Friday, November 16, 2012

A week till black Friday and the (Target) dog is out of the bag…

The ad actually debuted Monday; in a nutshell:
  • Cheap TVs (but good luck getting your hands on the 2 or 3 that are in stock)  
  • Apple products come with gift cards (because heaven forbid they go on sale) 
  • $5 DVDs are now $4 
  •  Scrabble is on sale for $7; Words with Friends is full-price (why we have both to begin with) 
  • And (still) nobody cares about sales on clothing

Are Black Friday ad previews the new normal?

Last year we had to wait until Thanksgiving morning to know who had what on sale when. This time around Target blew the lid off a full 10 days early. Why?

Because it gives shoppers enough time to prioritize without giving competitors enough time to one-up on price.

When it comes to Black Friday, Target knows it’s not all about the price, heck – they make their living everyday under that guise!  No, it’s about the total mix; mass efficiencies gained with one stop.

Promoting the spread a week before game-time gives customers ample opportunity to weigh all variables before deciding whose doorbusters they’re going to bust doors for.

But where do retailers go from here?

Is it only a matter of time before Wal-Mart’s ad is just a single page?

Bring us anyone’s Black Friday ad and we’ll match their price.

It certainly would be easier than trying to build plans around multivariate intra-store pricing plus the likelihood of available stock. Come armed with every competing ad, cart up your hit list, wait two hours in line and you know you’re getting the very best deal available.

So where are you going Black Friday?

Screw hitting the stores early! Armed with the ad in advance, I’m off to stash a few wants in Target’s furniture displays tonight. Expect me to mosey in and collect around noon Friday. ;)

PS: Before we sign off, what’s this, a new start time?!
GAME CHANGER: Open primetime, Thanksgiving night
We're guessing that "IT'S ON!" will light up come 9 pm next Thursday - cute.
We talked last year about the on-going battle of rolling start times – this year Target is kicking Black Friday off 3 hours earlier, starting at 9 pm Thanksgiving. (Will the mounds of turkey dinner even be settled by then?) 

It’s been met with much debate  – accused of encroaching on employees’ time with family. Work/life balance aside, it threatens the very existence of Black Friday. If all the hot-ticket items stocked are likely to be depleted 3-4 hours before midnight Friday, more and more people will cave to peer pressure and get their start before even clearing the Thanksgiving table. 

Will Thanksgiving soon dethrone the BIGGEST shopping day of the year? 

Only time will tell…


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