Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
There were many people who wanted to be with Li Du. When there was someone leading, the people would gather around them.
They were all familiar faces. They had been at the motel restaurant party the previous day and had helped him, so he could not reject them.
Therefore, he thought for a moment and said, “I’d love to come with you to the auction, but this is not the time to discuss it. We should go and join the protest first.”
“So how about taking us to the Macy’s auction after the New Year?” asked a local Phoenix treasure hunter.
Seeing everyone looking at him with hope, Li Du smiled and said, “Of course, no problem, we’ll go together.”
Macy’s was a well-known department store chain owned by united department stores of the United States. Its flagship store was located in Herald quare, New York City. When it opened on 7th Avenue, it was once known as “the largest store in the world”.
Macy’s also has two national flagship stores on Union Square in San Francisco and on State Street in Chicago. In addition, there was a large number of sister companies throughout the United States and around the world.
Now, however, with the rise of super retailers such as Walmart, Metro, Tesco and even Amazon, Macy’s has lost a lot of its standing and sales.
Over the past few decades, in order to regain its market share, Macy’s has introduced many policies, such as “sales of commodities”, “gifts to customers”, “customers prize competition law”, “gift integral method”, “new product field performance method”, “samples”, “fashion show”, etc., in an effort to promote sales.
These policies were useful, but the administration of Macy’s has made a number of directional errors in its development.
At first, it followed the line of high-end department stores. Later, the president and the board of directors believed that the general store would be the mainstream of the market, so they began to lower the quality threshold of the products, hoping to compete with other big supermarkets and department stores for ordinary customers.
In this way, Macy’s has lowered its profile and lost the upper-class customers it once relied on.
In the process, they did not win the public’s favor, because Macy’s still had the image of a high-end department store, with expensive products and posh salesmen.
A few years later, Macy’s found itself on the wrong side of the road, reverting back to the upscale mall route.
They drove away some of the mass-market customers they had struggled to attract, without gaining the upper-class and high-end mainstream customers.
In short, the once dominant retailer was long gone, shutting down stores around the world to stem the bleeding as the global economy slowed.
Every year, Macy’s stores would close down in the United States, and when they did, they would auction off warehouses and unsuccessfully sold items to raise money.
Every year, Macy’s shuttered department store auctions drew large crowds to what would be a gala event, with the Warehouse Auctions Association’s website featuring the most prominent advertisements.
Li Du had already noticed the message about the auction, which would take place at the beginning of the New Year.
He would definitely attend the auction with the treasure hunters who supported him the other day, which would be a way to repay the favor.
His promise excited many treasure hunters.
The enthusiasm for the protest grew, and Black Mustang jumped on the bandwagon, leading a group of African American treasure hunters to show some hip-hop skills.
There were several large loudspeakers around the square, blaring tongue-twisting rap tunes.
The men were apparently well prepared and the rap beat was good, with Li Du and the other treasure hunters shaking their bodies to the beat as if they were watching a concert.
The state government office next door heard the noise and the speakers were a little too loud, so they asked the police to remove them.
The American police system was a mess. The Phoenix police was supposed to keep order, but they would not remove the speakers and declared the state police should handle this.
Having no choice, the office had to mobilize the state police which was guarding the building.
The state police didn’t know the situation, so they went to consult with Black Mustang, who ignored them. They were angry and went ahead to snatch the sound system.
Now things were getting even livelier., The protesters were not afraid of the police using force on them; rather, they feared that no one would care and the issue would be buried.
So when the state police made their move, Black Mustang waved, and the treasure hunters, who were warmed up and enthusiastic after listening to his hip hop, quickly took up the fight.
The Phoenix police, who was in charge of keeping order, were so surprised that they went up and pulled the two groups apart. The media was there, and a bunch of video cameras were filming the action.
Brother Wolf and Firecracker escorted Li Du away from the crowd, and they did not participate in the violent clash.
When the state government saw that things were not going well, the governor himself came forward, bringing some congress members with him to discuss the matter.
The governor was helpless too. The oil price rise had nothing to do with him, and he didn’t have any power over it.
This time, the rising oil price really hit the people hard, and the state government could not ignore it. At ten in the morning, the real action started. The procession lined along the streets, many people joined in, and things were getting noisier.
Seeing this, the governor had to declare that he would apply to the Congress to look into the continuous increase of oil price in Arizona. If there was any company doing something fishy, he would not let the matter go.
The people, however, could not be appeased so easily. The government has surrendered but they still protested.
Li Du felt that this went beyond the price of oil. They had to know that the state government was powerless in this regard.
Anyway, it was noon, and the national holiday began. The government workers left, the activity team dispersed as well, and all went home to prepare for the night of Christmas.
In the evening, the family got together and had a reunion dinner.
This time there were many of them around. Most were home, except Hans who had not returned yet. There were about thirty people around the table and it was lively.
It was interesting to eat with many people, especially when there were children arouns, and the animals added their share of the action. Then someone let the dog in, and the house was really noisy.
Li Du was very busy, but at Christmas, if they were not busy, it would be too cold and lonely.
Before going to bed, Sophie sat down at the piano and played some music. The lively atmosphere gradually became quiet. After listening to the soft piano music, everyone went back to their rooms to sleep. Christmas Eve ended perfectly.