Why Your Black Friday Sale Will #FAIL

Posted by Ad Hustler | Posted in Local Online Advertising | Posted on 25-11-2013

I’ve had it up to here with Black Friday on the local marketing level.  I know you can’t see where “here” is so it’s hard to see where I’ve had it up to but trust me, i’m done with it.

Every business is now trying to get into Black Friday which is understandable.  There is tons and tons of business done on Black Friday so why not get your piece.  There are very few “holidays” soley dedicated to consumerism so it makes sense to take advantage of it if you are a retail business.

The problem is that local businesses, DON’T GET IT!  I’d like to make a comparison.  Just because you get tattooed, buy fancy basketball shorts and wear the best Nike shoes, doesn’t make you a professional basketball player.  It doesn’t even make you an amateur.  It makes you a poser.  You may look the part but you don’t have the goods to back it up.  This is what’s happening on the local level.  Advertisers are spending thousands of dollars to make Black Friday ads in the form of commercials, emails, banners etc etc and they look the part.  It looks like they’re all setup to take advantage of this consumerist extravaganza.  The problem is these companies are posing, or at the very least, they don’t realize WHY the big box retailers are so successful and in not realizing, they FAIL.

Why is it called Black Friday?

Many merchants objected to the use of a negative term to refer to one of the most important shopping days in the year. By the early 1980s, an alternative theory began to be circulated: that retailers traditionally operated at a financial loss for most of the year (January through November) and made their profit during the holiday season, beginning on the day after Thanksgiving. When this would be recorded in the financial records, once-common accounting practices would use red ink to show negative amounts and black ink to show positive amounts. Black Friday, under this theory, is the beginning of the period when retailers would no longer have losses (the red) and instead take in the year’s profits (the black). The earliest known use, which like the 1961 and 1966 examples above presents the “black ink” theory as one of several competing possibilities, was found by Bonnie Taylor-Blake of the American Dialect Society in the November 28, 1981 edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer:

If the day is the year’s biggest for retailers, why is it called Black Friday? Because it is a day retailers make profits – black ink, said Grace McFeeley of Cherry Hill Mall. “I think it came from the media,” said William Timmons of Strawbridge & Clothier. “It’s the employees, we’re the ones who call it Black Friday,” said Belle Stephens of Moorestown Mall. “We work extra hard. It’s a long hard day for the employees.”

The Christmas shopping season is of enormous importance to American retailers and, while most retailers intend to and actually do make profits during every quarter of the year, some retailers are so dependent on the Christmas shopping season that the quarter including Christmas produces all the year’s profits and compensates for losses from other quarters.

Black Friday kicks off the Holiday Shopping season and hence get’s people to start shopping.  In order to do so retailers have loss leaders to draw people to the stores.  Most of the loss leaders are extremely limited but they are LEGIT deals that people would be thrilled to walk away with.

Back to Local.  What i’m seeing is, a lot of these local retailers, like auto dealers, jumping on the bandwagon.  They are spending on Black Friday advertising but they don’t have any legitimate deals that are any more exciting then any other day of the year.  They’re giving away free stuff if you buy a car (oh and by the way working that into the pricing), they’re opening early (uhh ok) and providing “breakfast.”  What they aren’t doing is advertising anything so spectacular that you’ll want to waste your morning there.  Imagine there was a car dealer who really got it and had a schedule like this for Black Friday:

6:00am – Opening.  First 100 people in the door registered for a Free Car Drawing.
7:00am – Free Car Drawing (Where they actually give away a free car or car lease)
7:05am – It’s announced that If you were entered into the Free Car Drawing and Didn’t Win, You Can Buy Certain Cars On The Lot For Dealer Cost. (Hence liquidating unwanted inventory)
8:00am – Anyone working a deal is entered to win something else free.
10:00pm – One Hour Only Deals – You Must Be There To Hear The Deals Announced
etc etc etc

Make this into an event and make offers that are legitimately great.  People aren’t stupid.  They can see through manufactured sales and ehh offers.  Local has the opportunity to snatch up Black Friday dollars but not if they don’t want to be true professionals and offer deals that truly are fantastic.  I’m sure i’ll hear some competing arguments like well, car dealers don’t do big business in the Holiday Season so they can’t have loss leaders the way retailers do.  OK, well if that’s the case then those businesses shouldn’t take part in this.  You need to look at WHY the holiday has been so successful in other industries and port the concepts over.  Otherwise you’re just mimicking and you are setting yourself up for failure.

