Sorry, but it’s another moan about ‘American Imports’.
We don’t have Thanksgiving in the UK, at least not yet. Though I am sure they are thinking about ways to sell more turkeys, greeting cards, Quaker hats, and pumpkin pies. If the retail giants could convince the powers that be to add another day off work to the calendar, we would soon be falling in behind the marketing of another imported festival, I have no doubt.
Of greater concern is the very successful establishment of the Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping spree. This suddenly appeared without warning a few years back, and has inexplicably established itself as part of British culture with no resistance whatsoever. Overnight, people were talking excitedly about ‘Black Friday’ as if it had always been here. Email inboxes were inundated with apparent ‘Special Deals’, ‘Must-have bargains’, and ‘One-day only offers.’ Shortly after, ‘Cyber Monday’ arrived too, giving the retailers a chance to shift all the rubbish that we didn’t fall for, three days earlier.
The news media love all this. They relish showing us people literally fighting over huge televisions, trampling over each other to get that thing that they simply must have. Then they add the serious note, in the interests of ‘balance’. Scammers, con-artists, non-existent bargains, fake goods sold as genuine. The fraudsters love Black Friday more than most. We have long been used to the frenzy of bargain-hunting here. After all, the January Sales have been an institution for as long as I can remember. But we need to sit back, take a breath, and think about what these new trends actually represent.
Shops are far from stupid. In advance of this beanfeast, they bring in lots of shoddy goods. Brands we have never previously heard of, sizes that they couldn’t shift all year, and unusual colours too. The electrical goods are mostly old technology, soon to be superseded by the ‘must-haves’ of 2017. The package sizes are generally smaller, and where genuine bargains actually exist, they are soon sold out, leaving buyers scrambling to get anything, to claim they have secured a ‘deal’. And the supposedly massive discounts have proved to be anything but. Inflated ‘recommended retail’ prices, never previously charged anyway, are cut by impressive percentages, but in many cases are actually higher than they were last week.
So I urge you to resist. Refuse to buy on Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. Vote with you wallets, purses, and pockets. Let them know you do not believe the hype, and refuse to be led like sheep by the retailers. Fight back, and hopefully we may see an end to this farce. Just say NO.