As I’m want to do, I wandered over to Fire On The Mountain and noticed that my favorite retail Behemoth has decided to file for copyright over the term “staycation”, no, I’m not kidding!
From Fire on The Mountain:
I know, I know, the last thing you need is another reason to hate Wal-Mart. But check this out.
Last month Wal-Mart management filed with the US patent office to scarf up the trademark rights to a neologism (one they had nothing to do with coining, incidentally): "staycation."
The idea is pretty clear--what with layoffs, inflation, a recession and $4 a gallon gas, many of us aren't going to be doing much vacation traveling this summer, so let's hang around the crib and Have Fun! It's a "Staycation"!
Rand McNally, the map people, did some polling in April: 57% of American families are trimming their vacation plans this summer, with only 15 % intending to travel for more than five days. One in ten are canceling their plans altogether.
With the trademark application still pending (track it here), Wal-Mart went ahead yesterday and rolled out a widget you can install on your home computer so that every day you can see a nifty new suggestion for Big Fun on your stay-at-home vacation. Most of them, oddly enough, involve the purchase of a barbecue grill, an "inflatable outdoor movie screen" or some other piece of crap from Wal-Mart. (See the press release at this business site --I'm not linking to the swine.)
I wonder what they'll come up with if millions of us find ourselves on permanent "staycation" as the economy continues to go pear-shaped. Waterproof cardboard box liners to keep your new residence dry? Lightweight plastic trays to sell apples and pencils from? 2 for 1 squeegees for the entrepeneurially-minded?
Have a nice "staycation"...
Okay, so Wal-Mart is going to claim the newly coined phrase “staycation” and not let anyone else use it? Seriously? This is a good thing? Wal-Mart wants to be associated with a declining economy (and continuing to sink to new lows, thanks mortgage brokers, thanks for subprime loans) and high fuel prices? Wow, that’s pretty gutsy of them. To be associated with failed business and economic policies, just excellent.
But this wasn’t enough for me, I wanted to see more, so I went to the business site Fire on the Mountain noted and I swear, my eyes bled, but I also got a laugh I especially loved was the stuff from the press release (and no, I won’t be pulling it from Wally-world, I don’t go there, ever):
Additionally, Wal-Mart announced it will help Americans make up for lost dollars at the gas pump as it continues to roll back prices on items that will help customers stretch their summer dollars even further. Many rollbacks are based on anticipated changes in consumer behavior this summer, as one in three Americans say they plan to pare back their vacation or travel plans due to the rising cost of gas. Whether for shorter weekend trips or backyard "staycations", Wal-Mart will lower prices on brand name items for the patio, the backyard, the cookout, and at-home entertainment.
Okay, so, this got me to thinking about costs for shipping items and shrinkage of those items (meaning the loss of items lost at sea) and how those costs are passed on to us, consumers. In Wally’s case, it means increased fuel costs, or rather, increased shipping costs as they continue to try to avoid US ports and ship via Mexico. The fuel costs that they say they're helping to keep down can only be helped to be raised when manufacturers are forced to move off shore to compete in the coffee makers and crock pot categories with the Wally vendors producing them with near slave labor.
Lowering the price on baked beans and backyard cookout foods won't make things easier or better on any Americans, and I doubt the geniuses in the Wal-Mart headquarters really care that Americans aren't scraping by in a lot of places. Wal-Mart has shown time and time again that it's out for one thing, High Profits, Always. That's the Wal-Mart motto.