Now we’ve got this really big bed it must be covered. Thus we embark on… The Saga Of The Sheets, Parts I & II.
Part I involved a solo expedition to Home Sense where I totally lucked in to a reasonably priced, high-quality mattress pad. I also found a sheet set (white) in 660-thread count Egyptian cotton (we’d set our sights in the 400 – 600 range but decided we could live with the extra 60 threads). Easy peasy. Making due with old duvets, we began breaking in the new bed immediately. No drama.
Part II involved a duo expedition for a duvet and cover. The plan was to check Sears, Home Sense, Home Outfitters, The Bay, and Quilts Etc, in that order. This made sense both geographically and, we thought, gave us the best chance of finding what we needed at the best price.
After what we went through at Sears and The Bay that day, I was frankly offended. Okay, so maybe there’s a segment of the population that can justify $300 on a sheet set; that’s assuming you can find one. The stock was so picked over and poorly merchandised by that point (sale! sale! clearance!) that it was impossible to find what we needed. We split up and adopted a version of the Marco Polo game during the search. No wonder people are buying their sheets at Costco and Wal Mart: they’re affordable, findable, and 70% of the population probably doesn’t appreciate the difference in quality anyway.
I mean, how hard can it be to buy something? With the recent shuttering of Canadian Best Buy and Future Shop locations, bricks & mortar retailers have been publicly beating their breasts as shoppers head to the interwebs to meet their shopping needs. Some analysts say that we (humans) will always prefer to walk into a store, and touch something before walking out with it under our arm. But Jesus, after what we went through that day, we’re kicking ourselves for failing to exercise our consumer muscles using our laptops from the safety of the couch. Lesson learned: When shopping for merchandise that doesn’t need to be tried on or otherwise fingered, unless shipping costs are prohibitive, always shop online.
The second thing we’re kicking ourselves over was the belief that Quilts Etc. would have the highest prices. I personally guaranteed it. Yes, I actually said words to that effect as we tromped off to The Bay. Now, before god and man, I admit with wholehearted humility that I was completely wrong. Not only did Quilts Etc.’s regular prices blow away the department stores’, but their sale prices were lower than we would have dreamed. Lesson learned: Specialty merchandise stores aren’t necessarily the most expensive.
As a consumer in this time of economic uncertainty I’ve come to feel like it’s my duty to go out and spend (responsibly) in an effort to stimulate retail growth. It’s like, that’s how I’ll do my part to drag this country out of Recession. But why make it so hard?