One Minute Past Thanksgiving
It’s the annual ritual. The day after Thanksgiving and crowds of frenzied customers are captured on the local and national news waiting to bust through some retailer’s door as part of the official kickoff for the retailing holiday season.
Last year, according to BIGresearch, 60 million consumers went shopping on Black Friday. That number was eight percent higher than the same day a year earlier.
The competition to capture headlines and outdo the competition on Black Friday seems to become more intense each year. Some retailers looking for a fast start out of the gate aren’t even waiting for Friday, with store hours on Thanksgiving Day itself.
For others, getting an early start on Black Friday is the way to go. That’s why an increasing number of stores and malls are opening for business at midnight.
“Retailers are trying to figure out a way to bring back some luster to Black Friday because it has been a disappointment in recent years,” said Jay McIntosh, director of consumer products for Ernst & Young. “We’ve seen a movement toward [midnight openings] across the country among malls and retailers. Much of retail is about creating an event, and that’s probably what they’re trying to do.”
Michele Rothstein, senior vice president of marketing for Chelsea Property Group, which owns North Georgia Premium Outlets, said, “We’re opening at midnight because of customer demand. We opened at 7 a.m. for years, and shoppers would show up early. Then we opened at 5, and shoppers would show up at 4. They just keep coming earlier and earlier.”
Discussion Questions: How important is Black Friday to retailers? What does a strong opening day and weekend to the holiday season mean for a retailer’s
business during the November to January selling period?