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Black Friday: SMEs fight back

In order to counteract the Black Friday shopping phenomenon in the United States, small businesses in Australia require consumers to think twice before making a purchase.

Black friday

Black Friday is a tradition in the United States. On Christmas Eve, shoppers will receive substantial discounts on merchandise. This tradition has now been adopted by retailers all over the world, including Australia.

The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) estimates that on Christmas Eve, Australians will spend more than A$59 billion, an 11.3% increase over 2019 sales. But as Black Friday heats up, strong opposition from small businesses has attracted more and more attention.

Australia strikes back

In today’s Black Friday promotion, small Australian businesses are taking a stand and resisting pressure on discounted goods. Many people indicated that they would boycott the event and asked shoppers not to buy.

They say that for them, sales are not economically sustainable or environmentally conscious. It is also worrying that the fanatical consumerism encouraged by the big online sellers’ offers for Black Friday shows that this has no support for an industry struggling with the effects of the global pandemic.

“Due to the two years of heavy financial pressure caused by the pandemic, we are now under pressure to have to discount products,” said Laura Hall, a start-up company from Scone, New South Wales, who runs Phyllis, her handmade hat business.

Sustainability issues

Small and individual manufacturers are also questioning the sustainability of high-consumption sales holidays, which encourage consumers to make impulse purchases instead of making wise and thoughtful choices in purchasing quality products or products that are about to be landfilled.

Australian companies have expressed their concern that Black Friday undermines the sustainability message established by their brands.

These brands did not participate in the event, claiming that it would promote excessive consumption and promote consumerism to sell unnecessary, unwanted, and cheap goods made from inferior, unsustainable materials at low prices.

It’s not just small businesses that are aware of the sustainability issues of Black Friday. Today, the Swedish multinational IKEA announced the launch of the Green Friday event.

The program will allow Australians to sell unwanted IKEA products back to the company in exchange for the extra value on the IKEA refund card.

IKEA stated that this promotion is part of its positive goals for recycling and climate by 2030. The brand is actively advancing, stating that by 2030, all IKEA products will be reused, repaired, reassembled and recycled by customers.

Anti-Black Friday Movement

In the past few years, the anti-Black Friday campaign has become more and more popular. With growing concerns about the role of brands in the climate crisis and the impact of excessive consumerism, some advertisers reject retail holidays altogether and ask customers not to spend money on them.

Many shoppers have also accepted the anti-Black Friday message. They return to the local streets and markets to shop, and are increasingly looking for ways to shop locally online.

For Ms. Hall, the impact of the new crown pneumonia is too great to even consider reducing prices. She said that only big brands can benefit from frantic shopping activities.

She said: “In fact, only big brands and multinational companies have the ability to promote Black Friday. For small businesses like us, there is no more fat to cut after the COVID-19.”

read more: Black Friday and beyond: How to prepare for EOY sales

read more: Small rural businesses buy through PayPal and from Bush’s e-commerce platform

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