Straight, No Chaser: Buy! Buy! You can keep your American pie!
This past weekend you’d have been hard pushed to find anyone in Denmark who was unaware of the fact that November 24 was ‘Black Friday’.
This consumption bonanza – another American import of course – even has its own website at black-friday.sale/dk. Here you can find a calendar telling you when it falls every year up until 2021 so that you can note it in your 2017 diary now.
One of the pieces of trivia offered on the site is that if all the people who visited Elgiganten’s website were physical customers, they would fill no less than 82,486 square metres – or the whole area of Tivoli!
Flash the cash
However, even if you missed Black Friday, there was another chance to ‘shop ‘til you drop’ on Monday 27 November, cannily called ‘Cyber Monday’. An added bonus here was that you didn’t even have to leave the house to rack up huge debts buying cheap Chinese tat – as the name suggests, Cyber Monday is all about online shopping.
Denis Hansen, the traffic and insights manager for Danish webshop manager Impact, told Politiken that because the trade was spread over a week, he estimated Black Friday would ‘only’ increase by 50 percent. In comparison, sales rose in 2016 by a whopping 118 percent from the previous year, so we’re talking serious money.
Hansen added that “for some shops, Black Friday accounts for 15 percent of the entire year’s takings, and together with the three months around Christmas it can easily comprise half of a shop’s turnover for an entire year”.
More on the way
There may be more of these days on the way. This year we also had ‘Singles Day’, a Chinese import on which you are supposed to buy stuff to be good to yourself – as if you don’t do this on any other day of the year! Originally touted as being an ‘anti-Valentine’s Day’ for single people, the Daily Telegraph reported that as much as 20 billion dollars (ca 125 billion kroner) would be spent in 24 hours during this crazy spending spree.
In the US they also have ‘Pink Friday’ and ‘Green Friday’, which could shortly be unleashed on an unsuspecting Danish market. The latter is marketed by Britain’s biggest second hand shopping site as being an “eco-friendly and sustainable alternative to Black Friday. It encourages you to think about how you shop and explore alternative ways of shopping to the online deals and high street discounts that dominate spending habits at this time of year.” So that’s all right then!
However, perhaps it would be good to remember the original meaning of Black Friday, and I can think of no better way than through the first track of the Steely Dan album ‘Katy Lied’, which contains the lyrics: “When Black Friday comes, I’ll stand down by the door and catch the grey men when they dive from the 14th floor …”
We would do well to remember that originally Black Friday was the day of the Wall Street Crash of 1929 – and we all know where that led.
An Englishman abroad, Stephen has lived and worked in Denmark since 1978. His interests include music, art, cooking, real ale, politics and cats.