Business Lessons Learned From Black Friday – Part 1
It probably comes as no surprise that U.S. shoppers spent $9.74 billion on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. What does come as a surprise though, is that is a drop of 13.2 percent compared with last year, according to data released the following Saturday by research firm ShopperTrak.
What does this decline show? It appears that more Americans shopped on the Thanksgiving holiday itself, rather than on Black Friday. Thanksgiving Day sales combined with Black Friday sales rose 2.3 percent from last year, to $12.3 billion. The data reflects that Thanksgiving, which along with Christmas was one of two days a year that most stores were closed, is becoming an important day for retailers.
ShopperTrak founder Bill Martin believes that if retailers continue to promote Thanksgiving as the start of the holiday buying season, the holiday will eventually surpass Black Friday in sales. What does this mean for your business? If you are a brick and mortar retail store, should you open your doors on the Thanksgiving holiday? What implications would that have for your employees?
These are questions that many business owners have. Workers’ rights groups and some shoppers across the U.S. actually led small protests this year to decry the way some store employees had to miss holiday meals at home. Another question to think about, is if customers actually prefer to shop on Thanksgiving rather than Black Friday. It could be possible that they do so only because the stores are opening early and they are afraid of missing out on deals, or the stores running out of stock before Black Friday.
Whether or not you decide to be open on Thanksgiving Day in the future or wait until Black Friday, there are lessons to be learned from this past Black Friday. In part 2 of this post, we’ll be looking at what marketing efforts worked best for retailers and businesses this year.
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