It’s after Halloween, and that means that the Black Friday advertising machine is already running at full speed. CNN Money reports that retail store traffic over the 4-day weekend following Thanksgiving in 2012 reached a high not seen since 2006, with more than 307 million people shopping in stores on Black Friday. With such a huge crowd of consumers, companies are already gearing up to compete for sales and trying new methods to grab our attention/
Open On Thanksgiving
Sales on the Friday after Thanksgiving have been so good over the last few decades that many companies are hoping to extend the shopping frenzy one more day by opening Thanksgiving night. Rather than waiting until midnight to open, Time reports that retailers J.C. Penney and Macy’s will be opening at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving evening, just about the time that many dinners are wrapping up. Last year, J.C. Penney didn’t open till 6 a.m, a move considered disastrous by many retail experts, and ultimately may have led to the removal of J.C Penney’s CEO. Adding a few hours at the top of the shopping season may seem a little greedy, but retailers will be struggling to stay afloat this year as the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is actually six days shorter than it was in 2012.
Doorbusters No More
Not to be outdone by it’s competitors Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, chose to take several big ticket sale items normally reserved for Black Friday and released them on November 1st. Oregon Live reports that Walmart has released seven deals, including a 42-inch LED TV from JVC for less than $300.
The explosion of Cyber Monday has changed the way retailers do business online and the approach they take to consumers who refuse to take part in the carnage of Black Friday shopping. Amazon.com already has a Cyber Monday splash page welcoming people and teasing details about deals to come. Lenovo is already offering holiday deals and ideas for gifts. The uptick in online sales following Black Friday has lead many retailers to extend deep discount deals for up to a week following the notoriously hectic Friday after Thanksgiving to encourage home shoppers to snatch up the same incredible deals.
Last year, retailers saw an interesting phenomenon develop. The biggest surge on Black Friday in 2012 came from mobile users, who made up more than 16 percent of all sales, according to TechCrunch. This year Macy’s is incorporating mobile apps as a keystone in its plans for shoppers, according to Mobile Commerce Daily. The company sees its app as a personal holiday shopping assistant that can help users plan their trip in advance and even navigate the store. With shopping online being so much easier, it’s hard to get customers into the actual brick-and-mortar stores when they know the crowds will be huge and the stress will be high – Macy’s has made the smart move to try and reduce stress and make the in-store shopping experience a little bit closer to the online one. Click here to learn more. Soon, we may see less people screaming and fighting on Black Friday and more people with their heads down looking at their phones.
Connor Cartwright blogs about the retail industry when he is not remodeling his mid-century modern home.