Counting On …. day 12

25th November 2021

Black Friday is a curious name. 

Is it black as in the opposite of ‘being in the red’, ie financially overdrawn? Certainly not if you are tempted to spend more than you can afford.

Is it black as in doom and terror? Definitely if you see it as a seductive snare designed to encourage us to buy more than we need and more than the earth’s finite resources can sustain.

And who gains? 

The customer because they can buy things at a discount? Yes but only if they buy now. Customers who buy later  will have to pay more if the producers are to recover their costs over the balance of the year. 

The producers because they will sell more? But will they sell more or will the majority of their sales just be concentrated in this one weekend? (Black Friday has become Black Weekend). Does this frenzy of sales cause a hiccup in the supply chain? Goods will have to be stockpiled ready for this one weekend; delivery operations will be overwhelmed by short term demand for extra delivery vehicles and drivers; and presumably a peak in pressure in recycling services the following week.

At the end of the day, Black Friday is a marketing strategy and we are not obliged to drawn in by it. We can maintain our independence and shop when we want to shop and only buy what we want to buy.

Author: Judith Russenberger

Environmentalist and theologian, with husband and three grown up children plus one cat, living in London SW14. I enjoy running and drinking coffee - ideally with a friend or a book.

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