“I shop, therefore I am!”

Husband and I received a postcard invitation from Ikea in the mail last week to their sale preview. Preview for exclusive customers (read: customers who’ve spent way too much at Ikea) starts at 8am and the sale will be opened to the public by 10am. While we’re never those who’d drive to Best Buy on Black Friday to get 50% off last season’s camera when we lived in the United States, we decided that since we would need new furniture when we move to our new apartment in May, we might as well check out the deals.

So, unlike most days when it would be impossible to get me out of bed anytime before 7:30 am, today we got up promptly 7, got dressed, made coffee and quickly downed a cup before taking two buses and a train to Ikea’s annual sale. In fact, I’ve never seen husband so keen about a shopping trip before!

Oh, by the way, as we were waiting for our train, I kept asking myself if I would be able to live with lack of sleep in view of our baby plans…

Anyhow, we were surprised that there was no line outside the mall waiting to get in. Typically, Singaporeans would take the day off work just to cash in on some supposedly good deals. We arrived around 8:30am, looked around, found that none we wanted were on sale, and we were out of there by 9:15. So much for the gung- ho-ness! I should have known as, in the past, I never find what I want to be on sale at Ikea as the items coveted are typically new arrivals.

Now, this is not a commentary on how bad the sale at Ikea is (in fact, prices at Ikea, as you all know, are unbeatable for their design and quality) but on how much good advertising influences our behavior despite the fact that our experience tells us otherwise. So much of what drives the retail economy of Singapore is pure marketing ingenuity – convincing us that our wants are really our needs and creating new needs that we never knew we had! Is this a bad thing, though? Is succumbing to our wants always bad? What kind of effect would it have our soul?

Ahh…a question to ponder over the weekend…


~ by iccthomas on February 29, 2008.

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