Friday, 6 April 2007

Demand and the loss of human sanity

One of the problems with high demand was highlighted in this Guardian article:
"By 10am, the doors had been knocked off their hinges by the eager shoppers, desperate to get hold of a pair of £8 jeans. By 11am, a floor manager had been knocked to the ground by the hordes, trampling all that was in their path in search of a £2 bikini. And by noon the queue to get in snaked all the way down Oxford Street to Marble Arch with a waiting time estimated at a couple of hours."
One thing that seems to go out of the window when something is popular is patience. There was an opening time for the shop - but people seemed to ignore that. It is a big shop too, so it's not as if only a few people could fit in the place at any one time. Also, Primark tends to have plenty of everything - so it's unlikely that you'll be out of luck if you were to wait. There's also the concept of restocking - people forget that. If something sells out, the business notices that it is popular and therefore thinks it's worthy of ordering more. That means anybody who can't get what they want can always come back later.

There was something else related to this story that I found both amazing and utterly stupid:
"Sheila Drouin, 61, had come up from Bath with a friend for the opening. "When I heard they were opening a flagship store my friend and I decided to make a day of it," she said, clutching a £20 duvet set."
There are other Primark stores across the country - why not go to one that nearer? That would be the sensible option. Oh wait, I forgot - when something's popular sense goes out of the window! Just to prove that the sensible option that I just mentioned is possible, I had a look on Google Maps and found that a store in Bristol(journey takes 31 minutes) is closer to Bath than the store in Oxford Street(journey takes 2hrs and 15 minutes).

One other strange thing about this story was highlighted in this Telegraph article:
"A group of schoolgirls from Westminster said they were there to shop for cheap clothes to lounge around in. "We wouldn't come here for going-out clothes.""
Primark sells cheap clothes - that's why there's always so much of everything. There were queues for cheap clothes that some people only want to "lounger around in". Unbelievable.

In the Independent, there was a quote from a student which mentioned it was bigger than other Primark stores. Ok, if the store is bigger then you have more of a chance to get the stuff you want. That still doesn't excuse the mad rush and the panic that was caused as a result.

This picture was shown in the Daily Mail and it gives a good example of the madness outside the store:

Looking at some reviews of Primark, you can see that the problem with queues is a recurring theme. However, they don't seem to be doing much about it and they are still getting plenty of revenue. It seems that the people who go to Primark don't mind queues and huge crowds.

So, what do you think?

Technorati tags: Queues, Crowds, Demand, Madness


Couture Cupcake said...

I agree with you! Although I didnt go to the opening, I have heard tons of crazy stories about it and I just think that sometimes people focus on one thing forgetting that there are actually other things much closer which are the same! I know im a fashion blogger so therefor eay be expected to empathize with the hoards of shoppers who made their ways to London this week but I just cant.