Rejoice, friends, rejoice – for it is over (I hope). Never have my inboxes been so full of infuriating tripe, and never have I been so glad to see the back of an ‘event’. Apparently it isn’t enough to bombard customers with offers on Black Friday itself; instead retailers push the limits of acceptability by ‘extending offers’ (business speak for ‘damn we haven’t shifted this crap yet’) into the weekend with Black Friday revisited/extended/repeated/regurgitated ad nauseum.
Thankfully, the chaotic and embarrassing scenes more reminiscent of the London riots that graced our supermarkets and High Streets last year were not repeated. I don’t mind admitting that I for one was smirking smugly as I witnessed the tumbleweed that careered across my television screen as the BBC ‘went live’ to the empty showroom to reveal an abject lack of interest in the ‘bargains’ to be ‘had’.
This lack of furore isn’t just because of the shame of the vicious grabbing acts we witnessed last year (although that undoubtedly plays a part) – rather it is the realisation from the discerning British public that the bargains they fought over so ungallantly were not in fact the steal of the century; more the dragging out and dusting down of unsold goods from the preceding year at ‘crazy prices’.
Being British we object to being told when to shop and how (or at least I do) – and we are not fooled by sofa sellers who try to lure us into buying their wares before the Bank Holiday is over; or the transparent double-glazing salesmen who insist that the special price is only on offer ‘for tonight only’.
British retailers don’t appear too keen on the idea of Bleak Friday either – recent reports suggest that they sold goods at a mark-down they couldn’t afford, struggled to ship orders on time because of the inordinate demands of Crass Monday; and had to lay on extra staff and security guards to boot.
Begrudgingly this particular Brit can accept the Americanisation of Halloween – heck I even enjoy decorating the house and scaring kids witless legitimately once a year. But I place Boring Friday in the same bucket of cringe as I do ‘Baby Showers’ – where you send invites to all of your friends and family to shame them into buying baby products for your as yet unborn child.
Black Friday holds no place in my heart (or bowels) and I sincerely hope that it is discharged into the annals of time as a ‘bad idea’ – and the retailers who plagued my inboxes this last weekend are on the ‘naughty list’ and had better behave in the run up to my Christmas shopping.
I will do my festive shopping at a time of my choosing – not the retailers – which is of course bloke speak for ‘at the last minute when panic really has set in’.
What are your thoughts on this imported phenomenon? Black Friday or Black Hole? Why not let everyone know your thoughts in the comments section below.
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