Black Friday is About to Go Away
Kmart upped the ante this week by announcing that they would be open Thanksgiving morning at 6 a.m. this year, thus kicking off “Black Friday” on Thursday, a national holiday. I thought about writing more on this and then I realized I already wrote about it last year and what I wrote last year is coming true this year. If you missed it last year, here is what I wrote:
You heard it here first, “Black Friday” will become a thing of the past within a few years. This day where retailers would see their sales escalate to get them into the “black” is being manipulated by the very people who need it the most…the retailers.
It used to be doors would open at 6 a.m. on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Then it became 5 a.m. to beat the other guy’s opening time. Well, that wasn’t good enough , they had to open at 3 a.m. and before you know it it was midnight madness. OK, it was still Black Friday at midnight. That didn’t last long, as Walmart announced it’s “Black Friday” prices would go into effect at 8 p.m. Thanksgiving night or Thursday.
So now we have evolved into a “Black Thursday”. When is it all going to stop? Before you know it, Black Friday will become a “Black Week” or even “Black November”.
There are two things going on that will bring all this to a screeching halt. One of those things is the workers at these stores. I can guarantee you none of them like having to be there at these crazy hours. As evidence of this, workers at Walmart in Southern California and Seattle walked off the job last week protesting that they were not given a choice as to whether they would work on Thanksgiving and were told to do so with little advance notice. Protests are also planned in Chicago, Dallas, Miami, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Milwaukee, Los Angeles, Minnesota and Washington, D.C.
The second reason is the shoppers, who understand the plight of the employees at these retail outlets, and who have just so much money they will spend at Christmas time. If the store opened at 6am Friday instead of 8am on Thanksgiving Day the shoppers would still go there and spend their money. The time means nothing except to the retailer who is trying to put the dagger in the other retailer. The shoppers will still shop but on their own terms.
There is a third thing to think about and that is “family time” for everyone, including employees and shoppers. Thanksgiving is a time to be with family and friends. Mr Retailer, give us shoppers a break. Family time is more important than standing in line freezing waiting to get in the store. It is time to start thinking about your customers and what they really want. Reasonable shopping hours would be a good start. Sam Walton, we could use you today. “Black Friday” would never have happened on Thanksgiving Day if Sam were still alive today.
Be careful what you are trying to do before it becomes “Red Friday”. When that day comes you retailers will have no one to blame but yourselves.