Habitat: Raking through the 70% off rail, ready to pounce when she sees a bargain.

Signature Behaviour: Queuing outside Next at 5am, elbows bristling, ready to barge through the doors first.

Distinctive Markings: An armful of carrier bags and a pair of sharp elbows.

Natural Enemies: Other sale shoppers

Mating Call: “I saw it first!”

 

Becky can’t help the fact her pulse quickens when she sees a red sale sign.  She’s spent all of December trying to find the perfect gift for everyone else, and finally the January sales are all about her.  So what if it brings out the sales fiend in her…

 

The truth is that Becky’s spent all year cutting back, and now she’s not going to let that fat woman in front of her in Dune grab the last pair of leopard-print heels.  So she fights her way to the front using all the tricks she’s learned from years of bargain-hunting.  And Becky takes the hunting bit literally. First there’s the retail recon.  Spending the last few weeks of December scouring the shops planning all her purchases.  When she finds something she likes, Becky tucks the one in her size right at the back of the rail, or double-hangers it under a size 20 so it won’t disappear before the mark-down.  Then on sale day, she has to make sure she’s at the front of the queue, ready to barge through the doors ‘hard, fast and strong’, regardless of how many skinny sales assistants she sends flying.  Sale rails are there to be ravaged, sharp elbows keeping rival shoppers at bay, and when she’s found her bargain… she pounces – grabbing, tearing, snatching, hair-pulling, anything to make sure she gets her hands on it first.   And if someone’s got there first, they’ll suffer the same fate as the woman who got to that fake fur gilet first in Warehouse last year.  Becky accidentally-on-purpose stood on her foot – hard – and while the poor woman was hopping about in agony, Becky swiped the gilet and made a run for the cash till.  

 

And if you were stuck in the consumer catastrophe when the tills went down at New Look on the 27th December, the truth was it had nothing to do with the fact there were long sales queues as the poor frazzled assistants tried to tell you.  It was all because Becky accidentally pulled the plug out as she was commando-style crawling behind the rails trying to get to that sequined shrug she’d hidden ten hangers back.  

 

Sales signs are like a red flag to the bargain hunter, and Becky absolves her guilt at all her spending by reasoning that actually, the more she buys the better. After all, carrier bags make great weapons – especially the ones with sharp, reinforced corners, and she’s heading into Accessorize next so she’d better be ready.   There’s something about the atmosphere of the sales, especially in the hangover-fuelled frenzy of the first few days after Christmas, that turns everything into a blur, and before she knows it, Becky’s home, with her credit card as battered and bruised as her ankles.  As she unpacks her purchases, she’ll discover that the cushions she bought don’t quite match the living room décor, and the skirt she fought for has a weird ruffle at the back that makes her bottom look huge.  And she’s forgotten she already has a juicer that she bought in the last January sales, and it’s still in the cupboard in its packaging.  Maybe next year she’ll stick to online shopping.