The Black Friday shopping frenzy is no longer just an American thing. In recent years, the tradition of a strong consumption surge on the last Friday of November has spread to several other geographical regions. The corporate expansion of chains such as Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) and e-commerce giants like Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) into markets overseas plays an important in that regard.
For example, a survey by Black Friday Global reveals that Black Friday sales grew more than 376% in the past five years in Argentina. Even though the Latin American country doesn’t celebrate this retail tradition like the USA does, Walmart announced earlier in 2013 that its Argentinian branches would offer the same discounts as they in the U.S.
The reaction to a Black Friday shopping day is not always welcoming however. In Europe, the shopping day was met with protests. Employees at Amazon in Germany organized a strike demanding better pay on one of the hardest working days of the year. Near Paris, climate protesters jammed one of the warehouses to show objection to overproduction, which is a contributing factor to climate change. And certain French lawmakers want to ban Black Friday overall.
“We criticize Amazon for having a destructive policy for the planet, for social conditions, and Black Friday allows this company to achieve exponential revenue,” Sandy Olivar Calvo, a spokeswoman for one of the activist groups, told France’s Le Monde newspaper according to the Washington Post.
The further spread of Black Friday overseas is expected to continue into new territories despite the obstacles that arise from it.