Dec 012002
Authors: Patrick Crossland

For Joe Geick, the day after Thanksgiving was opportunity to get an early start on Christmas shopping.

“I’m doing Christmas shopping now and getting it out of the way,” he said. “Everything is pretty reasonable.”

Friday marked the beginning of the Christmas shopping frenzy as bargain-hunters filled stores to take advantage of holiday sales.

However, Adbusters, a grassroots campaign against over consumption and commercialism, dubbed the day after Thanksgiving as “Buy Nothing Day.”

In an effort to thwart mass spending over the holiday season, former advertising executive Kalle Lasn formed the grassroots campaign against holiday consumerism.

According to the Buy Nothing Day 2002 Web site, previous “buy nothingers” participated by holding swap meets, teach-ins, concerts, street theatre, credit card cut-ups, postering and potlucks.

Despite Adbusters’ efforts to make Buy Nothing Day a day without consumerism, shoppers flocked to the Foothills Fashion Mall, 215 E Foothills Parkway, in Fort Collins.

“This is one of my favorite things to do,” said Christy Flaten, a freshman at Loveland High School. “The sales are better than most days.”

Corporations proved to be busy and for many stores, the weekend’s sales proved to be a success.

Michele Fergus, store manager at Mervyn’s, 235 E Foothills Parkway, said sales were better than last year and customer turnout exceeded expectations.

Fergus said she didn’t believe Buy Nothing Day affected the day’s turnout and product sales did not decrease from the previous year.

“People want to keep spending close to home,” Fergus said.

She said spending practices and behaviors are choices for consumers to make and consumers should decide how to spend their money.

“That’s all up to the person. I personally don’t get into the whole commercial thing. I basically am here to provide a service,” she said. “Fort Collins can choose how it wants to spend its money. No one has the right to tell others how they spend their money.”

Fergus predicts business will continue to proceed and has a positive outlook for the future.

Jason Siegel, a student from the University of North Texas, said holiday sales are a helpful boost to an ailing economy and he doesn’t support Buy Nothing Day.

“The way that our economy is now, I hope that people buy and spend,” Siegel said.

He predicted minimal support of Buy Nothing Day due to societal behaviors of mass consumption.

“Our society is breeding consumers,” he said. “Everybody is told how to dress and be and are encouraged to fit in. It’s not worth the time and money to encourage buying nothing,” he said.

Siegel said the nation might be consumer driven, but that’s not all bad.

“Almost everywhere you go, everything you see is consumer-driven. You kind of got to go with it,” he said. “To consume is American; that’s what we do.”

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