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Black Friday Sales on Australian soil

Did someone say Black Friday Sales? Yep, it’s that time of year again! What even is Black Friday anyway. And... If you are going to shop till you drop on the upcoming American holiday known as the day after Thanksgiving, why not shop local this year? That way… everyone wins!

Whenever someone mentions Black Friday, it’s not usually synonymous down here in the lucky country. It might conjure up images of American shoppers storming Walmart and using their pram (with infant inside) as a battering ram. Thankfully, as Black Friday became a ‘thing’ here in Australia around 2018, us Aussies tend to be a lot more civilised (at least in a sense). 

Cut to 2021 and it seems as though come the end of November, you can’t escape the sales. From Facebook events, to personalised emails, to small businesses right here in Newcastle, to online sales and stores plastered à la EB Games style – it seems everyone is getting in on the action. 

Personally, I’m all for a sale. I love to treat myself and I am a sucker for online marketing and usually I don’t really question why, who, what or when is causing the sale. ut this year I kind of am questioning it. See… in the US I get the Black Friday sales. Totally. Why? Because they coincide with a holiday.

Some context…

In the US, Black Friday is simply a colloquial term for the Friday after Thanksgiving. And, according to one of my American friends, this is when the holiday season really starts. In the retail sense, the phenomenon dates back to as early as 1961, where shoppers, pedestrians, and citizens alike would flood the streets looking to churn and burn their hard earned cash. 

But… in the actual sense of the term, back in the 50s, Black Friday was again, the Friday after Thanksgiving, where factory workers would call in sick to score themselves a four day weekend. Which is something I am sure all Australians can get behind. But once again, we kind of don’t celebrate Thanksgiving here, so this coming Friday is just… another Friday. Should we get behind the Black Friday sales, and why is it becoming so prevalent?

One word: competition

It’s really tough to be a locally owned business these days, and continually finding ways to incentivise Australians to shop locally is a tough task at times. Thanks to online shopping, we can shop online from a store halfway across the globe, and have it delivered to our doorstep all without ever having to leave the house. So, if (arguably) the most powerful retail nation in the world is having massive sales, as a business trying to compete in an online market in a post pandemic world – what are you going to do? You’re going to have a sale. 

Like I said, I’m all for a sale, and I one hundred percent support any business who is jumping on the bandwagon, especially if they’re jumping on the bandwagon in an eco-conscious kind of way.

A different take on Black Friday

Take Zorali for example. A Melbourne based outdoor company who plants 10 trees for every product sold. During what they have since dubbed ‘Green Friday’, not only are they discounting everything by like… 50% (or more) they are planting 20 trees per item sold.

They have this little caveat on their website too.If you’re all covered for your outdoor adventures, then you can do your part by sitting this one out (because no one needs 10 pairs of Venture Pants). But if you’ve been looking for an opportunity to purchase something you’ve had your eye on, we encourage you to help build our Green Friday forest’. 

Because… buying something JUST because it’s on sale, isn’t really the vibe we should be going for, as the conscious consumers we are right?

Supporting local businesses 

If you’re feeling all abuzz by the Black Friday chatter, you might be keen to know which local businesses are getting in on the action.

Abicus have some incredible deals on at the moment with up to 50% off (sometimes more!) clothing, accessories, and must-haves for any season. 

The gang at Wildflower aren’t too sure what all the fuss is about with Black Friday, but they have dropped some sweet new t-shirts to celebrate!

Petit Papillon have slashed prices over at their Etsy store so you can still support local, treat yo’ self and grab a bargain just in time for Christmas. 

Interestingly, on the flip side. There are some notable local businesses who are openly defying the Black Friday trend. Take Zebra Finch for example, who posted this little ditty (which we also totally support) on their IG.

How we navigate the Black Friday Sales as business owners and consumers is a completely personal choice. Our advice for shoppers wanting to grab a bargain? Try and support local businesses where you can. We guarantee they’ll be doing a little happy dance with every single sale they receive. 

Words: Laura Kebby | Photography: Zoe Lonergan

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