What does Black Friday stand for?

The last Friday in November has long since become established as Black Friday in the retail sectors of many European countries — with online and offline special offers, record sales and massive ad campaigns heralding the start of the Christmas shopping season. Commentators take a look at what’s behind the colourful advertising.

Õhtuleht (EE) /

Profit-driven fraud

Black Friday is anything but a day of celebration for consumers, criticises Õhtuleht:

“In reality, Black Friday is a product of greed and is often promoted by large retail chains that are already swimming in excess. ... It is the day when sales multiply. Critics have long realised that the seemingly huge discounts are often faked by prior price increases. That’s why you should use comparison portals to find out beforehand whether this marvellous price wasn’t still the normal price in the summer. Unfortunately, the Christmas holidays are also associated in our subconscious with presents rather than Christmas trees and black pudding.”

El Periódico de Catalunya (ES) /

Buy as if there’s no tomorrow

Many people are just grateful to be distracted from their worries by the bargain hunting, El Periódico de Catalunya surmises:

“The trend has become firmly established in recent years when in fact, due to the pandemic and economic uncertainties, everything pointed to a decline in trade. ... We are not facing yet another crisis of capitalism, after which normality returns. We now have the feeling that we are experiencing the beginning of an uncertain and unpredictable era, a context which invites citizens to consume and live as well as possible in the present moment. A similar phenomenon can be seen in the world of work: fewer and fewer young people are thinking about their medium-term future. Something profound is shaking our societies. But we’ll think about it some other day. Today we buy.”