Black Friday: more or less crazy this year?

Black Friday  : more or less crazy this year?

Many wonder if consumption will be higher or lower this year on Black Friday due to inflation.

As Black Friday approaches, many consumers plan to take advantage of the discounts that rain down on all products for the sake of pleasure, while many others are calling for them to reduce their consumption in order to limit the environmental impact of this shopping day.

The majority of consumers see Black Friday as an opportunity to take advantage of discounts and save money in the run-up to the holidays. However, the concept of this famous Friday, or Black Friday, has its origins in the 1950s in the United States and is directly linked to their version of Thanksgiving.

Black Friday, an American concept

In an interview with Métro, assistant professor of consumer science at Université Laval, Maryse Côté-Hamel, explains that stores were traditionally closed in the United States on Thanksgiving Thursdayand that it was customary to begin Christmas festivities and gift buying the next day, Friday.

Black Friday is said to originate from Philadelphia. The police found the city difficult to manage because of the number of people who traveled downtown to shop. So they would have dubbed it “Black Friday” in reference to that day they dreaded and it spread through popular culture as a special day. »

A day to rethink your consumption

In response to the many consumer incentives that day, a movement was born in the early 1990s to create the opposite effect and discourage people from buying compulsively.

“COP27 has just ended, and it would be more of a time to reflect on our consumption and aim for moderation,” says Benoit Duguay, professor in the Department of Urban and Tourism Studies at the School of Management Sciences (ESG) and authors of books on consumption. We talk a lot about the environment, and Buy Free Friday calls for us to rethink our consumption so as not to consume excessively.

Ms. Côté-Hamel also points out that over time, Black Friday has become more of a time to make big profits or save money than a celebration marking the start of the Christmas celebrations. “Many have started to denounce Black Fridaylike a party of overconsumption. People have also started thinking about the planet and their own consumption choices from a “buy, I vote” perspective. By not buying, it's a vote for the planet”.

More or less consumption this year?

According to our two interlocutors, it is difficult to determine whether the consumption will be more or less great this year. However, they are of the opinion that relaxations of sanitary measures can encourage consumption.

You would think that the trend would be down this year because of inflation, rising prices and interest rates, making consumers more reasonable. However, we must remember that consumption is a moment of pleasure, especially during the holidays, and since many have gone without in recent years, many will spoil themselves and take advantage of it to spend.

Benoit Duguay, professor in the Department of urban and tourism studies from the School of Management Sciences

Maryse Côté-Hamel shares a similar opinion. “Holidays are going to be different this year, less pandemic. Consumers are going to tend to celebrate with more people and more times, so this will lead to an increase in individual consumption for some. Also, taking advantage of Black Friday could be interesting for people who are currently tightening their belts, thus increasing consumption despite an inflationary economic context. »

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