With Black Friday fast approaching, psychologists and small business owners have described the annual shopping event as a “dystopia of empty, soulless deals,” “meaningless cheap fixes, vile consumerism” and “another awful gimmick that puts the kiss of death on small local businesses.” Here are the strongest views.
Jamie Rackham, founder of Forest of Dean-based Facebook group, NOT ON AMAZON said, “Black Friday is a celebration of the careless: corporations that don’t care about their customers or the planet, consumers who don’t care about each other or how any of this affects the world and communities they live in, and billionaires who don’t care about a thing because they’re all off to Mars. When you buy from an independent producer there is a far greater likelihood that they will care about their products and their impact on the world. It’s an emotive, as opposed to sterile, relationship with the end consumer. Black Friday is a dystopia of empty, soulless deals.”
Linda Doe, a chartered psychologist at Apana commented, “If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s the value of meaning and the meaningless of cheap fixes. Black Friday fuels a grasping for consumer goods that satisfies deeply no-one, neither the buyer nor the giver. It doesn’t matter if we are wealthy or poor, there is no personal richness in a dash for cheap consumer goods.”
Amanda Rutland, founder of Colchester-based Gorgeous Gourds said, “Another awful gimmick that puts the kiss of death on small local businesses. Haven’t we learnt anything the past two years? We should buy local and reduce our carbon footprint.”
Michael Oszmann, founder of online marketplace, Buy Britain said,”UK consumers have become increasingly sceptical about Black Friday. Are we really getting a bargain and saving money? Genuinely good deals are like needles in haystacks now. While price and value are still many people’s number one purchase drivers, there are now other considerations too: where has this product come from, what is it made from, does the company pay UK taxes?”
Dr Jackie Mulligan, founder of the local shopping platform, Shopappy said, “Black Friday is the Grinch that stole Christmas for many smaller retailers. The big beasts of online shopping have used this American import as a battering ram to grab people’s attention and drive a surge in revenue long before the traditional Christmas shopping rush. Black Friday purchases made on Amazon or other online giants are often a black eye to the small high street retailer. So this year, after the turmoil of the pandemic, we’re encouraging everyone, whenever possible, to shop local.”