Leader comment: Black Friday's saving grace

In little more than four years, the Black Friday-to-Cyber Monday weekend has become the biggest display of consumerism in Britain.

Black Friday shoppers in Glasgow (Picture: John Devlin)
Black Friday shoppers in Glasgow (Picture: John Devlin)

The aggressive sales tactics of global corporations have led to scuffles breaking out in some stores, such is the desperation to own products that would otherwise be unaffordable. The violence itself has acted as a marketing tool; after all, if people are prepared to fight for them, surely the bargains must be amazing?

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In reality, many shops use eye-catching price reductions as loss leaders to get people in the door or onto the website where other products with more modest reductions lie in wait.

It is the epitome of commercial sharp practice that now occurs virtually all year round, with various ‘special’ days designed to help us spend out money.

Religious festivals like Christmas and Easter have been co-opted while shops have sought to increase spending associated with events like Mothers’ and Fathers’ Day and Hallowe’en.

If Black Friday has one saving grace, it is that it comes just before Christmas, perhaps helping people to afford a celebration that can put the poorest among us in debt for weeks.