I’ve never been a fan of one day rush sales like the Black Friday ones. Having been in retail many years ago, sales time was always a hectic and stressful time.
For those working the shop floor, it meant a long day of shoving and pushing and often bruised bodies at the end of the shift. The stories making the news from this year’s Black Friday are testament to why this craziness needs to stop.
What sales push could possibly be worth the death of a shopworker and the miscarriage of a woman’s baby? What does it say about both humanity and the greed of retailers?
The defining message in social media is that of sharing and helping others to better themselves. How many of the people that continued to barge by the dying shopworker are Twitter users, or Facebook members? Does the message of sharing and making ourselves better stop at social media? Doesn’t it have a place in the real world?
Many people have said that Barack Obama is “the social media President”. Not only did he use the medium to great effect during his campaign, he also offers a parallel to social media through his “Vote for Change” policies. Empower everyone, make the world around us a better place through caring and sharing.
If this is the case, he needs to make one of his promises more widespread. Instead of just focusing on corporate greed, he needs to look at why retailers hold back on prices until sales days like Black Fridays. If retailers can afford to offload so much stock at crazy prices one day a year, there’s nothing to stop them having these prices throughout the year.
I know it’s a tough market – as a business owner myself, I know profit is becoming even tighter as the economic bite kicks in.
But is any profit worth the death and injury we saw yesterday? People scramble for Black Friday sales because the retailers (and, to a degree, the manufacturers) fix prices throughout the year and offer less reasons to buy. Shoppers therefore wait until sales time, whether it’s Black Friday, Boxing Day or other sales periods.
We need to stop this process now, before anyone else gets hurt. Is that too much to ask?