Tag Archives | shopping

On Shopping And Warfare

Via the The New Inquiry, Christina Kral and Adriana Valdez Young on the connection between the two activities that may be opposite sides of the same coin:

What is the relationship between war and shopping? Both can be quite aggressive and at the same time appear to be innocent or absolutely necessary. As we shop or war, we serve a greater other. There are seasons for shopping and seasons for war. Both keep us busy and controlled. What would people do if going to war or to the mall wasn’t an option anymore?

But I think there is something much more primal about going shopping and going to war. As we saw from the post-9/11 patriotic calls to shop and support the economy, there was a fear that if Americans stopped consuming that the terrorists would win.

The US Army also had more direct mall-based, anti-terror strategies. As part of the ‘Shock and Awe’ campaign in 2003, the U.S.

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Finally, Amazon Sells Pens For Women

Some would argue that in our patriarchal, capitalist society, the male-female gender binary is enforced and emphasized, and a never-ending supply of unnecessary consumer items is churned out for people to purchase. Case in point, presenting BIC’s new “For Her” line of pens, with pink coloring and easy glide smoothness (Women were having difficulty pushing pens across paper?) , at last allowing the fairer sex to write by hand. Now for sale on Amazon:

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Supermarkets Begin Charging Different Prices To Different People

Standardized price tags may soon be supplanted by personalized ones. Wealthy, high-spending shoppers will likely be courted by receiving the best prices, while the poor will be charged more for the same goods. Dystopia reportage from the New York Times:

Going to the grocery store is becoming a lot less egalitarian. At a Safeway in Denver, a 24-pack of Refreshe bottled water costs $2.71 for Jennie Sanford, a project manager. For Emily Vanek, a blogger, the price is $3.69.

The difference? The vast shopping data Safeway maintains on both women through its loyalty card program. Ms. Sanford has a history of buying Refreshe brand products, but not its bottled water, while Ms. Vanek, a Smartwater partisan, said she was unlikely to try Refreshe.

So Ms. Sanford gets the nudge to put another Refreshe product into her grocery cart, with the hope that she will keep buying it, and increase the company’s sales of bottled water.

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Woman Pepper Sprays Shoppers To Get Xbox

walmartNBC Los Angeles reports on some Black Friday action. Over the past two months, in our society, pepper spraying anyone, anytime to get what you want has become completely normalized:

A customer shot pepper spray at other customers at a busy Northridge Wal-Mart store late Thursday night, causing minor injuries to at least 10 people who had been waiting hours for Black Friday savings, according to Los Angeles firefighters and a police lieutenant. The Associated Press later reported 20 injuries.

A witness told NBC4 that the incident started as people waited in line for the new Xbox 360. The witness said a woman with two children in tow became upset with the way people were pushing in line. The witness said she pulled out pepper spray and sprayed the other people in line.

It appeared only one person would need to be transported to a hospital for treatment.

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Occupy-Themed Best Buy Marketing Campaign

Have you been curious how the Occupy movement would be co-opted? Occupy Best Buy combines the red-hot protest movement with Black Power fist iconography in an effort to get people pumped up about buying plasma screen TVs or whatever it is they sell at Best Buy. Definitely the worst of the occupations to spring up so far. Best Buy claims that no affiliation with the web site, though one would suspect that it’s a viral marketing effort:

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The Deeper Meaning Of Shopping

shoppingShopping and the consumerist impulse are lambasted as empty and selfish. But the New Left Project has an entirely different, novel view of consumerism:

Shopping is usually a collective act. Most of the time it is done in groups, in families or with friends. Much of our consumption is for other people; or we have other people in mind when we’re doing it. In the supermarket, we buy for our families. In the high street, teenagers buy the same clothes and music as their peer group. Consumption by children and adults is driven by a sense of what we need to keep our collective lives together; and by the way in which owning the same things as others gives us status amongst our peers.

In their effort to reformulate progressive politics, many on the left have called for the creation of a `post-consumer society’ in which more noble values than shopping lie at the centre of British life.

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How Shopping Malls Make You Buy

Hungry Beast offers a three-minute primer on how architecture and design elements in shopping malls have been tested and tweaked to create “scripted disorientation” and manipulate and channel our behavior. Most of us have heard of some of the consumption-encouraging tricks used within individual stores, but not necessarily those occurring on a larger level in the surrounding structures and environs. Someday businesses will perfect a method for getting us to shop for just as long as they wish us to:

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British Supermarket Chain Starts Dating Service Based On Shopping Habits

24925Asda, a British retail giant owned by Wal-Mart, has launched an online dating site which matches singles by the products they purchase. Because, really, you are what you buy, and who would want to cohabit with someone who consumes a different brand of toilet paper? Business Review Europe gets starry-eyed:

Asda customers may be able to find love among the cabbages. According to Asda, the novel idea came about after a survey conducted on 10,000 of their shoppers showed that 71 percent of men and 64 percent of women look for a possible match in their local supermarket. And 41 percent said they viewed contents of fellow shoppers baskets to try and gauge whether they were single. Asda has decided to give the lonely hearts of our nation a helping hand!

Asdadating.com is the ‘perfect matchmaking option,’ explains a Asda spokesperson, ‘you can chat to fellow shoppers you like the look of whilst getting your weekly shop done.’

Asda’s dating website matches potential partners based on their shopping habits.

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