Monday, December 1, 2008

Black Friday Myths Revisited

The results are in. Here is how my 5 myths about Black Friday stood up to the weekend.

Myth #1 These are the best deals you'll see.

As reported in Market Watch and the LA Times, the deals were all that drove Black Friday business in the big stores. Saturday traffic was way down across the board for these stores, which means what? More deals to come, and probably pretty soon.

Myth #2 This is the busiest day of the year.

The verdict is still out on this one, but just you wait. Not only will the last two Saturdays be the biggest days of the year, but this year they'll be especially big. Why? People aren't using credit cards so they're waiting for cash to come in. People are doing more layaways, which show up in most accounting systems as sales when picked up. People are waiting for better deals. All that adds up to a huge last week. (And we'll be ready.)

Myth #3 This is the day stores become profitable.

Nope, not this year. Too many steep discounts. Too little October/November traffic. One day, no matter how big, can't make up for a couple of slow months that have been reported.

Myth #4 The earlier you open, the better you do.

Ask K-Mart how that's working out for them.

Myth #5 Early hours are worth it.

Just ask the family of the trampled worker in the Long Island Wal-Mart if it was worth it. What a sad, sick story. One more reason why I would never want to open our store early.

Oh yeah, and for the record, how did we do? We opened at our regular time of 9:30am. We did not have any contrived door-buster specials, just our every day values and top-notch selection. Yeah, we offered free coffee, but we do that every year, and I doubt anyone came just for the Maxwell's House Colombian Supreme.

And we set a record for busiest Thanksgiving Weekend ever.

While other stores - the ones that offered early hours and big deals - saw their Saturday business fall off, ours grew stronger all weekend long.

Hmmm... You think maybe there's more to shopping than just big sales? We'll explore that in the next post.

Happy December!

-Phil

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