Every year since the advent of “Black Friday,” the fated day after Thanksgiving when shoppers become maniacs, plowing down doors at 6 AM for early bird specials, holiday shopping and sales have crept up earlier and earlier. This year, grocery and drugstores set up holiday displays weeks before Halloween. So, what can retailers do now that Black Friday is out of vogue? How have they decided to combat Black Friday sale fatigue before it even happens? Enter the new concept of the “Pre Black Friday Sale.”
Retailers like Walmart, Sports Authority, Abercrombie & Fitch, Kmart, Best Buy, and more have been sending emails with phrases like “Early Black Friday Savings,” “Jump-Start Savings for Black Friday,” and “Why Wait For Black Friday?” These early deals are slated to perform better than the midnight doorbusters and early bird specials in-store. Bill Martin, founder of ShopperTrak, estimates that sales will rise 3.8%, and has predicted this year to bring “the dethroning of Black Friday.” source
According to the National Retail Foundation’s 2014 EHoliday Retailer & Consumer Study from October 2014, 56% of holiday shoppers expect to do at least some holiday shopping online, and 23.8% of smartphone owners plan to make purchases on their mobile device. Additionally, 55% of adults stated that they begin shopping earlier to “avoid traditional crowds,” and 47% said that the “prices/promotions are too good to pass up.” SOURCE
It will be interesting to see if online sales beat in-store deals this Thanksgiving, but for now, retailers need to step up their email and mobile promotions to target customers before Black Friday and Cyber Monday.