Nearly all retail business owners know that Black Friday has become an unofficial National Holiday. Now is the time for Retailers to Start Planning your Black Friday Sale!
One of the principal keys to running a successful retail store any time of year, is knowing when to run an in-store promotion, when to offer a discount and when to host a customer appreciation event. The majority of retailers succeed at moving their overlooked and dated inventory during a huge selling day like Black Friday, but to their surprise, struggle to increase profits. Is this because they are getting just as overly excited about Black Friday as their consumers? Perhaps retailers are falling prey to the spirit of giving too much too early?
Many employers are now enthusiastically giving their employees that day off so they will go out and shop to stimulate the economy. The so-called ‘Black Friday Fanatics’ request time off work months in advance and are in line by midnight on Thursday. Recent studies find that people aren’t even out buying for Holiday gifts, they are out buying for themselves, cashing in on every discount they can. In 2012 & 2013 many stores opened on Thursday night (Thanksgiving) starting at mid-night. This year it has been rumored major retailers such as Kohls and Macys will be open at 4a.m on Thanksgiving Day, offering their employees Holiday pay or time and 1/2 so consumers can spend the entire holiday shopping.
You can always bet your local news anchors will be covering a story of someone getting trampled while pushing to get into a store to grab as many items as possible. Or two people fighting over the last Monster High Doll for $11.99 or Blu-ray player for $39.99. With the Government Shutdown in 2013 and higher health care premiums in 2014 and the Federal Reserve extending low interest rates on home purchases, consumers will be out in full force looking for a bargain. I predict 2014 Black Friday will be the largest attended by shoppers of all income levels since the 2008 recession. But this year people get more time to grab those deals so hopefully the idea of having retailers open for business on Thanksgiving will cut down on the stampedes and personal injury.
The question that many retailers ask is, what is it about Black Friday that makes people go out and shop till they drop…even though they know that the discounts and Holiday sales will last until well into December or even January? Why is this weekend so special? Many business owners still argue that it’s not a ‘make or break’ day for retailers, in fact most retailers won’t come out of the red and into the black that day at all. So why have a sale? The answer is simple. It’s a time when people are out shopping for an experience, customer traffic is up, spending is up and if you aren’t part of the experience, your consumers will fade quickly into the cloud of digital shoppers and won’t remember you when they venture out to embrace the shopping experience.
How to make your store stand out:
- Work with your vendors early to provide outstanding pricing for some of your ‘most wanted’ items, what your customers come to you for. This is not the time to offer up ‘unwanted’ merchandise at ‘cheap’ prices.
- Send a personalized letter, email or flyer to all or select customers to have in their hand the Monday before is key.
- Clean up and change up how your store looks! ‘Specials’ don’t need to be at the front door, but they do need to be presented in a place and manner that is easily accessible.
- Partner with a local Hotel/Motel and offer ½ off room certificate with purchase.
- Partner with a restaurant and hand out coupons to your customers in exchange for the restaurant handing out flyers promoting your sale weeks in advance.
- Give a coupon with a purchase that day for ½ off on another shopping day during the season.
- Offer energy drinks /bars or hot chocolate free of charge for people out early or waiting in line before you open your doors.
- Free gift wrapping (A small thing many retailers have stopped doing- this can be huge for people looking for quality service and nostalgia)
- Hire G.A.Wright to conduct a Holiday Sale for your store to liquidate old inventory and sell it for cash. Fill out form below for FREE brochure.
If you are not already implementing a marketing plan for your Retail Business this holiday season, get one now by calling our office at 303-333-4453 to speak with a Senior Retail Consultant.