An article in The Observer last week highlighted how “this Friday, independent retailers across the country will shut down their websites … as part of a renewed drive against the rabid consumerism encouraged by large online sellers offering deals for Black Friday.” In particular, Amazon seem to be the “Prime” target for a retail bashing. Last November a Facebook group was established called Not On Amazon, with the specific aim of allowing independents and artisan businesses to advertise freely their products to others in the group, which now has more than 157,000 members. In other words, stocking, advertising and selling products…a concept of income generation not lost on the strategy team at Amazon, I’d imagine.
Now, anyone who knows me, will tell you I dislike Amazon immensely with its appalling working practices, big-boy tactics and ability to create a kind of algorithmic lethargy i.e. we buy from them cos it’s easy and perceptibly cheaper and we’re lazy.
Like social media platforms, like Spotify, why should actually we bother to THINK for ourselves when ever-accommodating Alexa can do it all for us? She knows what kind of music I like, who I might like to LIKE, that what’s trending right now is such a must-see that if I don’t-see I might never be completely complete…see? Si, si, I do see, but I don’t buy it, Alexa, daaahling.
Rinaldo’s is a staunchly independent, Crowdfunded business which will proudly embrace the notion of giving generous discounts to our amazing customers over the Black Friday weekend, as we did last year and the previous 5 years before that. Some of our customers are returners, some are first time buyers. And we have new and loyal customers who buy from us every day. They support us because our products are fantastic, our ethos sound and because we care. We’ve donated to charities such as child poverty in DR Congo to Endometriosis UK. Black Friday is an opportunity to give a little something back directly to our online customers. And we’re just not embarrassed to embrace this concept.
I realise it’s hard to live in today’s world without commercial compromise. Why is it that an all-in-one media, utility or insurance company offers you the promised land of opportunity and savings, only to walk you through the sandpit of your old primary school when you sign up to that 18-month contract?
We’re all compromised. As dear old Yorkshire cricketer Azeem Rafiq found out when he complained about being the victim of racial discrimination. Those innocuous antisemitic comments he tweeted a little while before being made to sit with his finger on his lips in the dressing room, must’ve slipped his memory. Nobody’s perfect, I guess, but people in glass houses shouldn’t bowl googlies.
On Saturdays I buy The Telegraph for the brilliant cryptic crossword and the pub quiz that I’ve WhatsApp’d to my brother in Australia every week for the past 2 years in a bid to prove that one imbecile sibling is slightly brainier than the other. The rest of the paper is garbage. On Sunday I get The Observer, which irritates me even more with its West London smugness and the deeply unfunny columns of Mitchell and Lee. Does the purchase from my local independent newsagent of two diametrically opposed rags make me a raving Tory or a Trot who thinks he knows a lot? I don’t think so. It’s simply my choice and an itch I just have to scratch, though I know I should leave it well alone.
It seems quite simple to me…if you don’t want to support the likes of Amazon, then just don’t support them. It’s that simple, folks. You don’t have to buy into it. Then again, if independent retailers want to switch off their own life-support for a day in protest, well fine…it’s a free world, brothers and sisters. But we’re powering up for a busy Monday of packing orders and shipping them around the UK. I won’t be wearing my “I Heart Jeff Bezos” tee shirt, nor will I be closing the doors of our roastery for a spa day. We’ve got work to crack on with.
So, this Friday through to midnight on Sunday you can enter the code BF21 at check out and get some great savings on a variety of our products as a thank you.
You won’t even have to type “amazon.co.uk” in your browser.