Black Friday vs Buy Nothing Day

For shoppers, “Black Friday” means big deals and the official launch of the holiday shopping season.

Since the concept moved north from the U.S., Canadian retailers have taken advantage of the hype, and so have consumers.

“Traffic would increase probably by about 30 to 40 per cent, just at the start of the season,” says John Gilbert, General Manager of Canadian Tire in Kelowna. “It definitely makes a big difference when you promote things. I think people are ready for seeing things on sale, and people definitely pay attention to a Black Friday.”

But not all retailers are playing along.

Patrick Rosen owns Kelowna Cycle. He’s supporting another movement called “Buy Nothing Day.” It encourages consumers to use one of the busiest shopping days of the year to spend time with family, instead of spending money.

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“What’s important? Your family is important. Your time. Doing something constructive with your time, those are all good things, right?” says Rosen.

To put his money where his mouth is, Patrick Rosen even closed the doors of Kelowna Cycle for the entire day, and gave his staff the day off with pay.