A party for some, but a thorn in the side for others: Black Friday is just around the corner. During this phenomenon that has come over from the United States on the day after Thanksgiving, some stores offer high discounts. It is seen as the kick-off of the holiday season.
Stores welcome extra audiences, but struggle with measures and delivery times. Municipalities want to regulate the crowds as corona-proof as possible. Environmental organizations are calling on people not to buy and to ‘consume’ instead.
Milieu Centraal had an investigation carried out to find out how many Dutch people are now benefiting from the campaigns. It turns out that most people haven’t fallen for the bargain fest just yet: only one in five plans to strike in the coming days, according to the survey. Nearly half plan to buy nothing. Just like last year, Black Friday falls at a time when the number of corona infections continues to rise.
In general, Dutch entrepreneurs also remain cautious. A large majority of them do not participate in Black Friday, says Paul te Grotenhuis of the INretail industry association. “We see entrepreneurs who do nothing, but also entrepreneurs who spread actions over several days.” In the case of chains, the branch organization sees that there is a lot of focus on online offers. “Also to prevent crowds in the stores as much as possible. Several promotions have already been scaled down.”
“These weeks are very important for the shopkeepers,” says Dominique van Elsacker, director of Urban Department Store in Rotterdam. “We do our very best to spread out visitors. That’s why we’re doing deals for five days, to take the pressure off Friday.”
Algorithms determine the price
Online pricing is automatic, explains editor-in-chief of Tweakers Wout Funnekotter. “Sites adjust the prices of what competitors are doing and how big their inventory is. The algorithms determine the price.” The editor-in-chief of the tech website has the idea that there are more old models on offer than last year. “That could be related to the delivery problems of new models.”
With regard to possible delays and shortages, Te Grotenhuis of INretail says that it is very dependent on the product. “There can be some delays, especially on large products made in Asia.”
According to Funnekotter, it seems that consumers are less involved with Black Friday than last year. “Then there was a kind of ‘perfect storm’. I can imagine that people had some money left over because of the lockdowns and holidays that were canceled and felt like treating themselves.”
Municipalities are mainly concerned with spreading the visitors. Shops in Rotterdam open earlier, parking is cheaper in the morning and there is a giveaway for those who come shopping early.
The municipality has deployed shopping coaches to point out the rules and to hand out mouth caps. Last year, because of corona, Rotterdam called on people to stay at home. In the end, Mayor Aboutaleb decided that the shops had to close before closing time. But the municipality does not prohibit Black Friday. A spokesperson: “We also want to give entrepreneurs a chance, they have also had a difficult time.”
PostNL tries to spread the delivery times as much as possible. The company expects to deliver double the number of packages, so orders will also be delivered on Sundays. PostNL expects that not everything will be delivered on time.
However, not all of the Netherlands is planning to go to the city centers tomorrow. A proponent of this is the thrift store sector organization BKN, which has been advocating ‘Green Friday’ for a few years now. In doing so, they call on people not to buy new items, but above all to reuse items.
“On Green Friday, the thrift industry takes a stand against overconsumption and the buying frenzy in our society,” says BKN director Leonie Reinders. “Every year, consumers are tempted with discounts that lead to unnecessary and excessive buying behaviour. This concept is outdated and the current climate problem calls for new traditions.”
The Milieu Centraal survey shows that most Dutch people now associate reducing consumption with positive aspects. A minority finds it ‘exaggerated’, ‘meddlesome’ and ‘left-wing stuff’.
Get into the city on time or consume less: tomorrow is Black Friday
Source link Get into the city on time or consume less: tomorrow is Black Friday