Black Friday in Flanders: “Hopefully we will see you in a few years time the same scenes as in the U.S.”

After Great Britain and China yield now to Flanders for the hype around Black Friday, the most popular shoppingevent of the year in America.

Chaotic situations during Black Friday © Reuters

On the last Friday of november, the day after Thanksgiving, celebrate Americans traditionally Black Friday, the start of the christmas shopping marks. Several stores offer massive discounts, and many consumers are trying desperately to get something on the header to tap it. And that you may be taken literally, because it’s often heavy-handed, which invariably pretty chaotic and also a bit hilarious – scenes. There play several Us stores such as Walmart, but all the love in through their doors in the early hours of the morning to open the first kooplustigen to welcome.


Black Friday is a completely new phenomenon in Flanders

The phenomenon is steadily gaining also the rest of the world, such as China and Great Britain. As gifts the past few years, the shops of Dixons and Asda, a subsidiary of the American giant Walmart, big discounts. Also the British part of had all special offers that are only on the last Friday of november were valid. “In Western Europe, also in Flanders – it is a totally new phenomenon,” says trendwatcher Herman Konings. “But Black Friday gets more and more attention in the media by movies of hysterical customers in America, making it more familiar.”


In Flanders, there were up to now only small – a mostly online actions. Different shops, such as FNAC, offered all discounts on the website. But Friday, the 27th of november is a special edition, because it then becomes the phenomenon for the first time, a comprehensive ‘celebrated’ in a physical store in Maasmechelen Village. “On some of the online platforms was already taken into account with Black Friday, but we are a real trendsetter,” says David Stores, spokesman of Maasmechelen Village.

Visitors can find themselves 5 hours long, from 16 to 21 o’clock in the evening ‘let off steam’ and to their heart’s content big brands supposedly small prizes shopping. “We want the phenomenon and claim to be the first to to do something with that”, says Shops.

Shops regularly organizes new actions, and now wants to also on the bandwagon of Black Friday jumping. According to him, that is a very conscious choice that an organization can make. “We want the whole year to extract unique shoppingevents and search therefore continuously looking for new things to make the customers to be able to continue to surprise.”

Extra security

According to Stores, we will no chaotic scenarios such as in America get to see. “I would actually want that extra security and security need! But I think we realistically need to continue,” he says. “It’s still the first time that our consumers are effectively faced with the phenomenon. I hope that this story within a few years, the fixed value will have proven and that we are indeed the same scene will look like in America.” Also according to King, we should still not expect fighting. “In America, you can almost speak of a mass hysteria. I see that at us do not happen quickly.”


In America is there really mass hysteria

But the term Black Friday dates back to 1966, so how is it then that this hype is only now entrance to in Flanders? The king sees an explanation in the fact that, so far, only online discounts were offered. “And there we walk a little bit behind. Online shopping is particularly in our neighbouring countries are already popular because they have longer distances to travel to the store,” he says. “In Flanders you can within a radius of a limited number of miles of all the shopping you need.”

Herman Konings

In addition, the King, believe that the law here also a role. “We know other laws regarding the period of bargains, there are definitely limitations with respect to the discount policy of specific products for the christmas season. In America, that is not the case.”

Shops think that there is only one explanation possible for the fact that Black Friday now, for the first time in a physical store is organized. “We have in Europe no such thing as Thanksgiving and those two hang out together. It is no more and no less than that. It is for many American families, even more important than Christmas, so I can imagine that the socio-economic impact is very big.”


The future of the phenomenon is, however, not sure. More and more customers in America ordering their purchases online, because why would you have to ‘fight’ if you are in your comfortable chair to order? In addition, many retail chains are already on the Thanksgiving holiday itself by offering hefty discounts, which, in the opinion of Black “Friday” yet what is lost. Yet it is Stores convinced that Black Friday, like Halloween, a fixed value can be in Flanders. “Things can change, of course, yet to come. Just as with Halloween, I think there is a market for it. And let’s be clear: the consumer may sometimes be spoiled.”


The flemish are completely different than the sometimes koopzieke Americans

The king, unsure if there was a future in Flanders. “I have a double feeling about it. The last years there has been a lot added, such as Sunday shopping which is more important. Black Friday would be even too much can,” he says. “On the other hand, you see that more and more people are willing to participate in the so-called ‘rijenvorming’. I’m talking about the number of people who flock to queue at Primark, so why should it not be in Black Friday?”

Another struikelpunt that King’s notice, is the Flemish ‘common sense’, that the shoppingevent be in the way. “Flemish people are quite different than that sometimes koopzieke Americans. If it were dollar signs in their eyes. There is consumption almost an obligation, that is much less the case in Flanders.” That Black Friday within ten years, as popular as Halloween is, according to King, however, not possible.


Also, there are many Americans who are critical of the spectacular actions. According to that counter is Black Friday not at all beneficial for the consumer, but only for the producer. After that horrible Friday in november, bags the prices even more in the run up to Christmas and new year. King: “The financial crisis in 2008, for a counter-movement ensured that protests against the graaicultuur of multinationals. And let Black Friday now just a true day to celebrate, one of those graaicultuur.” In America they came up with the ‘Buy Nothing Day’ on the court, that all the countrymen a call to nothing to buy and the consumptiedrang on Black Friday so to boycott.


The seller can, in this way his collection of extra in the picture put

Shops says that there is indeed a lot of benefits to hanging for the producer but also the consumer a good deal can do. According to him, there are only benefits. “The seller can his collection a bit earlier in the picture, put it in an original way and the customers can all of a month before the official christmas season extra bargains.” (MVM)

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