Leaving our local Asda clutching a bottle of red last night, we were surprised to find one of the doors out of use and metal crowd control barriers being positioned outside the store. Could it be that Kate Middleton was coming to buy some George baby clothes, we wondered? On asking some hi-viz members of staff what it was all about, we were informed that they were expecting large crowds in the morning since it was Black Friday and there was bound to be a bun fight - or more likely a 90" plasma TV fight - for heavily discounted items in store.
Although we obviously know all about the American post-Thanksgiving Black Friday shopping phenomenon, we don't recall it ever being marketed quite so aggressively by UK retailers, and some even claim it to have racist associations. It all strikes us as just another example of collective insanity fuelled by greed, the results of which were amply demonstrated in today's media reports of brawling crowds doing battle for previously overpriced consumer goods that we could all very easily live without. People have already been injured by falling TVs and in outright fisticuffs as the shopping frenzy takes hold across the UK. Surely it's time to get a grip?
We won't be joining in. Instead we'll be celebrating Buy Nothing Day on 29/11/14 and supporting Small Business Saturday on 06/12/14, as we do every year. We may even be offering modest across-store discounts, but please remember, no fighting amongst the virtual rails! There is plenty to go round and it's affordable all the year round.