Thursday, November 29, 2007

Turkey as Sales Icon in the United States

Run and get in line because it is thanksgiving and sales begin!

Well, to tell you the truth I never heard anything like this on the radio or on TV. However, this seemed to be the message Houstonians had received before Friday November 24, since at 8 p.m. there people lined up in front of stores so they could be the first ones to enjoy the mega sales (some stores opened at midnight, while others opened at 5 a.m.).

In the United States, people annually celebrate Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday of November. The festivity began in the XVII century when a group of American pilgrims organized a big meal to thank the natives for teaching them to harvest the items found in the New World, allowing them to survive through winter.

Since then, for Thanksgiving, Americans get together with their family members for a large meal with stuffed turkey with cranberry sauce, corn bread, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes casserole, and green beans, among other things, and apple pie, pumpkin pie and pecan pie for dessert (they have other pies too).

Thanksgiving is one of the most important festivities in the United States; it breaks though religious and cultural boundaries and all citizens enjoy the celebration with the same enthusiasm.

In 2007, the number of people who traveled to meet their family members broke a record: according to the Associated Press AAA Spokesman Troy Green said “Surveys indicated a record 38.7 million U.S. residents were likely to travel 50 miles or more for the holiday period of Wednesday through Sunday, up about 1.5 percent over last year.”

According to a survey done by Cowen & Co., this year “consumers who plan to shop that day expect to spend 42% of their budgets, compared with 36% last year.”

Even though Thanksgiving got started as an event to give thanks, and many Americans maintain this tradition, the date has also become an icon for sales, which undervalues the celebration and plays against family unity.

Nevertheless, I cannot deny that this year I enthusiastically joined the group of sale-hunting early risers.

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