Of all the foreign traditions we could have imported, we chose perhaps the dumbest, reads the clear message from Kristin Hofstad, Acting CEO of SMB Norway.
Party shopping Black Friday – or Black Week – has gained a strong foothold in Norway. But in recent years, the controversial commercial phenomenon has been met with opposition, protests, boycotts, and widespread criticism of sustainability.
Quietly, many Norwegian companies have taken action and launched alternative responses to the violent shopping hysteria. The Norwegian book service Bookis is one such player.
We are boycotting Black Friday for the third year in a row. We took a stand from the start about not contributing further to the strong buying pressure already in place on Friday, Arne-Morten Willumsen tells Børsen. He is the founder of Bookis, along with Lasse Brurok.
The book service was launched in January 2018. Bookis currently counts around 300,000 Norwegian users by investing heavily in book resale. Willumsen states that the company has experienced solid growth since its inception and has an estimated turnover of NOK 50 million in 2021.
We’ve had a lot of growth, and we’ve had about 200 percent growth over last year. Although we also offer new books, it’s using the books that account for the most sales, he says.
Willumsen believes the growth demonstrates that there is a strong market for recycling solutions – and that heavyweights in the trading industry must wake up.
– It has evolved into a cliched shopping party, where the focus is on “buy, buy, buy” new products. Our overall goal is that the entire e-commerce industry should become more circular, and focus on sustainable solutions, rather than pushing new goods to consumers.
– responsible for the worst
Willumsen points to the entrenched shortage of resources the world is now facing. Ikea is among the commerce giants who Fighting shortages due to the global shipping crisis. together The book industry warns of international paper shortages.
– This only underscores the importance of the fact that we cannot continue as we did.
It’s about making the worst of people responsible. There are many industries that can take responsibility for the handling of merchandise, but they do not choose to use their own channel of distribution for this. We know that change like this takes time, but I hope we can lead by example.
Cut the shit out entirely, Roger Odeh (62) agrees.
He is the general manager of the Alle Tiders souvenir shop in central Oslo. As nearby stores prepare for a massive influx and the smell of burning bank cards on Friday, November 26, Odeh announced a full boycott.
– Those who want to drive with Black Friday, can turn off the lights. With me all prices can withstand full lighting, back jokes, before emphasizing the real point:
Black Friday means that people buy a lot of things they don’t need. Then it ends up in the trash. Norway has become a garbage society, and I don’t want to contribute to that. People should buy what they need.
– Have you considered closing the store completely on the relevant Friday, as some of the other small players do?
– I’m open minded. But I say at the same time – get rid of all the nonsense. Instead, he lowered prices for the poor who could not afford to pay 6,000 kroner for a branded jacket. But don’t use this day to empty the pantry of trash.
According to SMB Norway, small businesses see sales come to a complete halt in the days and weeks leading up to Black Friday itself. Thus, firms also lose their valuable sales.
The situation is particularly critical in the wake of the pandemic – which has hit retail hard.
By the way, Odeh was the incarnation behind last year’s #reddroger campaign, Where the goal was to focus on the difficult epidemiological situation in which the companies located in the city center were.
Odeh confirms to Bursen that he is not opposed to the offers. It’s the buying pressure that Black Friday generates against him.
– I also have offers. Look here, “Buy one for 99 or two for 150,” he says enthusiastically and points to a rack of miniature Viking ships.
Presentations are not the problem. But Black Friday is creating false demand, and that’s the problem, Odeh believes.
Kristin Hofstad of SMB, Norway, believes there is every reason to be warned. She fears dire consequences for small businesses in Norway if development continues.
Black Friday is growing every year and pushing more and more valuable Christmas shopping from small local stores to big chains, she points out.
The biggest players are the big movers of this business party. This is because they have enough power to push retail prices so low that they fall below the purchase price of younger players.
SMB Norway organizes several thousand member companies, most of which have between five and ten employees. Companies span across many industries, with retail being one of the largest.
Our member companies operating in the retail space describe significant and undesirable pressures to participate. Many also experience that sales stop completely in the days and weeks leading up to Black Friday itself, and that it subsequently sharply affects Christmas shopping, which has traditionally been the most important period for shops.
Hofstad also comes with a clear warning:
For us, it’s time to remind you that sooner or later you end up as a consumer getting less choice. It removes diversity, helps move clients and local workplaces away from the city center to larger malls, and that is its grim prospect.
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