You love a bargain? Get in line. Literally.
Yes, ’tis the season to find a discount. But for how much longer? The launch of the post-Christmas sale has become ever more pre-Christmas, with January sales appearing ever earlier in December.
And with the internet, do we now actually need to cross the threshold of a bricks-and-mortar store? Forming physically into lines certainly brings drama to the urge to spend money on items we never knew we needed. But battling with the throng — and for some, camping out all night — can be an utterly exhausting experience.
But before online shopping, it was the only way to play. And it’s a game we’ve been playing since at least the beginning of the 20th century, as these pictures show. What bargains have we hunted for across time? You name it, we splashed out on it — everything from socks to fur hats.
The marauding hordes do generally remain under control, just. But at 9am on January 11th, 1981, around 400 people fought their way into Harrods’ television department, each seeking to grasp one of 40 raffle tickets. The bearer of each ticket would secure him or herself a 26′ Dynatron Remote Control Television sets. The TVs retailed at £799 (around $3500 today), and were on sale at half price.
The result? A melee. One woman fell and split her head, and the sales manager was roughed up.