Traffic came to a standstill on Horton Street this weekend when a major luxury furniture retail chain held a "pop up" warehouse sale resulting in a gridlocked street; "traffic mayhem" as one Emeryville police officer described it. With discounts of up to 85% advertised, horns were blaring, profanity was shouted and threats were issued after a swarm of frenzied shoppers double and triple parked, blocking the street as drivers attempting to negotiate the street were caught unawares Saturday. Police were summoned when the action got particularly intense.
It was a case of shoppers engaging in bad taste boorish behavior to buy their furniture in order to show their good taste refined aesthetics.
With no parking made available, an unidentified police officer noted the event coordinators didn't provide adequate planning including traffic monitoring and flag personnel.
The sale is being conducted by publicly traded RH (formerly known as Restoration Hardware), a Corte Madera based 3000 employee retail giant with 68 stores across the nation. An RH manager employee at the Horton Street event refused to comment on the pandemonium, "What can we do?" he said.
A check on their prospectus showed RH net $487 million last quarter, not enough apparently to spend a little to run their sale in an orderly manner to not cause mayhem in our town.
Last weekend was called "round one" for the three week sale according to a company e-mail blast. Next weekend will be the final in the event; what they're ominously calling "round three" in the RH / Emeryville traffipocalypse. This weekend it almost came to blows between drivers with threats of fisticuffs in the streets. Let's hope round three is not going to result in a TKO for Emeryville.