On Black Friday, stores are offering discounts like there’s no tomorrow. But favorable days also have a dark side – we will show them in five points.
14/11/2022, 05:2814/11/2022, 06:07
When you walk down Zurich’s Bahnhofstrasse on November 25, 2022, you might barely notice it. Still, the resistance to Black Friday, which is gaining ground, is growing year by year: for example, in the form of anti-consumption days like “Buy Nothing” or “White Monday” from Sweden, where you can stand up against excessive consumption. Here are five reasons why you should ignore the discount battle:
Because you won’t save that much
Staggering discounts tempt many consumers to make rash purchases. However, percentages are often artificially inflated by traders with reference to the manufacturer’s non-binding price proposal.
Because many people are tempted to make impulse purchases by lower prices, the bottom line is that they are not saving anything. It’s usually the other way around: If you spend money unplanned on things you don’t need, you’re not saving.
Because you are being manipulated
On Black Friday, the marketing departments of the participating companies intentionally instill fear. The fear of missing out – in English “Fomo”, i.e. “Fear of Missing Out” – tempts consumers to buy something because it may not be available soon (or at least not at such a low price).
Specifically, this trick is used with notes like “only 5 available” or “10 people are currently viewing this listing.” Another measure from the box of tricks of sales psychology is signs in fluorescent colors or the conscious placement of a bargain next to expensive products.
Because of the environment
The way our society consumes today is a major driver of climate change. Greenpeace refers to Black Friday as “a black day for the environment” – for good reason. If everything that is broken is bought new instead of repaired on these favorable days, the climate continues to heat up. Instead of a greener circular economy, Black Friday continues to promote the problematic linear economy.
Buying clothes and electronics harms our environment above all – because of long transport routes or because the production processes and necessary raw materials are not sustainable. The fact that many things are ordered online and returned in bulk on Black Friday causes additional emissions.
Because of people
The run-up to Christmas means sheer stress for many retail workers: longer working days, stores open even on Sundays and even more customers than usual to serve and advise. This applies not only to saleswomen, but also to logistics and couriers.
As the largest trade union in Switzerland – Unia – writes, part of the overtime worked cannot be compensated. In addition, a great deal of flexibility is often required from the staff – on-call work can put a lot of strain on both the psyche and the body in the long run.
In addition, unfair working conditions in the country of production are often hidden behind low prices. Child labour, low wages and poor social benefits allow retailers to offer mainly Black Friday deals.
Because smaller companies suffer
Not only consumers and employees, but also shops and online stores are under enormous pressure during the favorable days and weeks of November. Especially in the sales relevant months of November and December, it is vital for them to remain competitive.
When all the big retailers offer the lowest prices, small and medium-sized companies have to follow suit to get their goods to customers. And this, even though it often does not pay off for them financially, because they cannot procure the goods under the same conditions, as the Swiss Retail Federation states. Unlike small and medium-sized retailers, retail giants can negotiate special terms with their suppliers on the eve of Black Friday and often get their goods at deeply discounted prices.
In an economic system already characterized by numerous quasi-monopolies, Black Friday and Co. smaller companies under even greater pressure.
The battle for the best Black Friday deal
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The town hall in Dietikon ZH was temporarily evacuated on Saturday evening. The reason was a telephone threat against the event.
The threat was received by the cantonal police in Zurich shortly before 10:00 p.m., they announced on Sunday evening. This prompted a large-scale operation and evacuated about 2,000 people from the hall. At 12:30 the guests could return to the hall. The police have launched an investigation.