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Description: Even if you are not in the United States you have certainly heard about the Black Friday sales. We have them up in Canada as well though they are not quite as big a deal as are our Boxing Day sales. Things are a bit different this year, to say the least, but predicting how Black Friday and Boxing Day/Week sales will go this year, with Covid issues flying about, could be done on more solid ground if we start by looking at research into shopper behaviors in previous Black Friday sale seasons. So, think up a few hypotheses as to why some people (certainly not all people) might behave badly while ‘participating” in Black Friday sales and then read the article linked below to see what research psychologists have to tell us based on their data.

Source: Retail Rage: Why Black Friday leads shoppers to behave badly, Jaeha Lee, The Conversation.

Date: November 28, 2020

Photo Credit: Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

Article Link:

So, did you know that specific Occupational Health and Safety guidelines had been issues for American Black Friday sale events? That suggests behavior that is certainly fit for Social psychological analysis! Deep discounts on relatively small numbers of items, sleep deprivation, and pre-Covid crowding…what could go wrong? Given that did it surprise you to read that the crowds actually seem to support positive interactions, at least among those who knew what they were getting into when they headed out to the sales? How about the gender differences in tendencies to behave badly when experiencing positive or negative emotions while shopping? Interesting variations. On the retailer side the research suggests that acting to reduce the number of “unpleasant customers” improve the shopping experiences of other shoppers and that of working sales employees. Of course, just how to do that was not discussed in the article. Perhaps more research is needed.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. What factors arise during Black Friday sales that are of interest to social psychological researchers?
  2. What factors increase the possibility that people will behave badly during a Black Friday sale event and how does that vary by shoppers’ gender?
  3. What sorts of thing might retailers do (post-Covid) to reduce negative experiences or events among Black Friday shoppers?

References (Read Further):

Lennon, S. J., Johnson, K. K., & Lee, J. (2011). A perfect storm for consumer misbehavior: Shopping on Black Friday. Clothing and Textiles Research Journal, 29(2), 119-134. Link to Abstract

Lennon, S. J., Lee, J., Kim, M., & Johnson, K. K. (2014). Antecedents of consumer misbehaviour on Black Friday: A social responsibility view. Fashion, Style & Popular Culture, 1(2), 193-212. Link to Abstract

Simpson, L., Taylor, L., O’Rourke, K., & Shaw, K. (2011). An analysis of consumer behavior on Black Friday. American International Journal of Contemporary Research. Link

Dawson, V. C. (2010). Who Is Responsible When You Shop Until You Drop: An Impact on the Use of the Aggressive Marketing Schemes of Black Friday Through Enterprise Liability Concepts. Santa Clara L. Rev., 50, 747. Link

Raymen, T., & Smith, O. (2016). What’s deviance got to do with it? Black Friday sales, violence and hyper-conformity. British Journal of Criminology, 56(2), 389-405. Link

Smith, O., & Raymen, T. (2017). Shopping with violence: Black Friday sales in the British context. Journal of Consumer Culture, 17(3), 677-694. Link

Lennon, S. J., Kim, M., Lee, J., & Johnson, K. K. (2018). Consumer emotions on Black Friday: Antecedents and consequence. Journal of Research for Consumers, (32), 70-109. Link

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