Black Friday: Belgium prepares for a surge of consumer spending
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    Black Friday: Belgium prepares for a surge of consumer spending

    In 2018 the event generated a 15% increase in transactions compared to a normal Friday. Credit: Piqsels.

    More than 90% of Belgians have heard of “Black Friday” – a sales promotions day imported from the United States happening this Friday – according to a survey carried out by Dedicated.

    Last year, according to the payments company Worldline’s figures, the event generated a 15% increase in transactions compared to a normal Friday and they were up by 12% when compared to the same event in 2017.

    In 2018, 28% of the people questioned by Dedicated purchased on-line on this promotions day and 22% bought goods in actual shops, the survey, commissioned by Mondial Relay, showed. For 73% of the respondents, Black Friday is first and foremost synonymous with good deals.

    However, the operation has had its critics since crossing the Atlantic in 2016, as much from the ranks of the traders as from the consumers. The Neutral Union for Independents (SNI), which questioned 728 businesses, reports that only 34% of them take part in Black Friday, often unwillingly because they feel obligated to do so.

    Ingenico, a payments solutions company, thinks that Black Friday creates opportunities for local SMEs – on the condition however that they are distinguishable from the big multinationals, for example by placing a proximity communication on the social networks.

    Some companies, participating in the “Green Friday” movement started in France in 2017, have opted for a more radical stance in order to move forward by giving no reductions on the 4th Friday in November. “The Green Friday movement invites citizens to ask themselves about their patterns of consumption and to take some responsibility,” Ressources, the federation of social economy enterprises active in waste reduction, explained. It has this year been coordinating Green Friday in Belgium.

    To those wishing to put their hands in their wallets, the consumer protection association Test-Achats, in any case, recommends thinking before buying, checking prices outside of special offers, comparing offers and looking under labels to spot false reductions.

    The Brussels Times