What I like about Bruno’s Fine Foods, at least the location close to where I live, is that they put on Internet radio from far away. On this particular day, it was Australia. It seemed really out of place with traffic and weather reports coming through and ads for car dealerships in places I couldn’t recognize. However, one thing struck out at me. They were having a Black Friday sale. Black Friday? Why?
It’s a reason to sell. Here, everyone gets in on it. We’re trained for it. But the sale seem less about the day than about the week or even month proceeding it. At least here, there’ll be Boxing Day (week!) sales that begin even before the holidays start. The sales days smudge into sales week into sales months.
Beyond just time, there’s also clarity in pricing. I can be at the store and check on Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, etc and see how much of a deal that item really is. What could I sell it for on eBay? There’s no informational advantage any longer unless you find a way to separate someone from their phone. It would then be a gameshow spectacle (maybe there’s something to that?).
Then there’s the Yogi Berra-ism, “The future ain’t what it used to be.” There’s no shortage of content, speakers, computers, etc. Devices released over the past 5–10 years are incremental improvements. Maybe once in five years there’s something radically new, but it’s then not subject to price shopping and won’t get the discount treatment on Black Friday.
Maybe the re-invigoration of holiday sales will come from creating unique shopping experiences that offer some value upfront to those who participate. Maybe it’s a bidding war in a place that usually does traditional bricks and mortar? Maybe it’s limited edition items? It can’t just be about price.