Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Why Black Friday?

Due to a technical error I am currently unable to load pictures to my blog. Basically I'm saying that I'm a total idiot when it comes to computers and my tech support (hubby) isn't around, bummer...

I know I seem like I’m on a rant about Black Friday and how it is encroaching upon Thanksgiving, but I’m trying very hard to understand why people go to such extremes to save money. Do we really need that item? Is it fair to all the employees who have to give up their holiday to help you? Do you really save that much money to make camping out in front of a store worth it? While some people can justify this retail holiday, other probably cannot.

I spoke to a young man sitting in front of our local Best Buy. He and two of his buddies are taking turns to be the first in line so they can purchase a TV. They estimate that they will save approximately $500 each on these TVs. So I guess camping out for four days and missing Thanksgiving is worth the $1500 total savings. This begs the question of whether anyone else in line will get a deal anywhere near as good. How many special deals on TVs can Best Buy afford to give out?

Most of the really good deals are limited, so why do people come? It doesn’t make any sense unless you consider these people are like Pavlov’s dog. They are conditioned to think the best deals are only available on Thanksgiving or the day after. Not so, there are many good deals available throughout the month and even throughout the year. This is partially the stores’ fault in that they have also fallen into the trap of Black Friday and can’t get up. Sales are down in many of these stores that are opening earlier because their sales throughout the year are dismal.

Many stores have forgotten that effective marketing is a year round job. A store must draw customers to its front door and once there give them a reason to buy. Stores like Costco are closed on holidays because they have customers all year round. They also charge people a fee for the privilege to shop. This goes against the principals that many of these Black Friday stores are touting. Draw the customer in for frenzied shopping by convincing them only one day is available. Word of advice, give them a reason to shop often and they will come. Tomorrow I will discuss strategies for getting customers to your store.

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