sunny.png
Wednesday December 11th, 2019 12:43PM

Black Friday frenzy goes global - and not everyone’s happy

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

PARIS (AP) — People don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in France, or Russia, or South Africa - but they do shop on Black Friday.

The U.S. sales phenomenon has spread to retailers across the world in recent years with such force that it’s prompting a backlash from some activists, politicians and even consumers.

Near Paris, climate demonstrators blocked a shopping mall and gathered in from of Amazon’s headquarters to protest over-production they say is killing the planet. Workers at Amazon in Germany went on strike for better pay. Some French lawmakers want to ban Black Friday altogether.

Consumer rights groups in Britain and some other countries say retailers use Black Friday as a slogan to lure in shoppers, but it’s not always clear how real or big the discounts are. Other critics say it hurts small businesses.

“The planet burns, oceans die, and we still want to consume, consume, and therefore produce, produce - until we eradicate all living things? ... We will not betray our children for a 30% discount!” reads a manifesto by groups holding “Block Friday” protests around Paris.

Globalized commerce has brought U.S. consumer tastes to shoppers around the world, from Halloween candy to breakfast cereal and peanut butter, sometimes even supplanting local traditions.

To many activists, Black Friday is the epitome of this shift, a purely commercial event designed to boost U.S. retailers ahead of the Christmas holidays, the symbol of capitalism run amok.

In Britain, where the big winter sales have traditionally been held on the day after Christmas, companies have adopted Black Friday marketing campaigns since about 2010. After a rise in business on the day in the first years, the volume of shopping has leveled off, with most of it happening online over multiple days.

Research by a U.K. consumer association found that 61% of goods advertised in Black Friday deals last year were cheaper or about the same price both before and after the event.

That echoes similar warnings in other countries. Russia’s consumer watchdog published detailed tips on how to avoid getting fooled, like checking whether prices were raised before Friday to make deals look good or whether delivery costs are inflated.

The Black Friday advertising push has extended beyond the one day to Cyber Monday, with retailers in several countries spreading them across what’s often called “Black Week.”

In the Czech Republic, one electronics chain encourages shoppers - in English, of course - to “Make Black Friday Great Again,” in an ad featuring a suited man wearing the distinctive red cap used by U.S. President Donald Trump’s election campaign.

Broadcasters in South Africa showed people waiting in line to shop in one of the world’s most socially and economically unequal nations. The respected weekly Mail & Guardian newspaper decried in a scathing editorial how Black Friday is used to enrich big retailers.

“Like no other day, this Friday shows how broken the world we have built is,” it said.

Black Friday has meanwhile had to adapt to cultural norms. Egyptians, for example, have taken on all aspects of the occasion - except the name, because Friday is a sacred day of worship for Muslims. Rather than scrap the event, many retailers decided to rename it White Friday or Yellow Friday.

The term Black Friday comes from retailers’ claim that it was the day when they went from being lossmaking for the year - in the red - to making a profit - in the black.

Among other concerns is that Black Friday could hurt small businesses that do not have the vast marketing budgets and online sales presence of big retail chains or multinationals.

In Italy, for example, Black Friday falls outside the season’s strictly defined schedule for when the winter shop sales can be held. This year, sales cannot be held from Dec. 5 until Jan. 4, when stores are allowed to clear out stock. The fashion industry has warned that can hurt smaller retailers in a country that relies heavily on them.

A French legislative committee passed an amendment Monday that proposes prohibiting Black Friday because it causes "resource waste" and "overconsumption." France's e-commerce union, whose members are aggressively marketing Black Friday sales throughout November, has condemned the measure.

Dozens of French activists blocked the Amazon warehouse in Bretigny-sur Orge on Thursday, spreading hay and old refrigerators and microwaves on the driveway. On Friday, climate activists took aim at Black Friday, blocking shops and setting up heated exchanges with the people who had been hoping to find a good deal.

“We need to stop telling ourselves that, 'it's Christmas, I need to go shopping,'” says Théophile Pouillot-Chévara, a 17-year-old climate activist in Paris.

