18th November 2016

We’re ignoring Black Friday and here’s why

Americans have invented some spectacular things over the years – the Ferris wheel, the traffic light, the washing machine… They’re things that have changed the world for the better, or at the very least made it easier for us to live our lives.

We believe Black Friday, the day of carnage that marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season, is not one of those things. To date there have been 7 Black Friday deaths and 98 injuries in the US and the UK. People have been shot because of a parking space. Others have been stabbed, pepper sprayed, and trampled over. Police officers have been hospitalised.

no more black friday

Big retailers use Black Friday to blast out one-day offers that create a free for all feeding frenzy, impossible for smaller retailers to match. You may think that’s just tough luck. But we think you’d be disappointed if all your local shops closed for good, and everyone had to shop at huge corporations with names like McComputers’R’Us.

When the Bicycle Co-op first began in 1977, we wanted to run the kind of shops that we’d like to shop in. We manage to do that by stocking the best and most interesting gear we can find, and by employing skilled, qualified staff. As a business, we try and offer value every day of the year. Best of all, we all work together for the benefit of ourselves and our customers, and not so that The Man Upstairs can buy new decking for his yacht. (He doesn’t own a yacht, by the way. The closest Jeremy will ever come to owning a yacht is if he steals one from a Saudi prince.)

seven seas yacht steven spielberg

The Seven Seas yacht, owned by the CEO of fictional megabusiness McComputers’R’Us and worth $200 million.

That’s why we’ve made the decision to heartily ignore Black Friday. Instead, we’re proposing Give Something Back Friday – except Friday isn’t very convenient for most people, so we’re going to do it on Saturday.

On Give Something Back Saturday/Sunday we’re holding workshop demos on roadside bicycle maintenance topics such as puncture repair, chain repair and gear indexing. We recognise that simple bike problems can put people off riding their bikes, and we want to help you get out on your bike as much as possible by showing you how to fix it yourself. It’s just our way of saying “thanks for not pepper spraying us.”

If you’re already confident in your bike fixing abilities, we recommend you get on your bike and go for a nice ride, alone or with friends, on a familiar route or somewhere new. And when you’re done, come round and say hi! We think it beats being trampled over by a guy who wants to get a killer deal on a new microwave.

Let’s make Friday great again.

Love from the Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperative

Black Friday Carnage:

Join us for Give Something Back Saturday/Sunday

We won’t be doing Black Friday this year, and you can read about why above.

Instead, we want to give something back in the form of free basic maintenance demos in our shops this weekend 26th/27th November:

Basic Roadside Maintenance Demo

Puncture Repair

Chain Repair

Gear indexing (tweaking so the gears shift properly)

Will be taking place in the following shops:

Edinburgh Bruntsfield: 2pm Saturday 25th November

Newcastle: 4pm Saturday 25th November

Leeds: 4pm Saturday 25th November

For so many people, having a puncture or gears that have become clunky means that they’re unable to cycle, and they don’t have the knowledge or the confidence to fix it themselves. We want to help everyone get out on their bikes as much as possible, so we’re going to show you how easy it is to do it all yourself. Knowing how to fix a chain or a puncture also means you won’t have to walk the rest of the way home or shell out for a taxi when you’re caught off-guard when out and about.

Just turn up – We look forward to seeing you!

23 comments on “We’re ignoring Black Friday and here’s why

  1. David Innes on

    Sunday for the maintenance demos in Aberdeen?

    The Dons (your MD’s very very favourite football team) will be playing in a cup final 150 miles away.

    Any chance of a re-run sometime for those of us booked to attend the cup final?

    I agree on the idiocy of Black Friday, of course, and am glad to see EBC make a stand.

    • Web Master on

      Oh no! Possibly a spot of bad timing on our part 🙂 We’ll be doing a video stream on our Facebook page at 1pm on Friday, otherwise we plan on doing more of these in the future so stay posted.

  2. Jim on

    Well done! I refuse to buy anything from anyone doing black friday promotions in the uk, It is not relevant to the UK we do do not have a bank holiday on the thursday before so therefore have loads of people having a long weekend. it just jumping on the band wagon, keep it in America not required here

  3. Tom H on

    Couldn’t agree more with your sentiments and reasoning. You forgot to mention the dreaded and dreadful Halloween trick or treat nonsense. I’ll live with Father’s Day! Anyway, inflated prices reduced briefly to almost sensible prices . . . The loss of small shops also means the big retailers can eventually charge what they like – just look at the state of photographic and IT retailing these days.

    • David on

      Samhuinn/Hallowe’en guising (definitely not “trick or treating”) is a perfectly respectable long-standing tradition in Scotland, it probably originally came to the USA in the first place via Scottish settlers!

  4. Steve Bannon on

    Just got your e-mail:

    “There are some American creations that are so awful we can’t quite believe they exist. Like spray-on cheese, say, or Donald Trump”

    I think you mean “Hillary Clinton”.

    • Web Master on

      No, we definitely mean Donald Trump. The list goes: Spray-on-cheese, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Steve “White Supremacist” Bannon, the Kardashians, and Jell-O salad.

  5. Jayson Keable on

    Hopefully, you’ve set a trend. You’ve all definitely won my respect, I’ve never liked the idea of Black Friday, I don’t think that exploiting customers is respectable.

  6. Neslon on

    The Toon are at home with Blackburn on Saturday (3:00 ko), so there’s 52,000 folk (including me) who will miss Karl’s workshop.☹️

  7. Bob Melville on

    You have my vote. This Black Friday thing is just another terrible American invention being foisted on the British public and we are being told that it is consumer driven. “My A**e”, to quote a British comedy institution. Any trader willing to do as you are doing and call a halt to the insidious chipping away at British institutions deserves my, and any sensible person’s, custom. I have been using Edinburgh Bicycle Co-op since it was just a single shop in Edinburgh and I used to pop over from Fife to buy my bits and pieces. I’ve lived in Peterborough, Cambs for over 26 years and still haven’t found a shop quite like EBC. Keep up the good work.

  8. Andrew H on

    What a great thing it is that you do EBC with your Give Something Back day. I agree with your action 100% and admire you for doing this. (I am a little pedantic though and highlight another negative influence from USA in the ‘when you are done…’ phrase. Sorry.) I won’t be in on the Sunday as I have been maintaining my cycles for a number of decades, but I hope it is well-attended. I am so repulsed by the whole Black Friday thing that I now delete every email in my inbox which mentions Black Friday in the subject. Good on you.


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