This time last year I was bemoaning the extent to which Thanksgiving was encroaching on these shores. I pointed out that it’s of no significance whatsoever in the UK. It would be like us celebrating Australia Day or something equally irrelevant. I have to say this view did not meet with universal approval in the US. Some of my commentators were moved to use immoderate language. That’s OK. I just deleted the comments. Usually I leave crap comments up so you can all see how dumb people can be, but this really was unpleasant and I had no wish to alienate my loyal gathering.
Black Friday also raised its diabolical head. Many in the UK may not understand this concept, but in the US the day after Thanksgiving is the start of the commercial frenzy leading up to Christmas. Stores lower prices, have short notice short period ludicrous offers, big ticket stuff all going under the hammer. Since Thanksgiving is immaterial to UKers, unless they’re expats, the idea of Black Friday shows for exactly what it is. Rampant consumerism given a head of steam by moneygrubbing retailers.
However, there are signs that sanity is returning. Asda has said that this year it will not be holding Black Friday sales. They’re citing ‘customer fatigue’ as the reason. What they’re saying is that customers are sick to the back teeth of being played for fools, and would prefer the effort to go into year-round value and affordability.
This may not go down to well with head office. I suspect that there’s some disquiet in Bentonville Arkansas. That’s where Walmart bunkers its headquarters. Walmart owns Asda. I reckon Asda’s decision is causing some headscratching by C Douglas Mcmillon, the Walmart President and CEO. He just won’t get it.
‘Why in the name of all that’s holy don’t people want to spend money?’ he’ll yell, pounding the executive desktop.
Because we’ve had enough, that why. We’ve had a bellyful of it.