Wednesday, June 20, 2007
(From the Holt Renfre site: "Anya Hindmarch wanted to do something to make a difference and to inspire people to change their everyday actions. Anya worked with We Are What We Do, the global social change movement to create this limited edition reusable bag. Wear your bag to do your shopping, carry it to the gym, take it to the beach, smug in the knowledge that you are doing something to influence people to make a difference. The bag will be available at or through Holt Renfrew from late June.")
Guess where I was this morning... unfortunately the bag was in "short" supply.
My best friend urgently messaged me yesterday to give her a call because she found out that the Anya Hindmarch I'm Not a Plastic Bag bag was going on sale at Holt's today. So this morning we headed over there at 8:30 am. The line wasn't long, About 13 people ahead of us. But then the line grew longer and relative of the people in front of us joined the line. Closer to their opening time, shop employees came out to announce that they would come around with a list for customers to declare just how many bags they wished to purchase. They also noted that there were only 100 bags at this location and it was first-come first-serve. A fairly reasonable amount and enough to go around for each person in line if the limit was one (I think there were only about 20 people after us). But the limit for purchase was ten! People in line became anxious, as we all knew that the people at the front of the line were going to buy ten each. A family of six had lined up with lawn chairs to be first in line and purchase 60 bags. You can safely bet on where these bags were headed, a street market in Hong Kong, or more likely an online auction with the price jacked up to $200. If you ask me a ten bag limit for a limited edition of only 100 is only facilitating the black market. It is obvious that anyone wishing to purchase ten bags is going to re-sell them. Then the list come to my friend and she got in. She was going to get me one, but somehow they had miscounted their supply and she could only buy the last one.
While I am disappointed to come so close to getting one only not to, I am more disappointed that the message behind the concept is going to be lost. We spotted one woman walking out with ten bags with extras of Holt's shopping bags to use for her resale. This has become a way for fast-cash rather than to encourage environmentalism. They were sold out in record time, only 15 minutes, but there were only 100 and the first six people bought 60 percent of them! Holt's is in the business of luxury goods, didn't they know that a ten-bag limit was only going to support those in the online auction business and was just going to make everyone else unhappy with them? Or were they only in it for the hype (the record time sales)? Surely they knew this would happen. My other question is, do the high end retailers have a love-hate relationship with the black market? I thought they hated them, what folly.