Is Black Friday in its downfall era?

Is Black Friday in its downfall era?

by Juliette Eleuterio
3 min

Everybody loves a good deal and Black Friday is the unofficial holiday to snatch the bargain of the year on any and all products, from tech and travelling to fashion and homeware. But with our generation’s conscious approach to consumerism, is Black Friday in its downfall era?

We’ve all watched compilation videos of swarms of people piled on top of each other, waiting for the mall doors to open, preparing themselves for a literal fistfight over that discounted TV. Comments under those types of video often share a disapproving opinion, along the lines of ‘this behaviour is ridiculous’ or ‘there’s no discount that would have me acting like that.’ And yet, millions of shoppers are still willing to get feral for Black Friday.

While most of us would rather partake in online Black Friday sales, or the alternative Cyber Monday, to avoid getting repeatedly elbowed left, right, and centre, it still seems as though the day of discounts is losing popularity among our generation. In fact, this past week, TikTok has been flooded by videos where creators complain about recent Black Friday deals being way less advantageous than in past years, going from 90% off to up to 50% off.

@madeleineoliviaa A study from Which? looking at a range of offers on 25 November 2022 found that only 2% were not available at the same price or cheaper within six months either side of the date #blackfriday #boycottblackfriday #cyberweek #sustainability #blackfridaydeals #blackfridayisascam ♬ original sound – Madeleine Olivia

And it doesn’t help that certain shoppers noticed stores were marking up their prices in anticipation for Black Friday, only to reduce them to the original price on the day of, scamming their way out of an actual deal.

Partly due to a decrease in promotions and partly due to our generation’s awareness of the detrimental effects of capitalism (both commercial giants’ political affiliations and their unsustainable production practices), Gen Z seems to be over Black Friday, at least in theory.

Our generation is the most aware of the negative impacts of consumerism while simultaneously being the generation most exposed to it, with e-commerce being so easily accessible. And while boycotting a day that emits a reported 1.2 million tonnes of CO2 (in Europe only, according to the European Federation for Transport and Environment AISBL) seems like a good choice, the numbers are still numbering, with an expected 75% of Gen Z’s planning on making a purchase (according to Student Beans).

It’s no secret that Black Friday is problematic, but there are ways to partake that don’t cause detrimental effects to our environment. Shop from small, independent businesses, and don’t buy useless sh*t. The question remains: will you be taking part in Black Friday this year?

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