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Saturday, 30 November 2013

Black Friday: Another import from America

Black Friday chaos as fights break out over televisions

Black Friday, seems to have been  imported into the UK


My e-mail inbox has been inundated over the last week or so, with mail from Asda. Amazon, Curry's, Big Fish Games, Lights for Fun, Argos and what seems to be a hundred other retail outlets, all telling me how many "wonderful deals" are available for their "Black Friday" event. It seems to me that yet another "Americanism" has crept into the British way of life, but Black Friday is perhaps the most insidious one to arrive on British shores so far.
Coming as it does just 25 days prior to Christmas, Black Friday provides another opportunity for the "hard pressed" shops and supermarkets to capitalise on the potential of an artificially created consumer market. However, many see it as just another exercise to persuade shoppers to buy products which in many cases they probably cannot afford and which will only pump up the level of credit card or other debt in society. How many "Payday loans" were entered into for funding this frantic Friday shopping spree.

Black Friday sale at Asda Wembley.
Tensions rise at Asda in Wembley as stock runs low

It seems that it was not only Asda which witnessed brawls and scuffles amongst their customers as shoppers entered the melee around the entrances and counters and even in the car parks as people scrambled to grasp that special bargain. When prices are discounted, sometimes by as much as 70%, it is not surprising that people will be attracted to the retail parks and High Streets around the country, particularly as Christmas is less than 1 month away.   The question that often occurs to me is that if these supermarkets can offer these  reductions in prices for such events or January sales etc, and yet still announce huge profits, sometimes running into the +£Billions, why are their prices so high for the rest of the year?