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Black Friday: E-commerce Boom in the South, But “Green Friday” Movement Grows

Black Friday is approaching, marking the peak of a November filled with promotions and sales. However, as the e-commerce boom in the South shows a significant increase, attention is also turning towards sustainability with the “Green Friday” movement.

Black Friday: Physical Store vs. Online

The gap between physical stores and online shopping is becoming more apparent, especially in the South, where e-commerce has seen a +30.8% increase in 2022 compared to the previous year. Confimprese calls for the abolition of constraints and taxes, emphasizing the need for equal rules for everyone, regardless of the selling method. Confimprese Palermo’s president, Giovanni Felice, expresses concern, stating: “Let’s abolish all constraints, including taxes and duties.” He highlights that in 2022, the Black Week saw a 197% growth in online commerce, while physical commerce recorded a modest +7.2%.

Sustainability and Black Friday

While Black Friday promises business exceeding 4 billion euros, concern for environmental impact grows. Research reveals that only 12% of Italians seriously consider ecology in their purchases. The Gen Z youth is most attentive, and some stores join “Green Friday,” promoting more conscious shopping. Companies like Città del Sole forgo discounts, supporting certified reforestation projects for each online purchase. Other stores offer discounts only on products with a positive environmental impact. Diva Boutique even organizes a “black” event with videos on sustainability.

Change in Traditional Commerce

Black Friday no longer seems to be a success in in-person commerce as in past years. Many stores in Valle Peligna do not adhere to the American tradition, reflecting a shift in shopping habits and the need to adapt to the new digital era. Cinzia Di Gesualdo, owner of Diva Boutique, explains: “Commerce has changed – we can no longer wait for the customer to come to the store; we must find them at home because at home, with a computer and a phone, they already have a diverse showcase. And consumers are not foolish; they know if the offer is genuine or if it’s a remainder put on sale or a manipulated price.”

Concerns of Italians

Italians show greater concern for the rising cost of living, geopolitical tensions, and climate change compared to other European countries. Planned spending for Black Friday aligns with the previous year, but 31% expect to spend less. According to an Altroconsumo survey, spending between Black Friday and Christmas will decrease by a few percentage points, about 2% fewer purchases. However, the variables of inflation and the Financial Act’s restrictions remain threatening to finances.

Black Friday: Most Anticipated Sectors and Preferred Channels

Clothing is the common choice, with 60% of Italians interested. Generation Z is more likely to take advantage of offers, with an average budget of 185 euros. Electronics and personal care products are equally popular. Consumers prefer online channels, with 56% turning to the internet to find information about discounts. Andrea Petronio, senior partner and head of the Retail practice at Bain & Company in Italy, says: “Online channels are increasingly central for orienting and informing about upcoming discounts; more than two-thirds of customers primarily inform themselves online.”

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