23 Nov 2020
According to the plethora of advertising currently assaulting me via many different formats, Black Friday is approaching. Fast.
Americans would be aware of this because the precursor to the Black Friday sales is Thanksgiving, which will happen on Thursday.
Thanksgiving is huge in the US (and Canada), bigger than our Christmas festivities, I think. There’s an expectation of travel, massive food traditions, and all sorts of stuff that goes with it.
Of course, after stuffing yourself full of turkey and pumpkin pie (with marshmallow) and all the other trimmings, and sitting watching football games or parades or whatever other tradition you adhere to, there is of course the excitement of heading out at midnight….to go shopping.
Black Friday is huge. We went out at midnight after a Thanksgiving meal just like the one I described, when visiting my nephew and his wife in the US – not to shop, but to look at shoppers. While we didn’t see massive surges of people fighting to get into the stores, we did see a LOT of people. They were polite and orderly (very disappointing to the gawking Australians) but they were there in seriously significant numbers.
Black Friday marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season, and is called black because in accounting terms, being in the black is much better than being in the red. And thousands of people rushing into your store at midnight would have the accountants rubbing their hands together with glee.
Over the past decade or so, the concept of Black Friday sales have started to creep into our Australian shopping cycles. Not content with attempting to trick us into buying chocolates at the end of a October by putting up Halloween displays, they are now trying to convince us that we need to get the credit cards out ready to go on Friday, because there will be massive discounts available on…stuff we probably don’t need.
I’ve noticed that some advertising here refers to Bright Friday rather than Black Friday – presumably because they think we would be inhibited by a Friday with a dark name.
I mean – we have a Good Friday when we commemorate an execution by eating hot cross buns that had been sold in shops since New Year. Surely they assume that a Black Friday spent shopping isn’t too much to ask. If only there was a sweet bun associated with the day.
We already have our own not-quite-so-popular post Christmas sales. For most of us Boxing Day is spent eating Christmas leftovers, watching cricket, or reading books on the couch. But some hardy souls head straight into the shops to partake in the Boxing Day sales.
Not me. I’ll be on the couch, cricket playing in the background, reading something, possibly writing a bit more literary diarrhoea, and searching the online forums for people putting up posts about how hot cross buns are already on shelves in the shops.