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Don’t dismiss the anger at Wrexham’s 99p store – times are desperate

A 99p store in a shopping centre
A 99p store in a shopping centre • Photograph: Arthur Picton

A 99p store in Wrexham had to call in police backup when their store was bombarded with shoppers seeking to make the most out of a rare half price sale at the bargain store.

People will laugh and cry ‘what is this world coming to?’ but the sad reality is that, in these times of austerity, for some any chance of a saving cannot be missed.

With the shop’s lease expected to come to an end on January 28th, the store had made the decision to mark down all products to fifty pence, causing a surge in customers. However, following last-minute negotiations, the lease was extended and managers made the decision to return products to their normal prices. Stupidly, the management put this into effect in the middle of their opening hours, doubling their prices at midday, and understandably angering customers who had been queuing for nearly two hours.

When people are willingly squeezing themselves into a shop that has already exceeded its maximum safe capacity in order to get their hands on doubly discounted goods, it’s hard to disagree that something has gone wrong. It is far from the fault of the shopper, however. The Government’s programme of austerity is forcing people into harsh economic difficulties, resulting in the need to look for the cheapest way of financing their lives. If that means forcing yourself into an overcrowded shop, well, desperate times call for desperate measures. Anything that makes the money last a bit longer is something that should be pursued.

Besides, it was a poor decision by the store’s management to decide to increase their prices in the middle of the day. It’s logical, for any customer, that if your shopping doubles in price from the moment you pick it up from the shelf to the moment it passes by the till scanner, then you’re going to be angry. You’ll feel cheated and lied to – your ten pound shop has suddenly become twenty pounds. This sale has been advertised for days and yet, after battling with other customers and patiently queuing for an inhuman amount of time, you’re being told that the terms have changed. I find it completely incomprehensible that any person could go through that situation and not be enraged.

So, what is this world coming to? A financially squeezed population trying to be economically sensible and save every penny they can, whilst the Government continues to make their situations harder and shop managers are solely concerned about how much money they make in a day. I think it’s pretty obvious what’s not right about this state of affairs.

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