Black Friday: To shop or not to shop?

Black Friday is known as the day of big discounts and shopping frenzies. Named by the Philadelphia Police in the 1950s, the term was used to describe the chaos and traffic on the streets created by holiday shopping following Thanksgiving. At first, retailers did not appreciate the moniker, due to its negative connotation. However, they soon reinvented it: Black Friday was the day where their profits went from red to black in their books. So, Black Friday now kicked off the holiday shopping season with the best deals for consumers and the highest profits for retailers in the year.

Nowadays, when recalling Black Friday, we often think of long lines, people camping outside of stores and retailers opening their doors to masses streaming in. However, with the second wave of coronavirus spreading into winter, retailers and manufacturers cannot risk generating the same craziness around physical shopping as they used to do before.

With the safety of its customers and employees in mind, some stores are trying to spread the number of shoppers by making the period of sales longer. Others decided to keep their doors closed this Black Friday and underline online promotions instead. In rare cases, we can also find businesses offering pre-booked shopping times.

Nevertheless, while brands are trying to readjust their selling techniques, we as conscious consumers should also take part in making this year’s shopping activity safer for everyone. Thus, here are 4 tips on how to enjoy your Black Friday spree responsibly:

Planning is key

This might come as a no-brainer, but surprisingly a lot of people mindlessly go shopping without having a plan at hand. This results in reckless spending that is further persuaded by “sale ends tonight!” and “limited!” banners hanging on store windows or popping up on our web browsers, which might make you wake up to an empty wallet. To avoid such situations, ask yourself: “What is it that I really need to buy?” and “What is my budget?”. By setting clear spending boundaries, you won’t be nudged into “panic shopping”. Make a list of b

rands and check on their networking platforms what sales they are offering. Especially this year, many retailers disclosed their deals way before Black Friday so people have more time to make a decision.

Embrace online shopping

To avoid huge crowds, this year many brands emphasize online sales that are happening on their websites. By offering “online-only” deals, going to a physical store seems even less attractive. Besides, online shopping lets you take your time before placing an order, which might save you from senseless spending. Let’s face it: it is safer for everyone if you stay at home this Black Friday, so why not grab a glass of wine on this chilly Friday evening and enjoy the shopping process from the comfort of your own living room?

Readjust your thinking

If you are more of a “touch and feel” type of consumer, who likes browsing through aisles before eying an item, this year you might have to switch your technique. Besides wearing a mask, keeping the distance, and sanitizing your hands, try to limit your time spent in stores. Before going shopping, think about the exact stores you want to visit and what items you want to buy. You might also want to consider that some stores offer to book a shopping appointment, so you can enjoy the perks of physical buying while also keeping the social distancing rules in mind.

Shop small

The pandemic had a damaging effect on small businesses this year and what a better time to support their initiatives if not during this festive season? Holiday shopping is a great time to start embracing this new movement of “shopping small” by paying more attention to the local producers in your region. By shopping small not only are you supporting businesses that might be struggling during these unprecedented times but it is also a great way to find more unique gifts as opposed to the goods of mass production.

That is it for our small list of tips for you to enjoy this year's Black Friday in the most responsible of ways!