MindBullets 20 Years

The last nail in Black Friday’s coffin

Gen Alpha shifts the needle

Yesterday’s madly anticipated Black Friday sale can best be described by the sound of air escaping from a punctured party balloon. With the retailers’ hyped anticipation, 24/7 ads, and an economy showing signs of recovery, many analysts were banking on bumper sales to stave off the slide in retail stock prices.

But alas, Generation Alpha’s tastes have moved away from mass-produced tech and fast fashion. They value strong environmental commitments from their favorite brands; brands that resonate with their values, brands that care! Gaining Gen Alpha’s loyalty is hard, but once hooked, they buy what they want when they want, and don’t mind paying a premium price. Well, at least as long as the brands stay true to their values.

Gen Alpha kids grew up through the Covid-19 crisis, they bore the brunt of the tough economic times that followed and saw how fickle politicians – and brands – didn’t take a firm stand against the wars of the early 2020s. They continued the Millennials’ trend of zero clutter and minimal ownership, realizing how the accumulation of stuff inhibits their flexible lifestyle. Gen Alphas want to travel when they feel like it, move to a new city or country on a whim, work from anywhere, and buy only the items they need; unless they can rent them.

Natural and recycled materials, environmentally friendly production, fair pay for workers, online orders (and same-day delivery, of course), active participation in biodiversity conservation, and real progress in achieving the Paris Agreement’s goals. These are non-negotiable brand values that Gen Alpha demands for their loyalty and dollars.

Black Friday sales peaked in 2020 at US$ 9 billion and have been on a slow decline ever since, but yesterday’s abysmal performance was the last nail in the Black Friday coffin. Retailers are once again stuck with stranded inventory that they need to discount even further to clear, while scrambling to replan and adjust strategies for Cyber Monday. Will we see a similar rout, or will online sales save the day?

Warning: Hazardous thinking at work

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