Saturday, November 28, 2009

Black Friday results.

I'm writing this on the morning of Black Friday, before I go to work.

I'll update at the end of the day.

My expectations are very low, today. For years now, the big boxes have clamped a lock on this weekend's sales. Downtown Bend gets pretty good foot traffic, but at the same time, for some reason I've never understood, my regulars tend not to think of my store as a Christmas shopping kind of place.

The reason I'm writing this in advance is because this a game of expectations. It can be a real heart breaker if you expect too much of this day. I've learned over the last few years to treat it as a normal day.

Anyway, I'm even for the month, sales vs. costs. Not as good as being ahead, but better than being behind. I'm also currently 10% better on a daily average than I was last year; which considering how slow this month is, shows how dreadful last year was.

So I'm going to just relax and take what comes...

O.K. The day lived down to my expectations. I hit my low projection, which was 50% better than average. To put that in context, I used to almost always at least double average and sometimes triple and quadruple. This year's total wasn't even as good as the preceding Wednesday.

I'm just not willing to blow out my inventory. I'm sticking to my prices. And if that means lower sales, so be it.

The media is trumpeting a better Black Friday.


That may or may not be true. But it doesn't affect how I approach the season. I'd rather have lower sales and a small profit, than higher sales and stray into red.

Personally, I doubt Black Friday was all that great. Asking a retailer how sales are is like asking a real estate agent if you should buy a house. You'll get the answer you deserve.

I've pretty much decided this is going to be a long haul, and the trick will be to stay in the black month after month.

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