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With Black Friday coming up this week, we discuss how healthy this mad consumer rush really is for our economy. We’re all familiar with the videos of people pushing each other out of the way to get to the products on the shelf. Huge savings on electrical equipment make this one of the areas of biggest spending. Do consumers really need to buy more, or is it just the next step in the ‘halloweenization of everything’?
Polls and surveys of consumer confidence reveal a huge range of results. We take a look at recent studies and question whether they are representative of how financially stable people really feel. Levels of consumption may not be the best measure of our society’s economic health.
Black Friday, Cyber Monday and its equivalents, such as the Chinese ‘Singles Day’, generate huge amounts of money, but where does this money really end up? Many of the jobs generated by online sales in particular are poorly paid, and the huge spikes in demand can just aggravate already bleak working conditions in the places where products are manufactured.
Perhaps it’s time we paid more attention to other ways to enjoy Friday, such as ‘Buy Nothing Day’.
We also talk about how new Apple laptop models have spawned the hashtag #donglelife. And let’s not forget the ‘Apple book’, which might just take the prize for the most overpriced object on the market at the moment.
Links to things we discussed:
- YouGov “UK consumer confidence falls on ‘hard Brexit’ fears“
- Deloitte “The Deloitte Consumer Tracker Q2 2016“
- PwC “Consumers feeling positive ahead of Christmas following Brexit blip“
- Adbusters Buy Nothing Day
- Stephen Colbert “The New Apple Book Delivers Something Truly Extraordinary“