Black Friday

After yesterday’s piece on Thanksgiving Day it seemed natural to follow with a companion article on another US tradition which has made its way to these shores: Black Friday. Being the day after Thanksgiving, this is a public holiday in about half of US states and many private employers give their staff the day off too. It marks the unofficial start to the Christmas shopping season, and has been part of US tradition for well over 50 years: the name was first given to it by the police in Philadelphia (Philly PD, as they’re known in Body Of Proof!) some time around 1960, to describe the pedestrian and traffic chaos that it caused. Judging from some of the scenes we’ve seen on the news in recent years it is an apt name, more for what goes on inside stores than on the roads! Like this

Or this

It must be a TV thing!

I had pondered whether to illustrate this piece with a music video, as I’ve loved the Steely Dan song Black Friday since it was released on their 4th album, Katy Lied. But when I googled the lyrics – as you do – they didn’t really seem to fit, somehow. I also found three other Black Friday songs, by Faith No More (not sure what it was about, to be honest), Megadeth (the usual portentous sounding, overblown heavy metal bollocks about killing – come on guys, it’s not that bad!), and finally by Lil Kim (a foul-mouthed rant, seemingly aimed at Nicki Minge). You’ll be glad to know that at that point I gave up the idea.

Amazon is credited, if that is the right word, with introducing Black Friday here in the UK a few years ago. Since then, their own promotion has grown enormously and it was only a matter of time before other major retailers followed suit – Walmart owns ASDA, so they were an obvious candidate for this, although they did decide not to take part in the 2015 event here in the UK. Officially, this was because they wanted to spread their offers across the whole pre-Christmas buying season, to give their customers the best possible value. Or, back in the real world, what they really meant was that they had decided that the previous year’s news reports of customers apparently attempting to murder each other in ASDA stores to get the best bargains weren’t good for business! Judging by their website, they have stood by that decision, as there is absolutely no mention of Black Friday at all, but apparently it is the ‘ BEST CHRISTMAS EVER!’

My inbox for the past week or two has been bombarded by Black Friday offers from just about any company I’ve ever bought from, both instore and online. It stands to reason, really. They are in business to make money – our money. They may even be selling their offers at a loss but hope to convert us into buying more from them that has less or no discount. Or they are attempting to offload the crap that they over-ordered to make room in their stores and warehouses for…..yes, you guessed, more crap to throw at us. That’s capitalism for you!

It may be hard for you to believe but I like to think of myself as intelligent and, being the proud owner of an MBA in Marketing (1981!), would hope to be able to see through the rampant commercialism. But I do like buying goodies. And I need to get some presents for Christmas. It would be silly to turn down today’s offers and pay more for the same things another day, wouldn’t it? Maybe I could just take another quick look? You never know what you might find that you didn’t know you needed, or that you hadn’t thought of as a gift. There must be someone I know who needs a bicycle repair kit, or some radiator cleansing fluid. But it kind of makes sense to try it just in case, right?

It’s decided then! I’m off to launch myself into the frenzy, from the safety of my armchair, of course. Happy shopping, and try not to get trampled in the rush!

21 thoughts on “Black Friday

  1. Clive November 23, 2018 / 9:48 am

    Reblogged this on Take It Easy and commented:

    As I shared yesterday the post I wrote last year for Thanksgiving Day it seemed only natural to give you the companion piece for today. Whilst we here in the UK have mostly resisted celebrating Thanksgiving – we don’t have a public holiday for it – the ever-increasing onward commercial juggernaut of Black Friday has been gleefully leapt upon by all manner of companies seeking to separate us from our money. The internet makes it all too easy to give in to temptation (Oscar Wilde was right!) but there will still be many braving – if that’s the correct word – real shops for bargains on things they never knew they needed. So, if you are shopping today, and however you are doing it, good luck! I hope to see you surviving to be able to read my next post 😂

    Like

    • Clive November 28, 2017 / 12:48 pm

      Good for you, that sounds wonderful!

      Like

  2. Still the Lucky Few November 24, 2017 / 5:00 pm

    So far, so good. I’ve managed to stay clear of the stores prior to Black Friday—and hope to escape unscathed to the end of today! Thanks for the interesting tidbit about its origin!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clive November 24, 2017 / 5:09 pm

      Good luck, I hope you survive! It’s amazing what you can find with a bit of Googling, isn’t it 😉

      Like

  3. Osyth November 24, 2017 / 12:15 pm

    I refuse to take part and thankfully am at one with most of France though they have tried to peddle ‘Vendredi Noir’. I couldn’t stand the hype in the States when I was there and it saddens me that the Brits have embraced what is basically a marketing tours de force. Really? I’ll go without rather than fall for it. Have fun but count me out!!! Xx

    Liked by 3 people

    • Clive November 24, 2017 / 12:19 pm

      Good for you. To be honest I can’t really summon up the energy or enthusiasm, and most of the offers are for things no one would want anyway! xx

      Liked by 1 person

      • Osyth November 24, 2017 / 12:28 pm

        Exactement …. I hate that sick feeling when one falls for the hype and buys something because the ticket says its a bargain only to wonder why on earth I did it. It has been a lesson hard learned 😉 xx

        Liked by 1 person

      • Clive November 24, 2017 / 12:31 pm

        There was a piece in the paper the other day, reporting that Which magazine had done a study, showed that many so-called bargains were anything but. I’ll shop when I want to! xx

        Liked by 1 person

      • Osyth November 24, 2017 / 12:32 pm

        I saw a great cartoon on FaceBook this morning which basically said if you want to save money on Black Friday, stay at home! Xx

        Liked by 1 person

      • Clive November 24, 2017 / 12:32 pm

        A fair point. But there’s always the interweb….. xx

        Liked by 1 person

  4. endardoo November 24, 2017 / 10:40 am

    Happy shopping Clive. I would check the spelling of Nicky Minaj again, if I were you though!

    Liked by 2 people

      • Clive November 24, 2017 / 12:19 pm

        It was deliberate. Phonetic spelling 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • Osyth November 24, 2017 / 12:28 pm

        And it gave me a fantastic hoot of laughter for which I thank you xx

        Liked by 2 people

      • Clive November 24, 2017 / 12:31 pm

        Always happy to be of service, ma’am 😊 xx

        Liked by 2 people

    • Clive November 24, 2017 / 12:17 pm

      You too, Enda. That spelling was close enough for me 😂

      Like

      • endardoo November 24, 2017 / 1:06 pm

        It was more its slang meaning I was referring to!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Clive November 24, 2017 / 2:07 pm

        No, really? 😂

        Like

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