Monday, December 1, 2008

Ghosts of Christmas Pasts

Years ago, the common meaning of Black Friday was it was a swarming, difficult, exciting day to shop. Where this new interpretation that it's when stores start going into the profitable 'black' came from, I have no idea. (God Help Them if it's true.)

We small retailers used to be part of Black Friday, but nowadays, not so much. It's been taken over by the big retailers; a daring daylight robbery. Big bullies.

The real sales for my store usually come in the second half of the month. Which, as I've said in Christmas pasts, is kind of scary because it really comes down to about 10 days and what happens if there's a blizzard or a terrorist attack or something?

I said going into this season that I thought it may be a last hurrah for the consumer. They'll all buy into the New Obama Change idea, and get sick of all the negative news and put on blinders and just buy.

Maybe.

One thing I don't trust is the stats coming out, especially the early ones. I'm torn as to whether the 'door-buster' sales are total bait and switch scams, and the lower prices offered by retailers are designed in from the very beginning; or whether they are taking a real hit to their profits. I think more the former than the latter.

But I do believe that retailers are selling down their inventory, which becomes cash if not higher profits.

The Bulletin had a survey that was kind of hoot.

Guns. I should be selling guns.

Centwise Sporting Goods: "By Sunday afternoon, the store had only one AR-15 left in stock."

Only in Central Oregon....

Or this quote from fellow downtown retailer, Teague Hatfield of the FootZone:

"But, all in all, I think it was skippy."

Oh, absolutely. It was totally skippy.

Um....what does that mean?

I don't care what it means, I like it.

I'm ready to report my weekend sales.

They were just skippy!

1 comment:

Jeff said...

"the lower prices offered by retailers are designed in from the very beginning"

Yes the big retailers are very tricky. Makes me think of my experience trying to buy socks at JC Penney. They always have big signs saying "50% off". When you look at the original price, it's no surprise that we should get 50% off.

However, it turns out that you have to buy one pair at full price, to get a second pair at 50% off.

By the time I've gone to the trouble of choosing, I go ahead with the deal even if the price isn't so good after all.

I'm sure there are people somewhere who's job is to monitor the effectiveness of these kinds of promotions.