Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Black Friday 2008: The Ultimate Retail War

“Drastic nature calls for drastic measures” this best describes the condition of American retailers. With gas price rise (though it has come down now) and economic crisis, American retailers are expecting a grim “Black Friday 2008” and they are using every last trick in their books to attract consumers even if it means opening up stores at 12 a.m at midnight. For the past few days, I have been covering on Black Friday and I found out that many large retail chain stores are planning to open up a larger portion of their stores at midnight. For example, The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) will open up its 100 stores from midnight and the rest 100 from 5 a.m. Same goes for KB Toys, Inc., the largest mall-based specialty toy retailer. Out of its 460 stores, 270 will open up from midnight. Atlanta Journal Constitution reports:

Other retailers are giving away door prizes to early shoppers, all in reaction to economic conditions that analysts say will turn the cheery —- and impressionable —- holiday shopper of Christmas past into a steely-eyed bargain hunter.

“This year, consumers are on a budget, and they mean it,” said National Retail Federation spokeswoman Ellen Davis.

Sales predictions range from downright dire to the modestly glum, and retailers are feeling the pressure, said Candace Collett, a principal with WSL Strategic Retail, a consulting firm.

However, keeping the doors open from midnight is not enough. Aggressive advertising, deep discounts, bonus, door buster deals are going to make a lot of difference in the coming holiday season shopping. Already some of the retailers gave away their special price listings such as Michigan based Meijer gave out their list which contains special prices of 400 items. In addition, some retailers are sending out e-mail alerts. For example, Simon Property Group, Inc

(NYSE:SPG) that operates Discover Mills and other malls are sending out e-mail alerts.

Related articles:

Atlanta Journal Constitution