Black Friday, or the big discount con - The Post

Black Friday, or the big discount con

Black Friday is on as we speak: an extraordinary amount of people hit the streets in a shopping fever during one of the most significant consumer events of the year. It’s the one yielding the greatest discounts… or, is it now?

They bought these banners on discount (photo: John Henderson)
November 29th, 2019 8:25 pm| by Valmira Gjoni

If you’ve been postponing your long-awaited shopping spree to take advantage of Black Friday’s great discounts, you’ll be disappointed: many of these aren’t really discounts. According to the Danish Consumer Council, most prices have been artificially inflated in order to lure costumers in on this very day, offering an opportunity to save big.

Statistics Denmark figures show that consumption fell in October: people held back on food and clothing purchases, and retail sales decreased by 0.2 percent compared to September. This decline may be a result of a Black Friday-induced self-constraint, explains Danske Bank economist Louise Aggerstrøm Hansen.

Discounts are not what they seem, so take some advice

Black Friday – an American tradition popular in Denmark since 2015 – offers great saving opportunities but, in reality, these are more of an illusion. Having conducted several studies that illustrate the phoney process of raising prices in the period leading up to Black Friday, the Consumer Council, alongside Pricerunner and other experts, calls for buyer vigilance so people avoid being cheated.

The council recommends checking earlier prices: “we suggest using Pricerunner’s search engine to look up the prices of a given item in the last e.g. 3 or 4 months. You do this, you’ll often find that it has previously been at least as cheap as it is on Black Friday,” said Maria Liljeqvist, senior attorney at the Danish Consumer Council.

Climate war on Black Friday

While many stores (be they digital, brick and mortar or both) stick with the Black Friday tradition, there are others that bypass this holiday of overconsumption for the sake of the environment.

One of them is Danish furniture chain Sofacompany, whose ad campaign goes ‘F ** K Black Friday – always good prices’. Instead of offering great discounts for one day, they offer to plant 50 trees in Kenya for every sold piece of furniture until December 1. During the rest of the year, they offer to plant 5 trees after each purchased item.

In the same vein, IKEA Denmark is dropping Black Friday, encouraging Danes to consume in a different way, like buying used IKEA furniture online. “We know that recycling is better for the environment and we want to help make it better”, said the Country Commercial Manager of IKEA Denmark, Elefteria Cromlidou, to DR.

Overall, experts advise consumers to buy products consciously and think twice before purchasing something they don’t actually need.