Black Friday will be different this year. Shopping, due to Covid-19, has become freighted with all sorts of extra significance.
Ordinarily, it is no more than a marketing gimmick, in which the unwary are gulled into spending money they don’t have, and as a run-up to the Christmas splurge. Although, one of the unintended consequences in the past has been that instead of having two spending bonanzas with which to close off the year, retailers have found that Black Friday knocks the stuffing out of Christmas shopping.
This year, what used to be a one-day frenzy has developed, like Covid-19, a long tail. Specials have been sprinkled throughout the month because shops do not want a crush of people when it is still important to keep one’s distance. However, even the rush to the shops had become something of the past because many people have found it more amenable to buy online.
And if there’s one thing that lockdown has done, it’s made even Luddites turn to the Internet to do their shopping, accelerating the shift in the nature of shopping habits, with predictable consequences for stores and malls.
But even as lockdown has changed the way people behave, it has bottled up energy which is set to explode, and retail therapy is a handy way to assuage the torridness of 2020, for those who still have something in their wallets.
Spending one’s way out of a depression may not be a wise option under normal conditions, but apart from lifting the mood, it will help all those businesses which have not gone under recover from the privations of lockdown and the unrelenting economic downturn.
No doubt, few will need a second invitation to go shopping when it has the added benefit of doing some social good.