My prompt for today is “something historical”, and as there are two words that are everywhere this week, today’s history lesson is all about Black Friday (and Cyber Monday).
Here’s what good old Wikipedia has to say on the subject:
“...Black Friday is an informal name for the day following Thanksgiving Day in the United States, the fourth Thursday of November, which has been regarded as the beginning of the country's Christmas shopping season since 1952, although the term "Black Friday" did not become widely recognised or used until the 1980s or later in some regions.
Most major retailers open very early, as early as overnight hours, and offer promotional sales. Black Friday is not an official holiday, but California and some other states observe "The Day After Thanksgiving" as a holiday for state government employees, sometimes in lieu of another federal holiday, such as Columbus Day. Many non-retail employees and schools have both Thanksgiving and the following Friday off, which, along with the following regular weekend, makes it a four-day weekend, thereby increasing the number of potential shoppers...”
Then after “Black Friday”, comes “Cyber Monday”. Again, this is taken from Wikipedia:
”...Cyber Monday is a marketing term for the Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States. The term "Cyber Monday" was created by marketing companies to encourage people to shop online. It is on the Monday after Thanksgiving, and most of the time falls in November, but if Thanksgiving is on November 27 or 28, it will fall in December. The date range is November 26 to December 2, and is always four days after the holiday. ..”
As I’ve been selling on Etsy, which is an American website, for a number of years, I’d heard the terms Black Friday and Cyber Monday way before the UK seemed to have jumped on the bandwagon. They were associated with Thanksgiving though - an American holiday - which I dont celebrate, so I paid little interest. But over the last five years, it’s become a massive thing over here too, with stories of queues miles long and shoppers fighting over cheap TVs!!
I don’t take part in either Black Friday or Cyber Monday, mainly due to the facts that I’ve just mentioned above, but also, as a small “one woman band” business, I simply can’t afford to offer massive discounts on the items that I make. I think it really exposes the amount of profit, and the amount that “someone” (the person who did make the TV, Laptop, shoes, fridge freezer etc etc) “hasn’t been paid in order for you to be able to buy it. There will be many other small business’ that think and operate in exactly the same way that I do, and if they happen to be American, and celebrating on Thursday, then I can see the justification in them offering a small discount this coming weekend. If they’re not, then why should they have to be paid less for their hard work?
There’s no Black Friday’s or Cyber Monday’s in my workshop, just a pricing structure that pays me a fair wage for the amount of time it’s taken to make a piece, plus the cost of everything I’ve had to buy in order to make it. Oh, and this Friday is also my birthday, so hopefully it’ll be “cake” Friday instead!