Why We Say No To Black Friday

Interview with The Mail Online (Business), 23 November 2021.

Click here to read the full published interview.

What does your company do?

Wilde & Harte design and manufacture quintessential shaving accessories, inspired by the grandeur and splendour of iconic houses and palaces in London. Each razor and shaving brush collection is made from stainless steel, polished by hand to an impeccable mirror finish and purchased in a choice of traditional Art Deco designs, or contemporary, modern styles. Wilde & Harte also offer plastic free and vegan friendly shaving solutions. Our beautifully crafted products make perfect gifts for oneself, or as presents for birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas for any special person in your life.

Wilde & Harte products are proudly made in Great Britain.

Do you take part in Black Friday? If not, why not?

No, we do not take part in Black Friday.

Wilde & Harte is a British brand, sourcing manufacturing and other components for our shaving accessories from British businesses only. Black Friday is an American promotion, backed by American based retailers to kick-start the Christmas shopping season just after Thanksgiving. We believe there is no connection between Black Friday and British Christmas shopping traditions.

To bring a Wilde & Harte razor to market involves many highly skilled processes. Starting with precision engineering, then manual expertise in hand polishing, assembly and quality control. Our product prices reflect the time involved bringing high end products to market. To apply an arbitrary discount on our products simply to sell more stock over one heavily promoted weekend, especially when many other brands are doing exactly the same, does not make business sense. Furthermore, many of our razors are manufactured from 100% stainless steel and purchased with a lifetime guarantee, so with no product shelf life, we are not under pressure to sell stock before a particular date, or by the start of a new season.

say no to Black Friday

There is also the environmental impact of Black Friday to consider. Many purchases are unnecessary. How many of us really need that extra television? Or that item of clothing similar to what we already own? Unnecessary purchasing puts additional strain on supply and logistical chains which is compounded when items get returned once the reality of an overspend is realised, causing more strain on couriers and air freight.

Another question to ask ourselves is: Are popular items bought on Black Friday actually cheaper at other times of year? Retail is a very complex and competitive industry. Sales happen every month of the year. If you want to buy a specific product, the chances are you can purchase it discounted during other times of the year.

Finally, there are other ‘Offer’ weekends gaining popularity, especially here in the UK. Searching online for 'Buy British day' and 'Made in UK' day informs when we can buy UK made products at a discount of inclusive of free gifts. If we're looking for an alternative to Black Friday itself, maybe consider Green Friday? This is an initiative to get us to engage in more community based activities instead of shopping.

What can consumers do to help small businesses?

For small business to thrive, there are many things consumers can do to help. For example;

  • Buy direct from the product brands own website. This way, the maximum profit goes to the brand to help with product development and business longevity.
  • Identify a product you need, then research online to see if it's available locally. This may not always be the cheapest price (although you may qualify for free shipping), however, you could ask the local retailer to price match? Purchasing locally reduces your environmental impact, plus you’re more likely to receive better service.
  • Leave positive (or constructive) feedback on the retailers online review platform. Positive feedback is a huge driver in purchase confidence for future customers.
  • If you do have a complaint, contact the business directly first. Don’t create an online storm. Allow the business to satisfy your issue in a swift and professional manner behind the scenes. Then go leave positive feedback.

Are you relying on customers to shop local?

At Wilde & Harte it’s not vital for local sales. Our shaving products are welcomed by customers both here in the UK and overseas. However, we do shop local ourselves. Our manufacturers, polishers and packaging suppliers are all within a ten mile radius of head office.


The Mail Online spoke with Paul Thompson, Director, WILDE & HARTE Ltd.


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