I loathe Black Friday.
Absolutely loathe it.
And here’s why:
- I think it brings out the worst in people, and I like to believe in the best in people. But the scenes of fighting in the aisle or, even worse, shootings over cheap TVs just don’t show us as humanity at our best.
- It encourages us to spend money we don’t have. Debt is destructive.
- It encourages us to just have more things. Ok, I know, I’m lucky. I don’t feel I really need anything if I’m honest. And I’m getting to like the freedom of having less. Until I get distracted by a shiny new tea towel…
- Brands and retailers chase the lowest price, which has a hit on profits. And businesses need to make a profit if they are to continue. If you love a brand, then it’s right that you let them make a decent living too.
- It’s not a flat playing field. If you’re a big brand, you’ve got deeper pockets to cut margins. You might have clever tax arrangements. You might be out to get rid of competitors.
So here’s my thought: let’s ignore it. And instead, I’m proposing a new event:
Let’s make the day after Black Friday the day we go out and support our local retailers, our local coffee shops, our local producers. Let’s brighten up local businesses’ day with Bright Saturday.
If you’ve spent money on Black Friday, could you spend the same with independent businesses? Half the amount? £10?
See, to a small business, that could make a difference.£10 to Amazon gets lost in the rounding. A couple of coffees at your local coffee shop versus a couple at Starbucks? That’s an investment in a local business, your local area, a service to the wider area.
Hold them to high standards, have high expectations, give them feedback. But do something to support them.
Where will you go this Bright Saturday?
I think I’m going to be around Rugby, so I’m going to pop out to Manor Farm Shop to order the meat for Christmas. And probably stop for tea and cake. As often happens, I am sure I can find a reason to pop into the Abraxas cookshop, bound to need a few Christmas cake decorations. Not to mention I need to buy my Christmas present from MGG. It’ll save on the postage, and support a local business.
I might even be able to persuade MFL we need to head out to La Casa Loco for a jug of margaritas. But that might just be taking it a step too far.
So, who’s with me? Who’s going to make it Bright Saturday where they are?