SHREVEPORT, LA (11.24.2014) – Newspaper ads and inserts are awash with Black Friday themed promotions. Black Friday Savings, Black Friday Sale, Black Friday Starts Now, Black Friday Prices Start Now and Black Friday Prices Early appeared in the Shreveport Times Sunday morning, November 23rd.
Internet sites and social media, along with TV and radio ads, are trumpeting Black Friday 24/7 every day. With every advertisement carrying doorbuster loss-leader items where is the profit opportunity? Black Friday is destined to turn the retail world into a sea of RED INK.
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The calendar notes Black Friday 2014 as November 28th. Judging from Pre-Black Friday, Black Friday Previews and other Black Friday themed promotions from Big Box retailers and online retailers Black Friday actually began in early November. No longer are the door-buster loss leaders reserved for the day after Thanksgiving – Black Friday – that traditionally started the Holiday shopping season. The retail world is being driven to “Black November”. With an emphasis on doorbuster marketing November, and the 2014 Holiday Season, could become a see of RED INK for many retailers. No business needs a ‘RED” November and “RED” December to finish 2014.
The majority of consumers in the U.S., and around the world for that matter, have a finite amount of money to send on Holiday gifts and giving. Once the wallet is empty, and the credit cards max’ed, there is no more ability to spend. Just like a well run company, when there is no ‘open to buy’ there are no purchase orders issued. Hence, as Black Friday Mania sucks all of consumer’s available funds, retailers have little opportunity to generate enough profitable sales to overcome the shortfall in profit dollars.
Brick and mortar detailers face an additional challenge as recent articles noted Amazon was set to hire 80,000 seasonal workers this Holiday Season. UPS stated a plan to hire 95,000 seasonal workers. Big Box retailers, with a strong online presence, added thousands of seasonal staffers too. Hiring seasonal workers in these numbers is not good news for “Brick and Mortar” retailers.
Understandably, independent 12volt retailers face many challenges competing with the onslaught of the huge ad budgets and marketing strategies from these giants. Passionate 12volt retailers will focus on marketing their “Brand” and sell full featured, and more profitable, merchandise. The ability to provide expert knowledge and professional installation are trump cards for successful 12volt retailers to play. Creating a high energy in-store atmosphere, with effective and engaging product demonstration, is another tool retailers possess that can seal-the-deal for a profitable Holiday Season – in spite of all the Black Friday noise.
Utilizing social media is a must for specialty 12volt retailers in today’s digital marketplace. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram provide platforms for 12volt retailers to showcase their brand’s position in the marketplace, manufacturer brands, installation capabilities and more. Being known as the go-to-shop for in-vehicle smartphone integration is invaluable.
Small Business Saturday, championed by American Express, falls on the heels of Black Friday. Small Business Saturday, November 29th, is followed closely by Cyber Monday.
The term “Cyber Monday” (created in 2005) refers to the Monday immediately following Black Friday based on a trend that retailers began to recognize in 2003 and 2004. Retailers noticed that many consumers, who were too busy to shop over the Thanksgiving weekend or did not find what they were looking for, shopped for bargains online that Monday from home or work.
Seems like there is no letup… the “Race to Zero” is reaching epidemic proportions.