I'm pretty sure the whole -- "this is the day the stores make a profit" -- thing is bogus. In fact, I seem to remember that the "black" part of the description was there because it was such a stressful, hectic day.
It was bigger for us early in our career. I believe the chainstores have very efficiently siphoned off most of the frenzy. It is also completely unpredictable. The year before last, for instance, was 40% higher than last year -- for no apparent reason.
I doubt the deals are any better now than they will be in a couple of weeks. And I doubt there will be any shortage of buyable merchandise closer to Christmas.
I don't have "Sales" at my store. I don't stray from that during this season. I strive to have as much merchandise as possible, and the more I can maintain regular prices the more stuff I can carry. In fact, I really have even less reason to have "Sales" at this time of year when I'm going to have increased volume anyway.
I try to have good stuff at everyday prices.
I have to be careful to calibrate my inventory correctly. I want more merchandise in the store before this weekend -- but I also have to be aware that there will be a dramatic dropoff in sales after this weekend for about two weeks. Then the final two weeks before Christmas -- Boom.
The last two weeks have become so important, it is kind of scary. I always worry that something catastrophic will happen -- events, weather, something. That the Sheriff of Nottingham will "Cancel Christmas."
There is a week less time this year between Thanksgiving and Christmas, but that week is missing from November, and since I'm already ahead of last year in November -- with two big days left -- apparently it had little effect. In fact, logically, it should make December all that much stronger.
I believe the mild weather has been working in our favor. That and the fact that I really stocked up this year, especially board games and books.
Anyway, we're good. We see an increase, to be sure, but not as much as I read other stores do -- in fact, I think I actually see a slight decrease in traffic from my regulars. What it does do is position me to pay off a heft chunk of my bills and hopefully have some cash in the bank for the long dry spell of the first half of the year.
If I can beat last year at Christmas, I may beat last year altogether, which considering how careful I've been in my buying, will be a real achievement.
Meanwhile, everyone have fun. Buy a book for Christmas.
1 week ago