“Sir, – Does Ireland have to still mimic everything the Americans do? We now have tiresome “Black Friday” retail promotions everywhere in Ireland.”
A letter in the Irish Times of Friday, 25-November-2016 caught my eye.
The correspondent explained what this “Black Friday” is, by way of her frustration: “The Black Friday retail tradition is, of course, the big day of sale activity on the day after the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States of America, a holiday not recognised in the Republic of Ireland.”
(If you need more information on “Black Friday” then Wikipedia can oblige, alluding to the fact that the term may have religious connotations that might resonate with some Irish Roman Catholics, though at a different time of the year. However, that is news to me.)
It is completely true that “Black Friday” is everywhere in Ireland now, whereas even a couple of years ago it was unheard of.
“Black Friday” in Ireland has nothing to do with religious observance.
It’s a marketing term.
Furthermore, I was in Italy on the day in question, and in Florence (Firenze) this “Black Friday” business was all over the place too. Not a single translation of the term was needed to entice local shoppers.
Thankfully, some sensible translation was sometimes to be seen in Firenze’s Mercato Centrale for example.
So, how could this “Black Friday” phenomenon in Ireland and Italy (and I bet everywhere else) have come about all of a sudden?
I blame the Internet and online shipping. “Black Friday” deals and sales specials are all over the place on Amazon, for example. How this could work across multiple timezones is anyone’s guess, so small wonder the special offers are available all weekend, or sometimes even for the entire week that follows …
And now the bricks and mortar stores have followed their clickable variants.
Another example of Internet-led globalization, I guess. Certainly, online retail knows no borders and doesn’t always need translation, but here on terra firma its influence is sometimes making the world an increasingly homogeneous, even boring, place for the rest of us and sounding the death knell for originality in local branding.
Don’t start me on “Cyber Monday“.
In Irish folklore a bargain bought on a Monday (Margadh an Luain) was regarded as unlucky.