Leading department stores are making Christmas shopping easier this year by adding guidance stickers for vaguely appropriate Christmas gifts.
The new coding system enables shoppers to quickly evaluate the value and apparent ‘thought’ that has gone into each present so that customers can make the right choices for family and friends. Labels include ‘Oh That’ll Do’, ‘Sort of in the Right Area’ and ‘Appropriateness Will Need To Be Explained After Opening’.
The labels have already been stuck on a large numbers of Christmas gift ideas in major department stores and have been broadly welcomed by busy shoppers. Jenny Carter from Birmingham said; ‘I was trying to think what to get for my brother in Germany who has never sent me so much as a card and suddenly saw this sticker on Jeffrey Archer’s Prison Diary that said ‘‘It’s shit, but it’s all he deserves’. It was perfect.’
One of the commonest stickers is ‘Understandable but pointless’. A DVD about the year 1974, to be given to someone born in that year, may look like a personal gift which has involved a bit of thought and fore-knowledge from the giver. In fact, it is actually a very dull and meaningless present that automatically qualifies for the ‘Understandable but pointless’ sticker. Similarly a sticker that says ‘You know she’ll take this back, but it’ll look like you tried’ is featured on a variety of ladies clothes. At the very bottom of the range, are gifts marked ‘Just Plain Wrong’ which are for VHS films to give to people you know only have a DVD player.
Jeff Napier-Johnson of the Retail Association claimed ‘The new gift labelling system has resulted in far fewer people wandering around looking completely perplexed – and we may extend the idea next year. Shoppers themselves will be interviewed as they enter the store, and then will wear lapel stickers to guide our assistants; ‘Rich but in a hurry’, ‘Mean and possibly light-fingered’ and ‘Stupid enough to take out the extended warranty’.