Ad Hustler | Subscribe To Ad Hustler


  1. I really enjoyed reading this post, Thanks for sharing your Blog with others. You really share valuable information.

  2. […] exactly 1 year ago I wrote the post Why Your Black Friday Sale Will #FAIL and not a darn thing has changed.  Retailers on the the local level are getting even more excited […]

  3. Buenas, gracias por la informacion , me ha sido de gran utilidad, la compartire !!!Besos!!!!.

    Hola, muy bueno el artículo, muy útil, lo compartire.
    Abrazos a todos

    Buenas, gracias por la informacion , me ha sido de gran utilidad,
    la compartire !!!Abrazos!!!!.

    Mil gracias por dar a todos una fantástica posibilidad como para leer
    los comentarios críticos de este weblog.

    Siempre es muy fabuloso y también rellena con un montón de diversión para mí y mis compañeros de oficina
    los trabajadores a visitar el blog más de tres veces a la r
    semana para leer a través de los nuevos consejos que
    has logrado. Y, en verdad, estoy tan con frecuencia satisfechas
    con sus ideas creativas atractivas que sirve.

    Ciertas áreas dos de este artículo son sin duda el más eficiente todo lo que hemos tenido.

    Super-Duper weblog Soy cariñoso !! Volveremos más tarde a leer un tanto más.
    Empleo los feeds También

    Yo sencillamente no podía salir de su sitio
    ya antes de sugerir que me agradó mucho la información habitual una persona dé para sus visitantes?

    Hmm es cualquier otra persona teniendo inconvenientes con las imágenes en este blog carga?
    Trato de descubrir si es un problema en mi final o bien si es el
    Cualquier respuesta sería muy apreciada.

    Como novato, estoy navegando de manera permanente en línea
    para los artículos que me puede asistir. Gracias

    Temas fantásticos en suma, que acaba de ganar un nuevo lector.
    ¿Qué podría sugerir sobre su publican que termina de
    crear un puñado de días en el pasado?

  4. Super-Duper weblog Soy cariñoso !! Volveremos más tarde a leer un tanto más.
    Empleo los feeds También

  5. All these increase male libido and help men maintain an erection. The creators of Bali Mojo boast that this product can boost
    sexual performance for up to four days. Grapefruit
    seed oil has it pros and cons for making homemade soap.

  6. Here is a quick guide to help navigate the almost overwhelming flurry of fashion shows,
    events and parties coming our way. The shows on the catwalk are accompanied by the whole series of events called Laundry Days, which consists of openings of museum and gallery exhibitions, meetings
    and parties. Subcultures have often endured a less
    than agreeable relationship with the mainstream as a result of exploitation and cultural appropriation.

  7. Don’t take too long with your matches, though,
    because the clock is ticking. Little was done by the bank, or the Arlington and Fort Worth
    police when my bank information was stolen and a criminal forged a check
    in my name, called the bank and tried to transfer my hard-earned money into his own accounts.
    Among the wonderful features that this attire has is the
    waist tide back and the strap at the neck which makes it fit perfectly.

  8. What a data of un-ambiguity and preserveness of precious familiarity concerning unpredicted emotions.

  9. Paragraph writing is also a excitement, if you be acquainted with then you can write or else
    it is complex to write.

  10. Woah! I’m really enjoying the template/theme of this website.
    It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s very difficult to
    get that “perfect balance” between usability and visual appeal.
    I must say you’ve done a excellent job with this. In addition,
    the blog loads very quick for me on Safari. Outstanding Blog!

  11. It’s enormous that you are getting thoughts from this post as well as from our
    discussion made here.

  12. Hello to every body, it’s my first pay a visit of this
    website; this blog carries amazing and actually good
    material in favor of readers.

  13. Hello there Your main site starts up really slow if you ask
    me, I don’t know who’s problem is that however ,
    facebook starts really quick. Around the other hand I appreciate you for posting lovely articles.
    Most people who found this site should have found this informative article incredibly useful.
    This is without a doubt incredibly good everything that you have implemented in this article and would like to see
    nice posts from you. Soon after taking a look at your article,
    I’ve book marked your site.

  14. I’ve learn some good stuff here. Certainly price bookmarking for revisiting.
    I wonder how so much effort you set to make this sort of wonderful informative web

  15. For latest news you have to pay a quick visit the web and on world-wide-web
    I found this web page as a best website for newest updates.

  16. whoah this blog is fantastic i love reading
    your posts. Stay up the good work! You already know, many people are hunting around for this information, you could help
    them greatly.

  17. Hi, I believe your website could be having browser compatibility issues.
    Whenever I look at your site in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in IE, it’s got some overlapping issues.
    I merely wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other than that, great site!

Post a comment