Has the Black Friday backlash begun?

Has the Black Friday backlash begun?Image: Electronic Sheep

While once a day-after-Thanksgiving American tradition, Black Friday and its accompanying discount hysteria has become a bit of a global phenomenon.

It’s now a week-long deal for shops and businesses, and eager consumers grabbing what they think are huge discounts on all sorts of goods.

However, for small Irish businesses that focus on quality, uniqueness and local makers, Black Friday represents everything they’re not about.

Irish knitwear label Electronic Sheep, founded by Brenda Aherne and Helen Delaney, has announced it won’t be taking part in Black Friday this year. Instead it’s promoting small businesses and championing buying local.

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Dublin art and lifestyle store Hen’s Teeth is also bowing out, instead offering an alternative bonus for customers. If you spend €25 or more at an independent business in the area, you can avail of 10 per cent in-store.

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Black Friday isn't much craic for independent business, so we're offering a wee discount if you shop with our neighbours this Christmas. Buy something worth €25 or more at an independent store in our locale, and we'll give you 10% off everything in store starting Black Friday, right through 'til Christmas Eve. . . Stores like @wearedesignist, @wearebarn, @industrydesign, @irishdesignshop, @loosecanoncheeseandwine, @tales_for_tadpoles, The Printmaker’s Gallery, @omdivaboutique & @theragedublin. . . This neighbourhood is pretty sweet, shopping locally helps keep it that way. Big love, Hen's Teeth crew 💘 . . #shoplocal #dublin #fadestreet #independantshop #irishart #prints #buyart #hensteeth

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They’re not alone: the hashtag #noblackfriday is on thousands of Instagram posts and for every person waiting to hit their overdraft in the worst way, there is an increasing amount taking pause.

Sustainability has become a necessary focus of late as we are told horror stories of global warming and the precarious future of our planet. Do you really need a new toaster, just because it has 10 per cent off?

There are other reasons to be cautious before you hit the credit card this Friday. It’s long been said that not all bargains are as they seem. Retailers have been known to sneakily increase prices ahead of Black Friday, only to dramatically announce a deal on the day itself. Sometimes the price isn’t all that special at all. Product review site Which.com found that 87 per cent of the Black Friday deals offered in 2017 were available for the same price or cheaper at other times of the year.

Perhaps our focus should be on quality, with an eye on supporting smaller businesses. Of course it's always good to save some cash on something you really want or were buying anyway, but, whatever your purchasing plans, don't get dazzled by dubious Black Friday Bargains. Shop smart instead. 

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