Every year, at the end of November, shopping centres all over the world are flooded with sale signs and desperate masses of people for “Black Friday”, the yearly oath to consumerism. The Icelandic Consumers Association contends that maybe those massive discounts are not as generous as they look. The president of the Consumer Association, Breki Karlsson, told Vísir they have been receiving complaints “that stores have been raising prices [before Black Friday] in order to lower them that day.”
The Association noticed the same phenomena last year, with stores slowly raising the prices throughout the month or doing it abruptly on the Thursday before the sales. The false advertisement of reduced prices is illegal, and Breki asks for people to pay attention and come forward. “A retailer must be able to demonstrate that they have sold products at the price it normally says,” he says.
The intensification of the complaints this year is associated with the growth of publicity surrounding Black Friday. In relation to the real benefits of Black Friday, Breki said: “No doubt you can make a good purchase, but people have to ask themselves if they really lack the products they are thinking of buying.”
Black Friday is celebrated in the US on the day after Thanksgiving. And even though no European countries celebrate this holiday, most of them have jumped on the bargain madness wagon. The chaos and violence associated with this day has not been part of the Icelandic tradition.
As a response to Black Friday, the movement “Buy nothing day” was born in 2018 and appeals to people to fight against consumerism. This year, Fridays have become popularised among many as the day for Climate Striking. It so happens that today is no different, with people organising to gather at 12:00 at Austurvöllur for the occasion.
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