About a month ago I was visiting a Shoprite supermarket and noticed a huge table of Fidget Spinners right in front of the checkout lines. I had never seen them before and was totally confused. Soon after, I was walking around in Manhattan and saw a street vendor advertising them with a sign that read “Fidget Spinners $5. Don’t ask me what they are, all I know is that they are sweeping the country like wildfire.” Now I see them everywhere, and my roommate even brought one home and left it in the living room for everyone to use.
I remember when Beanie Babies were sold at the very front of every retailer and the Charizard Pokemon card went for $100 a pop, but I have rarely seen a toy trend become this much of an obsession in recent years. The spinners are meant to be a “boredom cure” and help relieve stress. The craze reminds me of my embarrassingly large collection of yoyo waterballs, which were everywhere you looked in the early 2000s until a string of dangerous incidents involving children caused the trend to die down. People are taking the fidget spinner seriously, and some fans have already figured out how to do tricks with them in the short amount of time they have been on shelves.
Retailers can benefit from staying up-to-date on young people’s latest obsessions. I was impressed that Shoprite was one of the first to the game, and I’m sure made a pretty penny once the craze picked up. Putting these items right at the checkout line is also a great way to catch shoppers’ attention and encourage an impulse buy.