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Funeral Services Join Black Friday Hype in Greece

Black Friday Greece
Shoppers in Athens. Credit: Greek Reporter

The business world’s “Black Friday” hype has now begun to engulf consumers in Greece, who are eager to take advantage of the special sales offered annually by retailers.

The Black Friday phenomenon began in the United States, as the day after Thanksgiving gradually became the official first day of shopping for the Christmas season. It received its name from the fact that sales from this one day alone allowed retailers to go “into the black,” or make a profit, for the entire year.

Introduced to Greek consumers in 2015, with mostly electronics stores jumping on the bandwagon, just seven years later, it has turned into an annual event for most retailers in the country.

Coffee bars, souvlaki restaurants, and even a funeral service are now offering discounts on this day, devoted to shopping until you drop.

The funeral home Boukouras, based in the city of Thessaloniki, is continuing its participation on Black Friday for a third year, promising discounts on selected coffins.

This year’s Black Friday market value will reach 120 million euros, with one in five consumers participating with an average spending of 146 euros, the Association of Business and Retail Sales of Greece SELPE said in a consumer survey released on Monday.

Only 6 percent of consumers in Greece say Black Friday offers better discounts

President of SELPE Antonis Makris stated that “there are enough products, there are plenty of good price offers, and great competition in the market—we are all awaiting consumers to come and take advantage of the offers.”

The survey conducted in the period November 14th to November 16th on a sample of 1,157 consumers, showed that twenty percent of consumers will purchase goods during Black Friday.

The percentage is higher in the twenty-five to thirty-five age group, reaching thirty-two percent, and lower in the above-45 age group (18 percent). It is significant that only six percent of the survey’s consumers said the Black Friday discounts were better than other discount periods, while sixty-one percent disagreed, saying there were no practical differences.

This annual event is a bit overshadowed by the notorious use of hyperbole with which Greek retailers and businessmen usually conduct their affairs.

Greek retailers now use the event as an excuse to get rid of older models, dropping their prices by an average of twenty to thirty percent.

This is almost identical to the rate offered by online retailers all through the year— particularly in the electronics sector. To be fair, burdened by a crisis-driven drop in profits, most retailers in Greece are justifiably desperate for a break even via hyped-up Black Friday sales.

Nevertheless, with zero background in this annual event and no established rules concerning sales, all the Black Friday-related media promotion and frenzy in Greece can appear to be a bit misleading to say the least.

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