Friday, 25 November 2016

Black Friday, Day of National Shame

Yes, I hate Black Friday.

Everything about it. The name; the way we adopt an American cultural import without critical reflection; the global retail box shifters who drive it all; the insidious advertising preying on our need for security; the impulse purchasing that the day normalises and celebrates; the embarrassing photographs of people humiliating themselves in shopping rage over a flat-screen TV.  I cannot find one good thing yet to recommend it.

People, spare a thought for your independent retailers! They're not box shifters and discounters. They work hard everyday to create a shop and a trade that works for you and them. Think - ahem - of crafters and makers! Like the poor lady book-creators who stitch and bind by the midnight hours, just to put a crust of bread on the table for the children (and three teen-tickets at a fiver apiece for The Tempest at the RSC). They - we - cannot afford to offer you a 60% discount on a hand-made item, crafted with love, sold in a shop that we all work hard to support.

The whole Black Friday import is no more than a way to get you to support everything bad about global consumerism: the culture of underpaid and exploited workers in Asia, the overworking and bullying of retail staff, your own personal debt, and a great big toot for materialism. Meanwhile Black Friday rejects the things that should form part of our lives: honest fair-dealing trade, meeting the sellers and makers, and celebrating your independent shop owners.

I'm thinking all this, then I walk into the office, where Dig says, 'When do you need the car today? I'm thinking of going over to Bicester Shopping Village. I need new shoes and it's Black Friday.'


Michelle said...

M needed new shoes recently. He was in Switzerland for a couple of weeks last month and realised in a meeting that one of the shoes had a hole in. On the upper leather. I'd been saying for ages he needed to sort shoes out. I said in Cambridge there is North Shoes opened not that long ago and in addition to full price perfect shoes they have factory reject shoes by Loake (and others) so headed there and were lucky to find the perfect pair in the style, colour and size he wanted. They sell the factory reject stuff on Ebay too. Even though we were buying upstairs on the factory outlet floor, they still gave proper foot fitting and advice and free insoles to make sure M had the perfect fit. Brilliant service. M is very happy. Still not cheap but considerably less than full price.

Grit said...

thanks for that tip michelle; we sometimes find ourselves in cambridge town centre after meetings. dg does not go grubbing in the charity shop bins like the rest of us ... i still maintain they are the finest place to find the best new/old shoes ... i got a fantastic pair of steampunk-style kitten heel ankle boots recently for the grand sum of 1.50. i only need to lose an inch across my width of my foot and they'll be FINE. xx