Black Friday: It’s Not about the Sales

Black Friday: It’s Not about the Sales

Well, not just about the sales, that is. For several years, maybe more than a decade, the significance of sales on that specific day have been declining. Today it’s about that whole week and even the days before, spreading into Cyber Monday. The entire period of time is significant to the retailer for generating revenue and significant to the customer for getting deals on gifts and other items, not just the one day after Thanksgiving.

People know that most everything on sale for Black Friday is on sale beforehand and after for Cyber Monday. And yet, people still turn out en masse for that Friday shopping event.

Reports vary, but it looks like about 154 million people in the US got up out of bed and into stores on the day after Thanksgiving and spent a record $9.7 billion dollars that day. Ninety percent of retail sales will be in brick-and-mortar stores and the rest in online sales.

Why Do So Many People Shop on Black Friday?

Why? Why would so many people go to physical stores when they can buy pretty much the same stuff and at the same prices on other days and online?

The secret to Black Friday is the experience and shared community. It’s a wild and crazy thing to do, but 154 million people find it personally worthwhile. There are stories to be had and retold. People go shopping in groups of family and friends. They plan for it days ahead of time and talk about it for days afterward and all the way to Christmas, and then they make plans to do it all again next year.

Black Friday is a social event and not just about getting that handbag or sneakers at 25 percent off.

The First Law of Retail, People First demonstrates the critical importance of community between customers and store associates with lots of personal stories just like Black Friday. That’s one important reason Black Friday remains such a huge social and community experience. The actual financial results and individual savings are almost secondary to that.

Learn more about People First, The First Law of Retail in The Five Laws of Retail. It’s a great gift for anyone on your list who’s connected with a retail business.

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