What We're Doing On Black Friday
We thought long and hard about Black Friday, it is something which consumers have come to look forward to in expectation of huge discounts.
This is a difficult situation for many small independent retailers, particularly those who offer bespoke or unique items and who work hard all year round not only to bring quality items to their customers but also to bring them at the best price possible.
We can often forget that some of the huge discounts we see large retailers offering are for items that have been for sale for a long time, discontinued end of range products, or obsolete goods whose value has depreciated with the passage of time. For example, that TV which might have been originally sold at £3,000 and appears to be a bargain with a huge £1500 discount, however that item has been replaced by new technology so has depreciated in value anyway.
To be completely honest with you, we don’t have products that we want to shift quickly in great numbers, (we can’t make them that quickly) or that are end of line and therefore don’t have products that can be massively discounted. We design and create completely unique pieces that we are proud of and which are a labour of love and retain a value and to anyone that owns one.
As a business we strive to be as sustainable as we can, and wherever possible use reclaimed wood. This simple strategy locks in years of carbon held within the timber which may otherwise have been released back into the environment if used for burning. All horseshoes used on our products have been reused and no burning is needed for us to clean and restore them. We look for recyclable and environmentally friendly packaging, and even at own home we follow this on by reducing our carbon footprint and avoiding plastic wherever possible. This principled way of setting up a business brings with it either higher costs or lower profit margins since much time is required to clean and restore the basic materials.
Whilst we love a bargain as much as anyone else, many of the items purchased in Black Friday deals are throwaway products which are not built to last and are not always environmentally friendly. Ultimately these will end up as waste in landfill sites. Our products are built to last and are not part of the throwaway culture. We see them as items that can be used and admired in homes for generations to come.
One thing that we are working hard towards is to sell pieces that not only look beautiful and are practical, but also to grow our business so that we may help charities. We currently volunteer for Riding for the Disabled, and we would also very much like to be able to raise money for them alongside other charities.
With these things in mind we had to take a serious look to see how we could retain our values of high quality, environmentalism and helping others, and not lose sight of what Mulberry Tree at Home is about. These ideals define the brand and we know that our customers understand and may want to do their bit too. Our customers are most important to us. We never take them for granted and hope that coming on board with our ideas and values matters more than a huge Black Friday discount.
We do appreciate that everyone likes to save money, and whilst we don’t have the margins to make large discounts, we will use this Black Friday weekend to forgo our profit margins and give customers a 10% discount for themselves and in addition we will make a donation of 10% of the sale price to the Riding for The Disabled charity on all items sold. We hope that this special version of the Black Friday weekend will give everyone cause to reflect on priorities and enable anyone who wanted to own one of our products to buy one at a discount whilst knowing that by doing so, they are also helping us grow our small business into one which can make an environmental difference and help to raise money for a fantastic cause which is close to our hearts.
There are many other wonderful small independent businesses which sell sustainable, high-quality products and some that cannot afford to offer Black Friday discounts. Please consider spending a little time to seek out and support these fledgling businesses which may grow to make a difference in the future. There are sometimes more important considerations than the size of the discount.