___

Cara Anna in Johannesburg, Colleen Barry in Milan, Noha ElHennawy in Cairo, James Heintz in Moscow, Karel Janicek in Prague, Frank Jordans in Berlin, Yuri Kageyama in Tokyo, Jan Olsen in Copenhagen, and Carlo Piovano in London contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: Local/State News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP World News, AP Business, AP Business - Consumer News, AP Business - Corporate News
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Black Friday frenzy goes global - and not everyone’s happy
People don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in France, or Denmark, or the Czech Republic _ but they do shop on Black Friday
5:23AM ( 8 minutes ago )
Australia fire survivors join global climate protests
People affected by dramatic wildfires in Australia have joined young environmental activists to protest the government’s stance on climate change
5:04AM ( 27 minutes ago )
Eurozone inflation firms but still below central bank goal
Official figures show that inflation across the 19-country eurozone rose in November but remains way below the level that the European Central Bank and its new president, Christine Lagarde, would like it to be
5:01AM ( 30 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The Latest: Trump, in Afghanistan, says Taliban wants deal
Trump, visiting Afghanistan, says Taliban wants to make a deal
2:43AM ( 2 hours ago )
Surge in new voters sparks talk of UK election ‘youthquake’
In a British election dominated by Brexit, young voters who had no say in the country’s decision to leave the European Union could hold the key to victory
2:27AM ( 3 hours ago )
Sabbath buses barrel through Israel’s religious-secular rift
Tel Aviv has taken a major step to cement its status as Israel’s secular Mecca, launching a public transit system operating on Saturdays and redrawing the lines in the Jewish state’s culture wars between religious and secular citizens
2:04AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP National News
Saints beat Falcons to clinch third straight NFC South title
Saints clinch third straight NFC South title with 26-18 win over Falcons as Taysom Hill blocks punt, scores 2 TDs
11:44PM ( 5 hours ago )
North Korea may deploy ‘super-large’ rocket launcher soon
North Korea says the latest test-firing of its “super-large” multiple rocket launcher was a final review of its combat application
10:30PM ( 7 hours ago )
Trick TD sparks Bills in 26-15 Thanksgiving win over Cowboys
John Brown became the first Buffalo receiver to throw a touchdown pass and the Bills went on to beat the Dallas Cowboys 26-15 on Thursday.
10:06PM ( 7 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
Asian shares slide on weak Japan data; US markets closed
Asian shares slide on weak Japan, Korea data; US markets closed
2:42AM ( 2 hours ago )
Japan’s ex-Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone dead at 101
Yasuhiro Nakasone, former nationalist Japanese Prime Minister who tried to change his country’s pacifist policies, has died at age 101
1:27AM ( 4 hours ago )
Chileans who lost eyes in protests demonstrate in capital
Protesters massed in front of Chile’s presidential palace Thursday to support people who have lost eyes to police shotgun pellets and tear gas canisters during mass demonstrations that have wracked the country
8:48PM ( 8 hours ago )
AP Business
Nerf gun, Power Rangers claw cited by toy safety watchdog
A high-powered Nerf gun, ice cream-scented Nickelodeon slime and a plastic Power Rangers claw are among the toys on a consumer safety group's annual list of worst toys for the holiday season
12:09PM ( 1 week ago )
Privacy, consumer groups seek to block Google-Fitbit deal
Nine privacy, social justice and consumer groups are calling for the U.S. federal government to block Google’s $2.1 billion acquisition of fitness-gadget maker Fitbit, citing antitrust and privacy concerns
12:11PM ( 2 weeks ago )
Saks owner Hudson's Bay to go private
Hudson's Bay, the owner of Saks Fifth Avenue, is being taken private by a group of shareholders
2:51PM ( 1 month ago )
AP Business - Consumer News
Australia fire survivors join global climate protests
People affected by dramatic wildfires in Australia have joined young environmental activists to protest the government’s stance on climate change
5:04AM ( 27 minutes ago )
Eurozone inflation firms but still below central bank goal
Official figures show that inflation across the 19-country eurozone rose in November but remains way below the level that the European Central Bank and its new president, Christine Lagarde, would like it to be
5:01AM ( 30 minutes ago )
Hong Kong police end 12-day siege of university
Police in Hong Kong are preparing to reopen access to a university campus after blocking it for 12 days to try to arrest any protesters holed up inside
4:50AM ( 41 minutes ago )
France: Military helicopters in Mali crash not under fire
France says military helicopters in deadly Mali crash were not under fire, dismissing IS claim
4:20AM ( 1 hour ago )
UK Tories complains to TV watchdog over climate debate
Britain’s Conservative Party is complaining to the UK broadcasting regulator about Channel 4’s decision to put Earth-shaped ice sculptures in place of Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage in a climate-change themed debate
4:06AM ( 1 hour ago )