So tomorrow Black Friday is going live with countless retailers and with great anticipation from many customers. I know some people love a bargain and are excited by the prospect of getting a good deal on this one day, but I absolutely hate it.
Ugly Scenes from 2014
Remembering those scenes from last year where people were trampling on others to try and get a discounted widescreen television makes me feel sick. Many people were injured, and the level of violence towards shoppers and staff was astonishing. One of the comments that sticks out most for me from last year was from a man who said he found himself fighting over a kettle that he didn’t even need or particularly want. Can you believe that a few discounted items could make people suddenly turn so brutal and so primal? If it didn’t fill me with complete disbelief, I’d find it comical that a discounted kettle could send so many people camping outside a shop from the early hours and then running round the aisles fighting like warriors.
What’s It All About?
Black Friday was the name given to the Friday after the Thanksgiving holiday in The States and coincides with the last payday before Christmas. It signals the real start of Christmas shopping.
Imported from The States through stores like Walmart (Asda) and Amazon, the effect over here has been less than civilised. Certain discounts from retailers are genuinely good, but others jumping on the Black Friday bandwagon are poor. A quick look through my inbox shows retailers jostling loudly for attention. “50% off Everything” is one of the better looking deals. “Up to 60% Off All Toys” sounds enticing until you realise that the “up to” is actually a measly 10% discount on most items.
All of these promotions send some sort of signal to our brains that if everyone is sending emails we too must act. This combined with a slight worry about Christmas shopping and “the need to get things done” sends many of us into full on panic mode. It instils some sort of fear in us that we must buy as much as we can on this one particular Friday at a reduced rate or the world will end. My sister who is normally a level-headed sort of girl even rang me asking what my kids want for Christmas as she wants to buy as much as she can on Friday.
Oh The Irony
I find it ironic that Asda (part of the Walmart group) are this year refusing to take part in Black Friday. As one of the early adopters to this retailing trend, it’s interesting to see that they have now decided to U-Turn on the whole event and are refusing to take part.
I also find it ironic that the entire concept of Black Friday goes completely against the values between the two celebrations of which it is sandwiched: Thanksgiving and Christmas. I love Christmas and whilst I don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, both traditions value spending time with friends and family and being thankful for what we have. Nothing about a 50% discounted flat screen TV.
I’ve already made a start on my Christmas shopping. I’ve got a fair way to go but there is no way I’m going anywhere near the shops tomorrow. I don’t think I’ll even have time to shop online. And that’s OK. I really don’t care if I have to get the bulk of my shopping for 10 or 30% extra in price. I’d rather pay extra than end up in a fist fight with others.
Banish The Black
So what will we see at the end of tomorrow? I really hope that the news this year will be more positive; that there will be no more ridiculous scenes of people fighting over toasters, there will be no more stories of people being injured in the commotion of Christmas shopping. I really hope that tomorrow the “Black” will be gone forever from Friday.
Are you looking forward to the sales tomorrow or like me avoiding it all? I’d love to know your views!