Moving is not necessarily one of the great pleasures of life. In fact, it can be difficult, expensive, stressful, and time-consuming. But, with the right frame of mind, it also be an excuse to stage a charming DIY reenactment of a beloved TV game show. At least, that is the strategy employed by Threadless, a Chicago-based retailer of artist-designed clothing and household items. Until recently, the company’s headquarters had been located at 1260 W. Madison Street, and when it came time to move to a new location and pare down the inventory in the warehouse a little bit in the process, Threadless wanted to do so in a fun, entertaining way. And that’s where Supermarket Sweep enters the picture.
A refresher: Even more than The Price Is Right, Supermarket Sweep is the series that proves game shows are, at heart, about frenzied acquisition. Never has the covetousness of the medium been more exposed than here, as contestants scrambled to fill their shopping carts with the most expensive items during a rigidly timed lightning round. Supermarket Sweep has actually enjoyed three separate runs (in the 1960s, the 1990s, and the 2000s) but has been absent from the airwaves since 2003, surviving only in reruns and in the memories of game show addicts across the country. Threadless recently staged its own very faithful remake of the show called “Super! Threadless! Sweep!” and invited two real contestants to participate. Their version gets a lot of the little details correct, including a round of trivia questions in which the contestants are grilled about such topics as Monty Python And The Holy Grail, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Lord Of The Rings. It all leads up to the pivotal mad dash through the aisles, complete with various little added challenges, wacky props, and costumed characters. For four and a half nostalgic minutes, it’s almost like Supermarket Sweep is back in business.