Thursday, September 27, 2012

Shopaholics Convergence

So yes, yesterday was the day. If you have been reading my blog then you already know I look forward to this event, twice each year. Yep, S&R's Bi-annual Members' Treat!

I remember how it was a few year's back. You can actually visit the store at any hour during the sale's first day, get in, shop, and fall in line at the cashiers for roughly an hour max. Today, Members' Treat isn't quite like it was before. I realized how crazy it has become when even my friends avoid the sale (and the maddening crowd) on its first day. And believe me when I say it gets crazy. You really have your mix of short-strung, impatient, highly-violent people in the crowd. It can't be helped. It happens.

Yesterday was no different.

We got to S&R Congressional at 530am - later than planned as we had to wait for A's school bus to come get her for school. The bus was unusually late yesterday. But anyway...

The line at 530am - the end of which was already outside of the fenced-in area. That's roughly 300 people!

The line was longer than it was at 530am back in March. When I got to where Yaya J was standing, there were about 300 or more people ahead of us. We were already outside the fenced-in queue. Ayayay!

I was actually surprised to see my neighbor, Mr. C, in line already. I had heard him leave the house at 4am, but didn't think he was heading to S&R. Apparently, he's as much a shopaholic as I am (maybe worse, LOL). I shall keep a mental note to work as a tag team with him next time. That way, I don't have to bring my toddler along to the next Members' Treat. Hehe.

(LEFT PHOTO) Patiently waiting. The early morning crowd is usually the most patient of the lot.
(RIGHT PHOTO) Our spot in line. That's Yaya J (holding my CitySuper insulated bag) and RL sitting by the fence.

RL watching Doc McStuffins.
So we had a quick breakfast of sandwiches and water, and turned to our gadgets for entertainment. It was going to be a long wait (roughly two hours or so).

In the next hour, the line doubled in size. I heard some people complaining that the parking lot had filled and there was nowhere else to park within the compound. By 7am, it got pretty humid. S&R should install electric fans. People could collapse from heat exhaustion. Good thing the heat was bearable, and that people brought chairs, fans, food and drinks. Imagine the next Members' Treat during the summer!

The line began to move by 730am, as S&R started letting people in by batches. Of course, we had a lot of people jumping the queue. The guard that manned the corner post, where people go from outside the fenced-in queue to inside, wasn't too alert about singits that over two dozen people (maybe even more) were able to sneak in and cut. The girls behind us got so frustrated when he wouldn't listen to their complaints.

When you get up late, you end up queuing under the sun.
S&R, maybe you should hire professional bouncers on the first day? The real burly ones who demand attention. Your people are too scared of the crowd. I don't blame them. We had a batch of unruly ones there yesterday.

I think I heard all the excuses in the world yesterday. But people, rules are rules. If you want to get in with the rest of those who bothered to fall in line during the wee hours of the morning, sacrifice a bit and WAKE UP EARLY. A lady about 100 slots behind us came up to the girl checking membership cards at the front of the queue. She was claiming she only came over to exchange an item she bought the previous day, and asked to be let in ahead of everyone else waiting, because she merely needed to go to the Customer Service Counter. Gimme a break! Hello, why go during Members' Treat? Surely you know there'd be a line. Especially since you were there at 615am (she claims she came early to beat the crowd but had to leave asap for a luncheon). Then there was this other lady that came late. She had an older sister who, at the time she arrived, was already inside the store. She was asking to be let in, never mind the angry queue looming before her. She ran past the stanchion ropes, past security, to the entrance, where thankfully, two guards kept her from entering. She actually delayed the next batch from entering, because she held up the entrance with her pleading. Of course, they couldn't let her in, even when she claims her sister was waiting for her inside. Hello, ma'am, get to the queue early. If your sister wanted you to get in, she should have waited in line for you. Tsk.

The final stretch to the entrance. 

The line at 8am. Taken using the new Panorama feature on the iPhone's camera.

Almost there, at 9am.  By this time, you would hear the occasional squabble up front.
Some people didn't quite accept the "One cardholder = 2 companions" rule. 

We FINALLY got in the store by 915am. RL was happiest as he finally gets to laze away with the iPad in the comforts of a cart - one that got filled to the brim in a matter of minutes. Oops. Initially, I had asked Yaya J to fall in line right away. Our game plan was for me to bring my loot to her. Alas, that failed, and I had to call her on her mobile to shop with me for about 15 minutes. I couldn't carry a sack of Cat Food all the way to where she was in line for the cashiers. That, plus the tables we were getting for the office weren't classified as MPU (Merchandise for Pick Up) units, so we had to put that on the cart. So heavy!!!

S&R, I wish you'd allow at least two carts per cardholder next time, or at least provide tickets for all the big bulky items. I thought I had it all worked out, with your MPU policy and buying tip. Alas, not all Lifetime tables were sold via MPU. But they are extra bulky and take up most of the space on the cart.  

