Originating around the early 2000’s and following the day after thanksgiving, Black Friday is an American invention regarded as the start of the Christmas shopping season. First surfacing in the UK around 2003, Black Friday has been a recognised Americanized concept which initially failed to catch on, however with the spread of the internet and adoption of many shops from 2013, Black Friday has now grown to replicate the fanaticism of our American counterparts. Being someone who has slowly but progressively began to adopt online shopping at a time where companies such as Amazon have really pushed the Black Friday concept to take market share from brick and mortar shops, and considering some of the awful scenes such as people being trampled for a crap TV, I wanted to really give my opinion on this artificial holiday.
I was prompted to share my opinion on this subject from an article that I saw online about the need for Black Friday and how it “pushes needed sales” to the “Brick and mortar shops”, basically highlighting nothing but positive factors about this self-proclaimed holiday that has turned into a sport. Now I would be a fool to not acknowledge the economic benefits of Black Friday especially since I live in a city which suffered from the various banking crisis from a few years prior, so these sales really do help keep shops moving and generate much-needed income to keep a high street surviving but I feel as a whole Black Friday does more bad than good.
My argument is that regardless of whether the credit crisis happened or not to cripple business, the early 2000’s started to see the rise of online retailers and thus sealed what will be the eventual fate of shops. If you’re willing to accept that concept then surely it can then be agreed that the high street that you know will cease to exist within maybe 20 years, as a direct result of online stores undercutting shops like what fatefully happened to HMV. So the camp that supports Black Friday use this fact by highlighting the availability for a store to open at midnight to offer deals, over online which has the limitations of shipping as a focal point for the continued benefit and need of shops. This is a classic case of companies playing on people’s urgency to be a consumer and spend money which is clever, but ultimately frustrating that companies invite chaos for the opportunity to survive just a few more years.
In some sense I enjoy the simplicity and honesty of Black Friday. It tells you it is going to discount crap and you should buy it over Valentine’s Day which has a message of love but a massive emphasis on spending money. But I despise how companies engineer this sense of urgency and competition to grab a deal before it’s gone and then act shocked when scenes of people being trampled appear on the news. Black Friday is not shopping but more barbarism, inciting desperation among people who have no restraint and does not serve people in any other way than to line the pockets of corporations until New Years where a new campaign will begin.
Did I make sense? Probably not. Do many people care? Probably not. I think I’m more annoyed at the fact people rush to defend the high street like it’s sacred and how we “need” physical shops, when they only care about your money and happily allow violence to create sensationalism and thus further promote the blight that is Black Friday. I understand the excitement of waiting in a line for a game to release immersing myself in the friendly atmosphere and conversation, but I will never understand the people who almost destroy a shop door and create a stampede for what is usually a minimal discount on an average product. But alas I can not blame every human who participates in the Black Friday stampedes so I therefore blame the companies that encourage it. With my only hope being that online stores like Amazon can eventually phase this mentality out and stop what highlights the worst of society.
What do you think about Black Friday? Drop a comment and let us know.