Why Black Friday Is Bad

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Black Friday MarketBlack Friday, the day when historically retailers saw balance sheets move from the red ink and into the black, or profitability, has become like a bad fungus … creeping further and further out into the world around it.  Maybe it’s time to chase that beast back into its cage! Although it may seem like as marketers, we at Infosurv would welcome Black Friday, many of us here would prefer that it back off and give Thanksgiving some breathing room.  Here are 13 reasons why … and yes, the use of 13 was deliberate!

  1. It’s a terrible name! Black Friday … it sounds like a plague (and some might argue that it is).  Not to mention this was also the name given to the historic Stock Market crash of 1929.  (You know, the one that ushered in the great depression … the one your grandpa wouldn’t stop talking about?)  Oh, people were standing in lines back then for sure … except instead of pushing and shoving to get the latest drone, they wanted to make sure they got to the front before the soup ran out.
  2. It just can’t seem to confine itself to Friday any more. Black Friday has crept backwards into Thanksgiving’s space, as too many retailers start selling on Thursday night.
  3. Huge crowds of people with a single-minded focus … what could go wrong? Unless you get your kicks watching people fight over the last cool gadget at the Sharper Image store at the mall, the day is a social nightmare.  (Pssst:  Here’s a secret … many retailers offer the same deals online that they offer in-store, so why not stay home and enjoy another helping of turkey?
  4. Black Friday causes temporary insanity. See #3 above.
  5. Black Friday shopping can be dangerous. See #3 above.   Really – there have been reports of trampling, injuries, and even pepper spraying!
  6. No guarantees you’ll find what you want. See #3 above. Better limber up so your muscles don’t seize up from standing in line Thursday night and you can sprint down the store aisles.
  7. Those deals you just can’t afford to miss? They really aren’t so great. Plenty of research in recent years has shown that Black Friday deals are not the lowest prices on the highest quality products.
  8. Driving all over town to get deals means using gas. Do we need to start quoting Al Gore on you??
  9. It’s not good for your health. Black Friday hits at the beginning of cold and flu season. Being in a crowd of crazed shoppers really a sensible idea?
  10. It’s not good for your soul. Thanksgiving is the one day a year that we are all supposed to take a moment or two to reflect upon everything we have to be grateful for, of the many blessings and good that is in already in our lives right now.  It seems highly ironic that the aforementioned day is now immediately followed by one that is the exact opposite – dedicated to mindless, rampant materialism.
  11. How do you value your time? Is it really worth leaving your family to go camp out at a store, in the cold, on Thursday night, just to get the latest coveted gadget? That same gadget will probably be gathering dust on a shelf in 2 months’ time after the novelty has worn off.  Make some memories instead, go for a walk, enjoy the 4-day weekend … heck, just enjoy sleeping in!
  12. Support the store employees! Because you want these deals, they must give up part of their Thanksgiving day to stock the shelves and prepare for the tidal wave of irritable shoppers who want them to go check the back or to move the check-out line a little faster. Don’t they deserve a peaceful and relaxing Thanksgiving with their families?
  13. There’s always Cyber. You get the same deals, without putting life and limb at risk, and you can stay in your pajamas (or shop from work). Moreover, there is no risk you’ll see yourself acting the fool on the news in that Black Friday coverage!
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Kyle Burnam

Kyle Burnam is the CEO of Infosurv and the leader of its sister company, Intengo, where he oversees all client research and R&D projects. Having been in the industry since 2005, Kyle brings a wealth of experience to the table and an innovative eye to every project.
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