After lugging the tables and a Kids' Bin Organizer to the cashier line, I left the nanny and RL with the cart, and went around with a big IKEA shopping bag. We were in line from 930am to 1pm!!! How crazy is that?

The line to the cashiers at S&R Congressional. This was at 930am. Can you spell L-O-N-G?

And you wanna know why? Look closely at the lower photo above. See the girl wearing the pink batman shirt? She was in line for cashier 17. Apparently, her employer was shopping around with a friend, while she waited. Nothing wrong with that, until her employer cut through with the friend to line up with her. She even spoke to me in Chinese when she was trying to maneuver two extra carts into the queue. I had mentioned we were all in line and that she should line up too, but she told me she already had a cart and a helper waiting up front. We were in line for cashier 16, so I didn't pursue my case, even when all the people in line behind her helper were protesting.

Later on, when we were already three carts away from paying, the same Chinese lady (and her friend) cut in line again; this time, in front of the ladies before us. She claimed her helper was in line for our cashier and that she was already next. Really, she made her own queue attempting to go before us. A shouting match ensued, with the three ladies in front of us winning, and the Chinese lady shouting at her helper to move back to where we were. Still she shouldn't be in our line, but I wasn't in the mood for a shouting match.

The ladies behind me, however, were irritated, but like me, they kept their cool. Until time dragged on, and we noticed it was almost lunch and we were still waiting to pay. Turns out, the Chinese ladies were paying for their stuff using Gift Certificates! And the cashier had to manually encode the security numbers into the system.

S&R, I know GCs are as good as cash, but either allow them ONLY when you can scan them automatically with the POS scanner, or don't allow them at all during Members' Treat. It held up the queue for a good hour or so.

We decided to buy lunch, and ate in line. I got to know E (the lady behind me from Surigao, who was shopping for her sister's store), and RL had already finished five whole episodes of Doc McStuffins, and those ladies still weren't done! I got so irritated that I decided it was time to snap a photo (please excuse the comic relief).

These ladies are line-jumpers! What is it with people who can't fall in line properly?!

We were finally on our way home by 130pm. By the time I decided to take a photo of my shopping loot snug in the confines of my vehicle (which was so full, by the way), my phone had ran out of battery. Overall, I think the trip went well and I got what I came for. I made a list the night before, and spent well below my budget (I still had stuff leftover from March). Nevertheless, I still want to check out the other stores (maybe Fort) over the weekend, but I am carefully considering my options. I don't want to go over-budget like last time. Yes! The shopaholic in me is wearing off. Maybe I am little wiser now. LOL!

But really, how can people say Filipinos have no money? Yesterday was a convergence of sorts for shopaholics and hoarders - both rich and the not-rich. You wouldn't bother falling in line just for a pack of chocolates or a set of sheets for your bed. People who go to S&R during this time of the year go to shop loads and hoard. And I've seen all sorts of people, not just the sosy kind ha. Members' Treat is for people who love to shop and who have the patience to wait it out.

I cannot reiterate this enough. I read a few comments about how unfair S&R was - for letting their members fall in line, for not giving special lines or special treatment to seniors and pregnant women, etc. People, don't bring them to these events! It's as simple as that. Members' Treat is a special "treat" S&R gives to its loyal shoppers. It is your choice if you wish to go sweat it out or not. If you don't have the patience to go, then stick to shopping during their regular days. And of course you need to be a member to shop. I heard people complaining about the number of companions allowed inside the store. Of course you can't bring the whole barangay! It's already a privilege in itself to be allowed two non-member companions. If you're bringing your whole clan, have them get a card of their own. This is, after all, membership shopping.

But as for me, I live for these things. I love special sales. With a budget as small and as strict as mine, Members' Treat is a gold mine. The additional savings you get from this bi-annual treat make falling in line all worth it. If it isn't your thing, do yourself a favor and stay home.


For Sale Guidelines, please read this post.


  1. Was it worth the effort? I mean were there really good deals? I'm thinking of going but I'm thinking that the items offered for sale are just so-so. Thanks mommy.

  2. The Sale this year isn't as great as past Members' Treats, but I got what I came for. :) So it was well worth the effort for me.

    Will post my shopping loot tonight. Just had to make a cake and a gift basket last night. ;) Thanks for reading!

  3. Grabe Kaye! I didn't realize the sale was like that, dinudumog. Haha! I thought about asking my cousin if she could bring me there, pero uhm, like you said, i don't live for sales like these, so wag nalanag. :D Baka ako nang-away sa mga line-cutters na yun! Haha.

  4. I agree with you- if your pregnant or a Senior that may have difficulty standing, waiting in line, etc... Please stay home. I went with my mom but I was sure na kaya niya to do this things. If not we wouldn't go cause no matter how much you may save in a sale if something happens to you- that's your health and that is priceless.
    What I like some shoppers in the sale super friendly , they will make chika or if you say excuse they will make you pass. Naku this one lady as Fort , Sabi namin excuse me to pass kasi walang tao as harap niya, instead of moving to the side she even moved slower.


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