Nick Horne's Monday Morning

Fake sales and the Six Nations rugby

WELL, that’s January out of the way.

An odd month in London where the focus in conversations and the media whether it’s TV, newspapers, magazines or social conversations online, as well as face to face, revolves around health.

Following the binge and blow out of Christmas and the New Year. It is all about Dry January, Gym January, Health Foods, Super  Foods and dieting. Thank goodness that’s over, until next year.

Getting beach-ready is not yet being mentioned though people are already thinking of holidays. Where to go and when to go is a consideration. Sneaky positioning as regards holiday dates in the office, quiet manoeuvring around which is the hot spot this year. Of course, the end of January also brings a long-awaited payday. It has been a long month with the previous pay cheque arriving before Christmas. Suddenly we all want to go shopping again.

What also helps the shops refill is the ‘fake sales’ season is drawing to a close too, real products at real prices begin to reappear.

Fake sales? I hear you ask?

The word ‘sales’ in a retailer’s window or online is suggestive of ‘bargain to be found within’. At least it rings that bell in my mind even though I believe you have also noted how retailers sell their wares in ‘sales’, at prices that are broadly not a bargain at all.

In some cases it is really obvious, the retailer states boldly that the ‘special sales items’ have been specially bought in for you to purchase. In short, they are selling products of lesser quantity and or quality than the retailer’s reputation in the marketplace would ordinarily suggest to be the case.

Naughty; but in a competitive world understandable, it is also great fun hunting down the real bargain.

Six Nations Rugby is also underway again so we rugby enthusiasts – a minority I will admit – have another fix of International Test Rugby and push the endless Premier Football coverage to one side.

Attendance at rugby clubs averages 9,000 at live domestic games each week. For the Test matches that attendance grows to 75,000, with a TV audience of millions.

While some play hunt the genuine bargain, we recall our youth when we too played a contact sport famously described as a ‘thug’s game played by gentlemen.’

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