More of a Gray Friday

America is renowned for its cultural exports, whether they be Hollywood films, rock and roll or noir detwective novels. If it is popular in the US, it seems inevitable that it will reach the rest of the  world, sooner or later.

That goes for the bad as well as the good. Like Black Friday.

The one-day consumer orgy has expanded beyond retailers’ wildest dreams. I had a friend in Canada last week telling me about the great Black Friday deal he had scored on a small appliance. I thought somehow I had missed American Thanksgiving (which was yesterday) but it turns out I hadn’t – the Black Friday sales now start a couple of weeks early.

I’ve been relatively unimpacted by Black Friday this year. Sulzburg has no retail stores to speak of, and I have been so busy recently there’s been no time to read the free newspapers that are delivered to my mailbox, so I don’t know if major German retailers have jumped on the American bandwagon.

True, I have received a fair amount of email from companies I have dealt with in Canada, all offering Black Friday deals. It has been simple just to delete those unread – the shipping costs would negate any savings.

Still, I get the impression that Black Friday will eventually come to Germany in full force, and that consumers here will adopt the American overkill, though it will probably be a few years yet.

What has me convinced is a sign on the street corner. The “local” fitness club, which I had never heard of before, is celebrating “Black Fitness Friday.” My German may not be very good, but shouldn’t that be Schwarzer Fitness Freitag? Obviously this one-day sale is trying to capitalize on all the publicity surrounding the American experience.

I think I’ll pass. I hadn’t heard of the gym before because it is in Staufen, which is a five kilometre walk from home, maybe six depending on which trails you take through the fields. If I were to walk there and back every day I wouldn’t need a fitness club.

It is a sign though of things to come. It may not be Black Friday in Germany today. It may not even be Schwarzer Frfeitag, but I can see it coming.

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