Has Black Friday Shopping Changed for the Better?
Black Friday is by far the most celebrated day in the retail industry – the first Friday after Thanksgiving retailers offer substantial sales on all types of products. Consumers win because they get sizable savings, and retailers get a nice boost to their revenue numbers.
In addition to the Friday after Thanksgiving, Black Friday has been a weekend event, with stores offering discounts on the following Saturday and Sunday. However, this year the retail community has upped the ante and turned Black Friday into a week-long savings event. In an even more radical twist, stores have opened their doors on Thanksgiving evening, with a few even opening up Thanksgiving morning.
In addition to more days of savings, stores are now giving away items to reward customers for making a purchase. These items include gift cards and in some cases televisions. For example, The Mattress Factory was giving away flat screen televisions with qualifying purchases, like a Beautyrest mattress or Serta mattress.
The value of the giveaway item typically increases with the amount of the purchase. It is common to see gift cards worth $100 or more with a large enough purchase. In the case of the Mattress Factory, they offered TVs up to 42 inches for customers who purchased higher end mattresses (i.e. Beautyrest Black mattress, iComfort mattress) during the Black Friday event.
While consumers have no problem with discounts or free merchandise, there are many people who object to stores opening up during Thanksgiving – encroaching on the family holiday. However, the true measure of consumer objection will be measured in the final sales tally. If sales during Thanksgiving Day were weaker than hoped; we could return to more traditional store hours next year. If sales were robust however, we can see a repeat of these store hours for years to come.