has made selling and purchasing a more negotiable playing field, from a price perspective
  • The recent economic turmoil has made consumers more wary of parting with their money - a real challenge for stores that want to offload their goods
  • To the above-point, discount outlets - both “bricks and mortar” stores and online locations - have become even more popular with price-conscious shoppers
  • Consumer fatigue from being constantly inundated with ads has hardened an already jaded public and added to the difficulty being felt by those selling goods
  • An increased commitment to “green” parenting has revitalized consignment and second-hand clothing stores for children’s goods, as well as a greater acceptance of hand-me-downs by parents, greatly decreasing the need for purchasing new children’s clothing (on Boxing Day or otherwise)

All of these points illustrate one basic underlying reality: Because of our access to information re: pricing, availability and otherwise, every day is Boxing Day, somewhere, at least from a pricing perspective. And because of technology, we’re able to find out exactly where in the world the best deals preside, and are able to access them as well.

Parents have a choice in how they’re going to spend their money and how they’re going to provide for their kids. So while some may wait for one day or week at the end of December each year, I’d venture to guess that many more of us are now taking the reins on our spending and foregoing the crowds that traditionally made up what was once known as the Boxing Day frenzy. Sure, there will be crowds and lineups and people camping out for discounted tech gadgets and the latest video game console. But if you look closely at those in line, both outside the stores in the dead of night, and those who finally make it to the checkout line, bleary-eyed, hours later, you won’t find many parents. Because, you see, we moms and dads are not only at home minding the kids and the store, if you will; we’re also likely surfing the web for the biggest and best discount on clothes for our sons and daughters…with nary a thought about a quaint and antiquated concept known as “Boxing Day.”

Do you go shopping on Boxing Day or Boxing Week? Why or why not?

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