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Black Friday, Black Christmas?


I suppose todays blog is a bit of a parody. Don't worry, I wont make it to much of a horror story. I've been called Scrooge before, that I'm not...lol. From what I understand black Friday is followed by cyber Monday, and just because we need more time to shop...cyber week!

Black Friday is a colloquial term for the Friday following Thanksgiving in the United States. It traditionally marks the start of the Christmas shopping season in the United States. Many stores offer highly promoted sales at discounted prices and often open very early, sometimes as early as midnight or even on Thanksgiving. Through the power of media praying on peoples needs to satisfy some deep seeded need to fulfill themselves, this is the busiest shopping day of the year. And it's here in Canada now.


The large population centers on Lake Ontario and the Lower Mainland in Canada have always attracted cross-border shopping into the United States, and as Black Friday (French: Vendredi Noir) became more popular in the U.S., Canadians often flocked over the border because of their lower prices and a stronger Canadian dollar. After 2001, many were traveling for the deals across the border. Starting in 2008 and 2009, due to the parity of the Canadian dollar compared with the American dollar, several major Canadian retailers ran Black Friday deals of their own to discourage shoppers from leaving Canada.

The year 2012 saw the biggest Black Friday to date in Canada, as Canadian retailers embraced it in an attempt to keep shoppers from travelling across the border.

Before the advent of Black Friday in Canada, the most comparable holiday was Boxing Day in terms of retailer impact and consumerism. Black Fridays in the U.S. seem to provide deeper or more extreme price cuts than Canadian retailers, even for the same international retailer.


Instances of violence and chaos on Black Friday


This is the horror story part. In the spirit of giving it seems people get pretty excited on this day, especially around Walmart.

In 2008, a crowd of approximately 2,000 shoppers in Valley Stream, New York, waited outside for the 05:00 opening of the local Wal-Mart. As opening time approached, the crowd grew anxious and when the doors were opened, the crowd pushed forward, breaking the door down, and 34-year-old employee Jdimytai Damour was trampled to death

A man was arrested at a Florida Wal-Mart on drug and weapons charges after other shoppers waiting in line for the store to open noticed he was carrying a handgun and reported it to police. He was discovered to also be carrying two knives and a pepper spray grenade.[109] A man in Buffalo, New York, was trampled when doors opened at a Target store and unruly shoppers rushed in, in an episode reminiscent of the deadly 2008 Wal-Mart stampede.

On Black Friday 2012, two people were shot outside a Wal-Mart in Tallahassee, Florida, during a dispute over a parking space.


Before you Shop till you Drop

Because I write frequently about environmental and social issues related to hospitality, I felt the need to express some concern about black Friday. We can already see the social impact this kind of event has, but there is more. More global consumer spending means more products being manufactured and shipped worldwide, so it’s no surprise that Black Friday’s carbon footprint has grown accordingly. According to one report, online shopping for Black Friday 2020 in the UK alone emitted 429,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, the same weight as 61,308 elephants. Just picture that for a moment.

But Black Friday’s environmental impact doesn’t stop the moment the products land on our doorsteps. No—Black Friday promotes overconsumption, pushing consumerism to its extremes by telling us we need more unnecessary, unwanted, cheap goods made from poor-quality, unsustainable materials. And what happens when we realize that juicy deal is falling apart? Most of us throw it away. In fact, one study has suggested that up to 80% of our Black Friday purchases are thrown away after just one or even zero uses.

Black Friday also impacts us as consumers, playing on the idea that in this capitalist world, our value is based on the commodities we own and that by buying more things, we’ll feel better—more appreciated, loved, respected, and so on.


Conclusion

  • Shop for local business brands and support your communities at home. That's all I can say about black Friday. Consider supporting your local chefs as well, I offer gift certificates right here on my site. I also have a small store where I promote handmade knives, peppermills and books...have a look. Cheers, and have a gentle, kind and quiet Friday!

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