With the holiday season creeping up on the world fast, many stores and businesses have already begun preparing for the merry season. This preparation seemed to many shoppers to happen overnight, and as someone who works in retail I can tell you, well it probably did.
The second that Halloween ends, or even a few seconds before, every store proceeds to get out their more festive product. Or deal. Or promotion. The aisles seem just a bit taller than they did the day before, and I can assure you again, that’s because they are. Many stores put up risers in order to put up more shelves (or bars) to shelve (or hang) more product. This creates the wall of product that everyone knows and loves.
Bulk stacks of televisions, or game consoles, or Amazon Alexa’s appear with the sole purpose of cluttering the ends of the aisles. Visibility is low. Mobility is scarce, especially when the shopping carts roll through the store, bumping into every stack, every aisle, and every ankle of every person in the store.
The store zone becomes even more dangerous once weather is taken into account. Here in New England, we get snow in winter and, oh boy, do we get snow. Plowing in many store parking lots can be abysmal. The drivers in these lots are even worse.
However, there are some tricks you can use to keep you and your loved ones safe from these holiday preparations. As someone who works retail, I know what it’s like. The best thing you can do to avoid these dangers is…don’t go out. Done. Problem solved. But I suppose that’s not realistic.
Being the short person I am (standing at a measly 5 feet, or 60 inches), holiday risers have always been a hazard. Through careful preparation, I worked out some workarounds for this visibility issue. The holiday season is the perfect excuse to wear festive hats and bells. The bells are the important part. Even if they can’t see you, they can hear you coming. You can even put these on your kids or small siblings. That way, you can always find who you’re looking for. Another, less discreet alternative is balloons. You tie a balloon to yourself or your loved one or even your cart and you’re able to find it if you’re ever separated.
Mobility is a trickier situation. Sometimes you have no choice but to wait in line. I don’t recommend pushing or aggressively sliding past others, you’ll just run into more foot traffic along the way. However I do recommend boots, two pairs of socks, and puffy marshmallow jackets. I’ll tell you why. Boots and extra socks will protect your ankles from those fearsome shopping carts. I always wear two pairs of socks to work in the holiday season. It doesn’t completely cushion the blow, but it stops any real damage as well as blisters from walking around so much. As a bonus, the extra socks keep your feet extra toasty. Boots will also act as a barrier in this instance, but they also make your step more noticeable. It gives you a stronger footfall. People are more inclined to move because of this. Now, I recommend marshmallow jackets, not just because they are comfortable and warm, but because it makes you big. You take up more space this way. People don’t want to be near someone who takes of a significant amount of space. This also gets people to move out of your way.
As for the weather, never travel without a snow brush and a little shovel. It could even be a shovel your baby sister takes to the beach in the summer. It really just has to scoop. This ensures even when the plow truck comes through the store’s parking lot and inevitably plows every single car into their spot, you still have a glimmer of hope at getting home at a decent hour. It’s a long shot, but it helps to hope.
Follow these holiday prep tips and you’ll be ready for your holiday shopping in no time. Stores prepare for the holidays and you can too. Your best hope of survival is being more prepared than the shopper next to you. Trust me, I work there.