The terrible scenes of destruction in Japan following the recent earthquake and tsunami is driving large numbers of British shoppers to rush out into the streets and buy high-quality, but comparatively low-cost, Blu-Ray players.
‘Japan is the largest consumer electronics manufacturer in the world, with a reputation for exceptional quality and innovation,’ said retail analyst Scott Burrows today. ‘And with many popular titles due to be released on Blu-Ray very soon, the timing for many technology enthusiasts simply could not be worse.’
John McDermott, a lecturer from Bury-St-Edmonds, agrees. ‘The Star Wars films are out soon, not to mention Jurassic Park, and I had finally decided to dive into the digital arena. So, while this is obviously a terrible thing to have happened to the Japanese people, for the average home cinema enthusiast, it’s a disaster.’
Overnight there have been reports of fighting at several branches of Currys after people began queuing in the early hours to buy up remaining digital essentials. A stampede at an Argos in High Wycombe left eight people injured after a stack of catalogues toppled over. Eye witnesses said they had never seen devastation like it, and the clean-up operation could go on until late morning.
‘When the doors opened people rushed straight in, many of them not even bothering to fill out one of those little order forms with the little blue pen,’ said one shaken survivor. ‘The staff were simply not trained to cope with such a wave of spontaneous human shopping and many of them tried to flee to high ground up the conveyor belt to the warehouse.’
Japan is also the world leader in production of computer accessories, including 40% of the world’s supply of hard drives and memory cards, and there are now fears that demand for an average 4GB flash drive may force the price to soar by as much as £1.
‘I think it’s safe to say that the days of watching harrowing footage from Japan on a massive, but relatively inexpensive, Japanese-made TV are a thing of the past,’ observed Burrows.
On the BBC News website one agitated consumer posted, ‘Jesus Christ on a quad bike! How the hell am I supposed to back-up all this illegal music now? Why aren’t the British government doing more to help? You’d think the Chancellor might consider knocking a bit off the VAT again, under the circumstances.’
Michael Clarke, a chartered surveyor from Horsham, summed up the feelings of many when he said, ‘Please don’t say I have to start buying cheap British shit.’