29 Nov Is Black Friday worth it?
By Gabrielle Livingstone
As Black Friday casts its shadow, we look at the origins of the event.
Black Friday is looming, and the shops are prepping. All over the city centre of Edinburgh we see reminders of the Black Friday sales as well as hundreds of emails in our mailbox, but what is the true meaning behind it and has it gone too far?
Black Friday was originally just in the US. It falls on the day after Thanksgiving and is symbolically seen as the start of the holiday season where people flock the shops for the huge discounts and go a little crazy. When a day is named “Black” that usually means bad and the very earliest phrase of “Black Friday” was 1806 in the US, which has nothing to do with shopping. This was the day that plummeting gold prices caused a market crash which damaged the US currency for years. The first shopping Black Friday was in the 1950’s or 60’s in Philadelphia, traffic police named it Black Friday because they dreaded the day that hordes of people flocked to the shops.
In the UK, we first saw Black Friday in 2010 when Amazon gave its UK customers special offers. It was only properly introduced into shops in 2013 and sales have continued to grow since. But has it gone too far?
Each year we see videos of chaotic scenes at shops around the UK with hundreds of people fighting over sale items. Some of the videos even include kids standing by watching. Surely this is a tradition we don’t want to continue with when it makes us behave like animals.
After the pandemic it was clear that everything is possible to do online. With the rise of online shopping and businesses popping up all over the internet, maybe the tradition of the chaotic Black Friday will slowly fizzle out. Maybe we will see an increase of people doing it from the safety of their own homes, rather than in a battlefield at the big Tesco. Regardless of whether you’re doing your shopping online or in person, look after yourselves and one another.