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If Black Friday makes you think of near-apocalyptic shopping savagery, you’re not alone. In the video above, documentary filmmaker Matt D’Avella tells the story of Black Friday, specifically how we reached a point where the unofficial start of the holiday season is now synonymous with bashing each other over the head with discounted flatscreen TVs.

Explaining that Black Friday as a retail concept didn’t appear until the early ’00s, D’Avella breaks down the strategy behind the sales. Retailers drastically chop prices on a number of key items — usually tech — as a lure and then hope you’ll leave with more items. Paired with strategic ad placement online and free shipping with minimum spends, marketers gauge the social value of certain products and lead with those.

As Target CEO Brian Cornell once put it, the Black Friday fear is of seeing baskets or carts with one item in them. This has led to manic over-consumerism that is now known as the “Target effect.”

Watch the video up top and then let us know what you’ll be fighting over on Black Friday in the comments.

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Staff Writer
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