Retailers target shoppers to increase spending during holidays
The holidays can be the most stressful time of year, especially for people who are already dealing with tight finances and money woes. There is a lot of pressure to buy gifts, stock up on decorations and attend parties, all of which can make people feel like spending money is unavoidable.
Unfortunately, millions of Americans are struggling with debt and don’t have the disposable income to support extravagant shopping behaviors. But this hasn’t stopped companies from targeting shoppers and trying to entice them to increase spending and borrowing. This year, online suppliers and brick-and-mortar stores have been as aggressive as ever when it comes to attracting shoppers and generating sales.
There are a number of ways retailers appeal to consumers in order to end the fiscal year on a high note. They engage in practices that are designed to make shoppers buy more items, shop more frequently, and spend more when they are making purchases.
In order to do this, they offer a wide range of deals and discounts, from Black Friday doorbusters and buy-one-get-one-free deals in stores to Cyber Monday discounts and free shipping before shipping costs skyrocket for online retailers. These promotions often encourage consumers to buy things they normally wouldn’t by focusing on the apparent savings. But people can fail to realize that in order to save money they have to spend money that they may not have planned on spending in the first place.
All of this pressure and outside influence can put people in a very complicated and frustrating position. It can lead to out-of-control spending and increased borrowing to cover these expenditures. Unfortunately, this often leads to unmanageable credit card debt.
This holiday season, consumers in Atlanta should remember that while it can be very difficult to shop smart and be aware of retailer tactics, doing so can be crucial to protecting their financial future. But no one is perfect and people make mistakes, especially when it comes to money and the holidays. Those who do find themselves in a troubling situation involving debt, foreclosure and unpaid bills do have the right to pursue debt relief options with the help of an attorney.
Source: The New York Times, “Shoppers Line Up for Black Friday Deals,” Hiroko Tabuchi, Nov. 27, 2014