2013 Black Friday Madness

Well, if you’re like me and are tired of the Christmas season starting in October and certainly not appealed by the endless Black Friday ad invasion, then you’ll be disappointed to know that Black Friday was yet another success with an estimated 22 million shoppers visiting Wal-Mart on Thanksgiving day alone (according to the Wall Street Journal).

An advocate for boycotting Thanksgiving Day shopping, I don’t mind the midnight madness for Friday. It’s kinda thrilling to be there. But its no longer just in person discounts that are getting retailers top marketshare.

The WSJ article noted that Amazon is now a major player in the holiday retail business. Online shoppers accounted for 40% of sales during Black Friday weekend last year. The new threat of online shopping may have been cause for so many retailers including Macy’s to open their doors on Thanksgiving Day to get a jump on rivals this year. Target, Wal-Mart, ToysRUs and others even shared Black Friday deals with virtual shoppers.

For 2013, sales by third-party retailers on Amazon rose 31% on Thursday through noon on Friday, according to ChannelAdvisor. Amazon’s strategy was to keep customers glued to its site by adding new bargains as frequently as every 10 minutes.

Best Buy however, used a three waves of deals to keep shoppers on tap including midnight door busters, online and super in-store bargains, some of which were not revealed until late in Thursday evening.

Other store chains used rolling discounts to keep shoppers lingering and competitors guessing. Wal-Mart started “Manager Specials” on Friday which included unannounced promotions set by individual store managers who received a set budget to spur sales.

Overall, marketers are getting bargain crazy to make up for a loss of annual sales from consumers whose disposable income is dwindling. Regardless if you hit the stores or not, Black Friday will continue to be a spectacle of deals and discount rivalry.

And while I haven’t read the total sales for the weekend yet ($59 billion in sales for 2012 Black Friday weekend)… I’m sure it will set a new standard for next year.


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About promotionalguru

A marketing communications professional helping other marketing professionals, business leaders and marketing students gain a better understanding of trends in advertising and public relations as well as tips for being a successful marketer.

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