Black Friday Weekend is the Busiest Shopping Days of the Year

Black Friday Weekend kicks off the largest spending season of the year that lasts until the weekend before Christmas. Around 30 percent of annual retail sales occur between Black Friday and Christmas. For some retailers, such as jewelers, it’s even higher at nearly 40 percent.

Last year In total, 137 million people went to stores over the four-day Black Friday weekend and spent $682.0 billion. 154 million consumers shopped online or in-store last year over the 2016 Thanksgiving weekend. But, the most popular shopping day of all was Black Friday, when approximately 114 million and 74% of all Thanksgiving weekend shoppers – visited a store or retail website.

The reason Black Friday Weekend is so popular with shoppers is, of course, the heavy discounts given by retailers. The average in-store discount is 20 percent for the entire week. That discount increases to 37 percent on Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Saturday. In many countries around the world, Black Friday is considered a public holiday in order to encourage people to get out and shop and jump-start the economy for the busy shopping season.  But, how much does this discounting help retailer, how did the trend start and why do they call it Black Friday? Here are some answers.

In the mid-20th century, most people made the majority of their purchases, small and large, through department stores. They sold clothing, cosmetics, jewelry, home goods, appliances, and much more. With a single visit to a department store and a few side trips to specialty retailers. In fact, you could buy almost anything through department stores and the Sears catalog, even pre-fabricated homes.

By traveling to the city, you could take care of your entire holiday shopping list in a single day. If you lived in a rural area, it was a major event coming to a larger city that had large department stores. Big city shopping districts were anchored by department stores. To help lure shoppers in, department stores started sponsoring parades like the famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Their advertisements helped remind people that they should begin their holiday shopping. The idea was, that since they were in town for the parade anyway, why not watch the parade and get your shopping done. In this way, the Thanksgiving day parades came to mark the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season. In order to lure shoppers further, retailers started offering discounts and Black Friday Weekend grew into three days.

How Black Friday Got Its Name

The annual wave of shoppers, parade and sports fans was enough to clog streets and strain local health and safety resources. Police officers, city workers, and retailers would have to work extra-long shifts during this weekend to handle the additional populations and the problems that came with them. Crowds, crimes, shoplifting, and traffic all increased and needed to be managed, creating a law enforcement headache. In other words, this weekend wasn’t a favorite for the public servant and soon the nickname “Black Friday” was born.

The Biggest Benefits for Retailers for Black Friday Weekend

  • Moving excess or slow moving inventory
  • Jump-Starting the Holiday Sales Season
  • Increase Foot Traffic
  • Cash Flow Increases

How to Prepare for Black Friday Weekend

Staffing Considerations

  • Increase Customer Service Staff – to ensure your customers can find what they are looking for
  • Increase Maintenance Staff – to make sure your store stays clean, well stocked and organized during the huge weekend
  • Increase Security – to limit loss due to shoplifting

Marketing Considerations for Black Friday Weekend

Clear Signage – to grab customers attention and clearly direct them

Clearly Marked Discounts

Use Lost Leaders to grab attention

Our Biggest Tip for Black Friday Weekend

Go the Extra Mile to make sure your staff is happy on Black Friday Weekend.

Taking care of your staff during the demanding Black Friday Weekend can help ensure a successful weekend and increase sales. If your staff doesn’t feel overly stressed, short-handed or overwhelmed, they’ll give better customer service that can lead to better sales. If they’re feeling appreciated with appropriate overtime pay and sales incentives, their good attitude and friendly customer service can mean more revenue for you, the retailer.

Ensuring consistency across digital, mobile, social, and in-store efforts is key to cultivating excellent customer experiences. It would be a huge mistake for retailers to show up unprepared. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are just the beginning of a long, potentially lucrative holiday shopping season. But solid sales performance on these days can set the tone for the rest of the year.

Make sure you have prepared, both financially and organizationally, to have the best Black Friday Weekend your store has ever seen. If your business needs access to additional capital to make it happen, iBank Corp. can help. Apply for a Line of Credit early to ensure easy access to the capital you need.

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