Black Friday is an annual phenomenon known for mass consumption, long lines in front of stores, and unprecedented discounts.
Local is the new Black
Black Friday is an annual phenomenon known for mass consumption, long lines in front of stores, and unprecedented discounts. This day, which originated in the United States, has spread throughout the world and is often associated with bargain hunters and crowded shopping centers. However, In Mechelen, local traders have decided to take a different course and shift the focus of Black Friday to local community, sustainability and conviviality.
Wim from Shampion Jeans “This purchasing event is no longer a day, for many it is already a weekend and even a full week. We are moving away from that and offering our customers the same service they are otherwise used to from us. We cannot compete with the prices offered by the large online shops, but they cannot compete with the personal service we offer our customers. All year round, by the way.”
A new approach to Black Friday
Instead of aiming for overwhelming crowds and an emphasis on mass consumption, Mechelen’s merchants have decided to redefine Black Friday. They have organized a local event that is all about strengthening community ties and promoting sustainable shopping.
You may wonder why they do that? Isn’t it commercially more interesting to surf on this concept? The traders of Mechelen thought differently. It is a challenging time to be an entrepreneur. If you also have to offer discounts as an entrepreneur for a variety of reasons, there is little commercial margin left.
In Mechelen, there has also been a feeling for some time that if we continue to surf on these new concepts, the strength of the local network of traders would be lost. It is precisely these locally anchored and unique concepts that make our shopping streets lively and pleasant. To monitor this and strengthen them for the future, a conscious choice was made not to follow this new tradition, but to work on a locally anchored initiative for Mechelen. There is great gratitude that many entrepreneurs are joining this local initiative.
Julie from Juwelen Maes “We hear from our fellow competitors that they should follow suit with Black Friday discounts due to their location, because all their neighbors do the same. We do not sell temporary collections and offering discounts is therefore not an obvious choice for us. We are happy that we can put forward our greatest asset in Mechelen, together with other local entrepreneurs: conviviality, quality and personal service. During Local Friday with a snack and drink.”
During Local Friday, the shops will be open until 8pm in the city center so that everyone has the chance to enjoy a nice evening of shopping during this shopping event. You will not be overloaded with discounts or mass benefits, but you will enjoy the atmosphere and conviviality at your local trader.
Local is key
One of the most important features of Mechelen Local Friday is the emphasis on local products and shops. Instead of competing with big chains and online retailers, merchants want to draw attention to the unique products and services they have to offer. They do this by organizing fun promotions and offering minimal discounts on all products that have a color other than black, promoting their own and/or Belgian brands or pampering their customers extra that day with a gift. This not only emphasizes the local economy, but also encourages locals to strengthen ties with their community.
It is also those local entrepreneurs who help create an attractive shopping center. Not only during Local Friday, but throughout the winter period. Beautiful Christmas trees on every street corner, beautifully atmospheric street lighting, Christmas carrols in the background, cozy shop windows,… Atmosphere and conviviality that is carried by them. These entrepreneurs also make their mark in this way and contribute to a beautiful mix between life and experience in the city center.
Eva from Goldfish “We don’t run Black Friday campaigns, but we don’t run anti-Black Friday campaigns either. For us, Local Friday is the official kick-off of the gift season, which we do together with our customers in a cozy setting.”