Black Friday Consumption Rituals
Black Friday shopping activities constitute a mass synchronized ritual that is practiced and shared by multiple generations of female family members and close friends. So says this study. Over a two-year period, the authors along with trained research assistants, conducted interviews with experienced female Black Friday shoppers. Several themes emerged: 1. Black Friday is “hunting for women,” said Leisa Reinecke Flynn, professor of marketing and fashion merchandising at the University of Southern Mississippi. “It’s so much like deer hunting it’s hard to tell the two apart.” 2. Crowds and scarcity make it fun As one of the paper’sauthors said, “At certain levels, consumers enjoy arousal and challenges during the shopping process. They enjoy something that’s harder to get, and it makes them feel playful and excited.” Competition creates a sense of enjoyment from the mere process of buying goods. 3. It’s ultimately about togetherness. This is the warm soft belly of Black Friday: it’s ultimately more about relationships than transactions. Shoppers relish the day in part because it allows them to spend time with close friends and family, bonding as they endure serpentine lines, traffic and parking snarls, and the twinkie-defense, heat of the moment bad behavior of their competition.