ROBIN UTRECHT

Retailers close stores to mark Black Friday!

Retail chains Dille & Kamille and Xandres won’t be taking part in this year’s Black Friday.  Instead of offering big discounts ahead of Christmas they will stay shut.  The two chains want to get their customers to think about their behaviour as consumers.

The pre-Christmas sales day ahead of Christmas that arrived here from the US falls on 25 November this year.  Many stores will be offering big discounts, some even all weekend.

Today more and more stores are looking at this event with a critical eye.  So too the Dutch chain Dille & Kamille that sells gear for the home, kitchen and garden and has several outlets in Belgium.

“We were set up in 1974 as a response to the throwaway society.  We’re not to bothered about the discounting, but it’s the ‘more, more, more, I have to have more’-attitude that gets us” says the company’s Hans Geels.

The chain wants to get customers to consider if they really need a new purchase: “Don’t just buy it because it’s cheap.  A discount can never match not buying something!”

Dille & Kamille denies that closing the store and its online shop is a stunt.  “It’s the best Friday of the year for sales” says the company “in the run up to St Nicholas and Christmas. Sensible consumerism is in our DNA”.

Belgian fashion chain Xandres is closing stores and its web shop on 25 November for very much the same reasons. 

“We’re no holier than the pope.  Retail is our business, but there’s no need to agree with the speed and volume in which the fashion world has ended up.  Black Friday is the red-letter day of over consumerism” says sustainability manager Jasmien Wynants.  “We are seduced by discounts and buy things we don’t need, which we wear for a couple of days and then throw away.  As far as clothes are concerned, we don’t always consider the time and the raw materials that went into their production.  Dumping prices ensure there’s no more respect”.

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