Avoiding consumption instead of buying frenzy. More and more consumers and well-known players are calling for a Black Friday boycott. We'll show you what it's all about
- Calls for a Black Friday boycott are getting louder every year
- Purchase event brings record sales to retailers, but many people buy things they don't even need
- Known Brands position themselves clearly against Black Friday
On November 24th, 2023 it's that time again: Black Friday will take place. The buying event is perhaps the most important day of the year for bargain hunters. The goal: get big discounts and great offers. Hundreds of thousands of articles from Electronics up to Clothing will be affected.
However, this is not as great as it seems. The protests against Black Friday consumerism are getting louder. Some even speak of a Black Friday boycott. What this is all about and why so many go on striking and call out less consumption.
What is Black Friday?
In the USA, Black Friday is celebrated on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving falls on the fourth Thursday in November every year. The following Friday is the starting signal for shopping for Christmas presents.
“Black Friday” is no longer limited to the United States. In Germany too, more and more retailers, especially online shops like Amazon, are advertising discounts and promotional goods. 70 percent of German consumers want, according to a PwC survey, to shop on Black Friday or the following Cyber Monday.
They want to spend an average of 281 euros. Electronic devices, clothing for adults and clothing for children are particularly popular. However, things are not quite as chaotic here as in the USA: every year, videos circulate that show American bargain hunters storming department stores.
What is Cyber Monday?
Cyber Monday, like Black Friday, is a special shopping day that comes from the United States and traditionally takes place on the Monday after Thanksgiving. Cyber Monday mainly focuses on online shopping deals and discounts. While Black Friday is often associated with in-store deals and crowds at physical stores, Cyber Monday gives consumers the opportunity to shop online from the comfort of their own home.
What is Black Week?
Black Week refers to a week that precedes Black Friday and is often viewed as an extension or precursor to this purchasing event. It typically spans the entire week leading up to Black Friday and can be used by retailers to offer early discounts and deals. Due to the longer period of Black Week, retailers have the opportunity to integrate developments into the discount campaigns. This means they can change offers daily or hourly to encourage consumers to buy. This trend has particularly increased in e-commerce and online shopping, where offers are not limited to physical stores.
Reasons why Black Friday is problematic?
It is a “holiday” invented by retailers. It serves unbridled consumption and is therefore extremely successful: many retailers make their biggest sales of the year. The consumer craze is taking on absurd proportions: #BoycottBlackFriday.
1. We buy things we don't need
Many people buy things during Black Friday, Cyber Monday or Black Week that they don't actually need: overconsumption not only harms their own wallet, but also the environment. Because if you buy too many things that you don't actually need, you may end up throwing them away soon after purchasing them. The Black Friday bargain is literally for the ton.
According to the PwC study, 35 percent of people who spend heavily on Black Friday are afraid that prices will continue to rise and see the purchasing event as an opportunity to save. The result: impulse purchases that result in high return rates.
2. Artificial discounts are not real bargains
What's more, the discounts that many retailers advertise are not really discounts at all. Days or weeks before, some sellers increase prices in order to lower them back to normal levels on Black Friday, Cyber Monday or Black Week. Shoppers consider themselves lucky to have bagged a bargain and in reality paid the same price they would for the rest of the year.
3. We already own enough things
The hunt for bargains and tempting discounts means that we often find ourselves in an endless cycle of consumption. The advertising suggests that our happiness and satisfaction are closely linked to the acquisition of new possessions. However, the question arises as to whether this constant search for more material wealth actually leads to a fulfilling life. The Western world has enough things and actually has no need to make new purchases. Especially not to the extent that it takes place during the purchase event.
4. Competition at the expense of small traders
Last but not least, many retailers see the opportunity to get rid of junk goods and empty their stocks. In addition, the day of consumption increases the gap between small and large retailers: Because smaller retailers cannot keep up with the low prices of the competition, they have lost sales that could drive them into economic bankruptcy in the future.
5. Black Friday purchases only bring short-term joy
Black Friday's lure offers promise unbeatable prices and seemingly priceless bargains. But upon closer inspection it becomes clear that the joy of these supposed deals is often short-lived. The urge to indulge in the consumer frenzy may initially be satisfied by the latest advances, but the question remains as to whether these purchases truly provide long-term satisfaction.
6. The environmental impact of Black Friday is huge
Black Friday not only increases the pressure to buy things we may not really need, but also contributes to overproduction and wasted resources. The endless choice of offers tempts us to buy impulsively and to lose sight of the fact that our planet is already suffering from the burden of our consumer behavior. Consciously avoiding Black Friday can not only help protect personal finances, but also make an important contribution to environmental protection. It's time to rethink the idea that our happiness depends on the number of products we purchase and instead promote a more sustainable lifestyle.
Black Friday Boycott: that's behind it
Behind the idea of the Black Friday Boycott is the belief that consumption does not make you happy. For a long time now, representatives of the consumer renunciation and Minimalism movement more and more followers. The background: A radical one new definition of luxury, which is not defined by material excess, but by selected products full of longevity and high quality.
Well-known voices for abstaining from consumption
Many companies are fighting the shopping craze through various campaigns. For example, some brands simply ignore Sale Day. Some others are launching initiatives against Black Friday on social media. Others call for charity or recycling campaigns. Here are three anti-Black Friday campaigns from companies.
The bag company FREITAG closes its online shop and all checkouts in the F-Stores on Black Friday and gives out its bags for free. The campaign is called “Don't buy. Just borrow.” And positions itself against mass consumption for a sustainable economy. On Black Friday, the F-Stores become temporary rental stations and people with a FREITAG user account can borrow a bag. There will be a selection of 30 different models that can be borrowed free of charge for up to two weeks.
Source & Copyright by FREITAG
December, the brand behind The Ordinary, made a statement back in 2019: it closed all of its stores and took the company website offline for the entire day. “Excessive consumption poses one of the greatest threats to the planet,” reads an Instagram post from Deciem. This year, the company is tackling Black Friday with Slowvember and reducing all products by 23 percent throughout November. This means that customers have the chance to think about their purchasing decisions for a long time and without pressure and do not make impulse purchases.
3. Armed Angels
Also Armed Angels takes a similar approach to take a stand against Black Friday. Their “Slow-vember” campaign runs throughout November, with up to 25 percent off selected items. The company aims to ensure that its customers make conscious purchasing decisions without the pressure of discount campaigns.
Ecoalf have been campaigning against the Black Friday shopping event for years, including this year. The company calls on its customers to join their Instagram movement #recyclingblackfriday and post sustainable alternatives. The aim of the Anti-Black Friday campaign is for customers to replace their environmentally harmful habits with sustainable alternatives. Ecoalf is offering a zero percent discount during Black Friday to make a statement.
Source & Copyright by Ecoalf
For a different approach to speak out against the shopping craze ALOHAS. The company offers up to 70 percent discounts on its products all year round. As part of Black Friday, ALOHA advertises this offer with the title “Better than Black Friday” and makes it explicitly clear that it is not a sale, but a sustainable discount campaign.
Will Black Friday still exist in ten years?
If even big brands take a stand against the consumer frenzy on Black Friday - how promising is this purchasing event? The answer to this question depends entirely on how much people look behind the brands and their values and maintain a conscious lifestyle.
At the moment it's as if the days of “greed is cool” are finally over. More and more people have recognized that cheap does not mean good and its all about quality over quantity.
How retailers deal with the consumer day this and the following years will also have an impact on the future of the discount battle day. Because anyone who attracts attention every year with fake bargains will inevitably lose customers.