Black Friday creeps back towards Halloween

Discussion
Nov 03, 2014

While many are fretting about Black Friday slipping into Thanksgiving Day, a few major chains are drawing it back toward Halloween.

On Friday (Halloween), Walmart put out a press release noting that on Nov. 1 it would be offering deals typically reserved for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. More 20,000 rollbacks on items arrive in groceries and popular brands such as Disney’s "Frozen," Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Samsung, and Dell. On Nov. 3, its 24-hour holiday cyber savings event will take place.

"Helping families deliver an amazing Christmas doesn’t start on Black Friday, it starts now," said Duncan Mac Naughton, chief merchandising officer, Walmart U.S. "As soon as they put away their Halloween costumes, our customers start prepping for Thanksgiving, buying Christmas trees and shopping for gifts. They want the best deals now and we’re here for them today, next week and throughout the season."

[Image: Santa-O-Lantern]

Deals arriving Nov. 3 on Walmart.com include:

  • Sony 48" LED HDTV for $348, was $448
  • Nintendo 2DS Handheld Video Game System for $79, was $129
  • Barbie Dreamhouse for $120, was $148.82 and
  • Nextbook 7.85" tablet with 8GB memory for $49, was $99

A short commercial posted on Walmart’s website and YouTube showcases Christmas’s quick follow from Halloween.

On Oct. 30, Amazon likewise put out a statement declaring Nov. 1 "the official start of the holiday shopping season on Amazon, as the company kicks off Black Friday early with its Countdown to Black Friday Deals Week event."

Amazon will be offering two Deals of the Day every day, from Nov. 1 through Dec. 22. In addition, through Black Friday weekend, Amazon will be offering more than 15,000 "Lightning Deals", including new early access deals for Prime members. Deals in coming weeks include savings of 40 percent or more on select Star Wars toys, Mickey and Minnie, Crayola and Disney Princess toys; $150 off the Canon EOS Rebel T5i DSLR; and discounts of more than 50 percent off Analon cookware sets.

This past weekend’s Sunday circulars included an 80-page "The Great Big Christmas Book" from Toys "R" Us and a 60-page "Wish For" holiday savings book, although neither mentioned Black Friday.

Deal site operators noted that the promised early Black Friday savings from Walmart and Amazon weren’t up to Black Friday’s levels. But they also believed retailers were looking to encourage holiday shopping well before Black Friday, when steep discounts are pervasive.

"Black Friday is not a day anymore," Mark LoCastro of DealNews, an online coupon site, told the New York Post. "Black Friday is a season."

What do you think of retailers promoting Black Friday-type deals at the beginning of November? Is extending the holiday selling period through bigger earlier deals a smart way to preserve holiday margins?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.

Join the Discussion!

13 Comments on "Black Friday creeps back towards Halloween"


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Dr. Stephen Needel
Guest
7 years 6 months ago

Retailers may have to adopt this to remain competitive, but I believe the industry is probably shooting itself in the foot. Bigger, earlier deals are not going to help margins, they will reduce them. They engender some backlash from people who think it’s too early, and they remove the feeding frenzy specialness of Black Friday, which often leads to higher spending. The end of civilization as we know it.

Mel Kleiman
Guest
7 years 6 months ago

The fable goes that looking for more golden eggs, they killed the golden goose. As we all know, no golden eggs were found.

Max Goldberg
Guest
7 years 6 months ago

Christmas deal creep is here to stay. Retailers want consumers to purchase early, and are dangling deals to accomplish that. Let’s see if consumers realize that the current deals are not retailers’ lowest prices, and choose to wait for even deeper discounts.

If consumers wait and prices go lower, this retail strategy will not have worked. If consumers buy now and take these items out of stock, a new trend will have been born.

Gene Hoffman
Guest
Gene Hoffman
7 years 6 months ago

Aggressive and price-competitive retailers feel they have to offer Black Friday-type deals in November so they can start Christmas holiday selling on Labor Day.

Since little light is envisioned in maximizing Halloween and Thanksgiving sales and profits first, they follow the light at the end of the tunnel, which leads downward.

Kai Clarke
Guest
7 years 6 months ago

The earlier and more aggressive, the better. What is there not to like? Everyone wins and our economy grows!

richard freund
Guest
richard freund
7 years 6 months ago

Start Black Friday on the Fourth of July.

Shep Hyken
Guest
7 years 6 months ago
The retailers known for special (almost amazing) promotions on Black Friday are starting to promote on other days—or beginning to promote their holiday bargains earlier. I don’t see the big deal. Back in the 1980s there were stores that started their holiday promotions in September. I remember a special promotion to my clients with a headline that read: “If Retailers Can Promote Holiday Specials in September then So Can I.” It didn’t offend anyone and I picked up an extra booking for my speaking business. As for margins, the savvy retailers know what they are doing. The danger is that the customer will always wait for the next promotion before buying—why buy retail when you just have to wait for the next big sale? Or maybe it’s not a danger at all, but a great plan to get and keep their customers with strong pricing promotions. Finally, I think the point that Mark LoCastro of DealNews makes is insightful and accurate, “Black Friday is not a day any more. Black Friday is a season.” Maybe… Read more »
Naomi K. Shapiro
Guest
Naomi K. Shapiro
7 years 6 months ago

Well I think it is very clever of Walmart to get a jump on the Holiday season. But I envision soon that it will be Black Friday on Good Friday, or Easter Sunday, or, heaven forbid, right after Christmas for the next year’s holidays. What is happening in essence is a free-for-all of “Holiday” sales, training the customers to expect sales at any time and any season—the sales will lose their specialness, but the early bird retailers may get the worms.

Tom Smith
Guest
7 years 6 months ago

Start whenever you want, just don’t open your store on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Give families time to spend together. Everyone will be better off.

W. Frank Dell II, CMC
Guest
7 years 6 months ago

Lower income consumers start shopping for Christmas during the summer. With the average household income declining over the last 6 years, more consumers will need to stretch out Christmas purchasing. While Christmas Club saving accounts have departed the scene, lay away has been making a comeback with a few retailers. So starting on November 1 may only be following what the consumer wants and is doing.

Here is the problem. How do you offer Christmas promotions without store Christmas decorations? Decorating the store in August for Christmas does upset many customers and makes the retailer look greedy.

Ed Rosenbaum
Guest
7 years 6 months ago

It is time to raise the window and shout out—it is time to put a stop to this. Let’s get back on track and respect the calendar, not the almighty dollar.

Gordon Arnold
Guest
7 years 6 months ago

With return policies being what they are, there is little risk for the consumer to partake in the earlier sales. For product that is in demand this will also reduce the risk of sold out disappointments. As for the retailer the returns from customers finding better deals as time goes by will eat away at today’s slimmer margins. Siphoning sales is never a good idea for preempting big sales events and rarely cuts into market share. Accurate forecasting, planning and allocation are what provides the highest profit returns for the peak sales events.

Arie Shpanya
Guest
7 years 6 months ago

Promoting Black Friday deals in November simply makes sense. Getting your deals into shoppers’ heads (and into their shopping carts) sooner rather than later is a great strategy. Shoppers spend 14% more in November, compared to December. That makes November the perfect time to bring in extra profit and revenue before the crunch time of December begins.

wpDiscuz

Take Our Instant Poll

Should retailers ramp up the cadence of promotions in early November to discourage shoppers from waiting for Black Friday discounts?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...