Life

Black Friday bollocks

Let’s cut to the chase – there’s absolutely no good reason why ‘Black Friday’ should be a thing outside of the US.

Here in the UK, Thanksgiving isn’t a holiday (though some US immigrants obviously celebrate it) so any commercial promotion tied to it shouldn’t even exist.

Yet it is.

And has been growing in volume and impact over the last few years. I’ve read several news reports pointing out that many of the bargains are nothing of the sort, while retailers play on a combination of our greed, panic and susceptibility to advertising.

This year, I’ve deleted every single ‘Black Friday’ email I received without even reading it. Not because I’m some kind of saint, but because I’m realistic to know that I’ll probably get caught up in the excitement of the sales in my favourite retailers!

My technique was nicely undone by @TheFrankFlyer who, while still in Japan, emailed me a link to a lightning sale at Uniqlo. I’d asked him to pick me up a couple of my favourite sweaters while in Tokyo, but they were unavailable. Instead, I was able to get them on sale here, plus an extra £10 off and ready for collection from the store later today.

Does this count as getting stuck into Black Friday?

I’m not sure.

The sweaters were things I’d already added to my shopping list after unpacking all my winter clothing a few weeks ago. Some of my older merino wool sweaters were definitely showing their age, so I wanted to replace them – but not immediately.

So there was no impulse purchase here.

Also, the sales were legit. The reductions were enough to be meaningful and the voucher code to take an extra amount off the total was just the icing on the cake.

So I don’t feel I’ve been sucked into needless spending or ‘Back Friday Madness’. But I know that many other people have and it’s a bit gross, to be honest. I know many of these impulse purchases will end up on a landfill somewhere or lurk at the back of the wardrobe, adding to people’s guilt over hoarding and spending too much.

And given we’re now (according to retailers, at least) in the ‘Christmas Season’, the advertising is basically non-stop right now. Time to focus on the essentials and keep my eyes straight ahead.

(Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash)

5 comments on “Black Friday bollocks

  1. Black Friday is slowly turning into a thing over here too! It’s kind of funny. It makes no sense.

    Like

  2. ethnicolor

    Hear hear! I quite agree, and in fact today I was on a call with some people based in the US. They indicated their surprise that countries outside of the USA were running Black Friday sales drives, and said they would not be making any kind of Black Friday shopping excursions themselves. It warmed my cynical heart to hear a native put down this greedy custom.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “Americanisms” have been quietly invading for years! As well as Black Friday, Halloween is now bigger than Bonfire Night. We have only ourselves to blame! Since when did films become “movies”, trousers get renamed “pants” and (as in your post today) jumpers become “sweaters”?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I guess it depends on where you’re from. I grew up in Dublin, where Halloween was huge – as it’s an ancient Celtic festival. Obviously, we didn’t have bonfire night. And I’ve used jumpers and sweaters interchangeably since I was a kid – though I seem to remember that my school uniform had a sweater, while non uniform clothes were jumpers? It’s getting so long ago that it’s all a muddle…. Social media and international work culture, as well as the predominance of American popular culture, mean that words will definitely infiltrate other versions of English. But, as far as I’m concerned, there are limits.

      And that limit is ‘pants’.

      They are *definitely* worn under trousers!!

      Like

  4. stevemorton

    I’m deleting most of the emails that have arrived or unsubscribed from most of them

    Liked by 1 person

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