Wrap Rage

Long overdue relief in gift receiving this holiday season:

[Companies] including Amazon.com, Sony, Microsoft Corp. and Best Buy, have begun to create alternatives to the infuriating plastic “clamshell” packages and cruelly complex twist ties that make products such as electronics and toys almost impossible for mere mortals to open without power tools.

Impregnable packaging has incited such frustration among consumers that an industry term has been coined for it — “wrap rage.” It has sent about 6,000 Americans each year to emergency rooms with injuries caused by trying to pry, stab and cut open their purchases, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

“I shouldn’t have to start each Christmas morning with a needle-nose pliers and wire cutters,” said Jeff Bezos, the father of four young children and founder of Seattle-based Amazon.com. “But that is what I do: I arm myself, and it still takes me 10 minutes to open each package.”

Planned innovations include plastic packaging that unzips, velcro-like tabs that open with a loud noise (to deter shoplifters), and Amazon’s simple solution: environmentally-friendly cardboard boxes.

Amazon’s arguably got it the easiest, as the mail-order giant needn’t worry about what their packages look like on a shelf; Microsoft and Sony, who still need to design attractiveness into the package, will begin testing their new designs out on shelves at Best Buy and Wal-Mart.

via pack expo


~ by eaesthete on 11/19/08.

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