Many businesses boycott Black Friday, here is why

While most shoppers anticipate Black Friday, businesses admit they dread it. Some even choose to boycott it. Here is why they think the biggest shopping event of the year wasn't a good idea after all.

More and more brands think Black Friday was a bad idea, here is why
© Photo by Max Fischer on
More and more brands think Black Friday was a bad idea, here is why

Black Friday is a perfect opportunity to sort out a big chunk of your Christmas shopping, with many people desperate to get the best deals on the market due to the cost of living crisis. But as many smaller businesses are struggling too, Black Friday becomes a real headache. And finance is not the only reason they choose to boycott the big sale event.

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Retailers are under pressure

In a world fuelled by rocketing energy prices, the rising cost of raw materials, packaging, labour, logistics, marketing and inventory, the operating cost pressures for e-commerce and retail are the highest they have been in decades, and discounts are simply too expensive for many companies.

While giants like Amazon, Primark, Marks&Spencer, and others have huge budgets and sell so much that they still make profits during Black Friday, many small businesses are not in a sufficiently strong financial position to offer bargains, or they risk going bust.

Research earlier this year highlighted that one in four brands are just four weeks away from supply chain issues causing ‘crisis point’ issues with cash flow.

Black Friday is the opposite of eco-friendly

Anti-Black Friday activists claim the biggest shopping event of the year promotes mindless consumption, excessive packaging and shipping waste, especially with the rise of online shopping. And they are not wrong.

Last year, UK deliveries from Black Friday sales were estimated to release over 429,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, around 0.12% of the UK’s total annual emissions. Throughout the year, shipping and deliveries of online orders account for up to 4% of the world’s emissions, and the majority of this comes from the Black Friday and Christmas shopping periods.

Large discounts and cheap products convince people to buy items they don’t need, just for the sake of it. Around 80% of items bought on Black Friday are thrown away after a few uses, some without being used at all.

As many small businesses focus on the impact they make on the environment, many choose to boycott Black Friday completely and shut down their stores and web-shops.

Black Friday is different this year

The research found that 41% of UK shoppers and two-thirds of US buyers are ‘depending’ on businesses to discount goods ahead of the festive period to be able to put presents under their trees. It is expected that consumers all over the world are likely to be bargain-hunting more than ever this year.

Around 68% of consumers are waiting for Black Friday weekend to make holiday gift purchases, due to the cost-of-living crisis. Meanwhile, 52% of shoppers in the USA, and 26% in the UK, are seriously worried they won’t be able to afford to celebrate Christmas at all this year.

As people have been spending less lately on non-essential items, Black Friday may be a good opportunity to buy things you wouldn’t usually be able to afford and get a head start on Christmas shopping.

Sources used:

- Retail Technology Innovation Hub: 'Consumers are feeling the pinch, but so are retailers. Can Black Friday even happen this year?'

- Good Energy: 'The environmental impact of Black Friday'

Black Friday: Here's how brands trick us into getting less value for money Black Friday: Here's how brands trick us into getting less value for money