It is almost that time of year again, to line up with dozens or hundreds of people at insane hours after a night of shoveling as much turkey, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie in our face as humanly possible, all in the name of getting a bargain. That’s right, Black Friday, the day I deem to be better than all other holidays combined, is just a few weeks away. Black Friday circulars for the major retailers have already started to leak onto the Internet, but for some reason, retailers don’t see this as a good thing.
If you are like me and watch for new Black Friday ads closer than who won what state in the presidential election, you know exactly what I am talking about. Every year, a handful of major retailers such as Walmart, Sears, Office Depot, and others send take-down notices and sue websites who post their ads early. They bully the little guy just so that people don’t see their sales before they want them to, but of course this is often after the ads have been up long enough that countless people have already seen them. This is one of the worst things that these companies can do, especially with the economic problems we have now.
Of course these companies defend this bullying by giving the excuse that other retailers are going to try to match or undercut them to take away their business. This idea is a load of crap and here is why. Most companies who are already pinching every penny, aren’t going to spend the money the time and money it would cost to redesign and reprint their Black Friday ad just to try to steal a handful of customers. Rarely do I even see products that I want on sale at multiple stores, rather less at a big enough price difference that would make another company jealous enough to redo their ad to undercut or match the competition. When you take into account price matching, which most stores do, this excuse becomes completely bunk.
Retailers need to realize that the more time customers have to plan their Black Friday shopping, the better. Especially in bad economic times such as this, the more time customers have to save up and better budget their Black Friday spending, the more likely they are to purchase the big ticket items such as televisions, computers, digital cameras, and game consoles. I typically start my Black Friday planning at the beginning of November or ads start to surface, whichever comes first. By the time Black Friday arrives, not only have I figured out what I am going to get, I have the money saved up to do it and have my attack plan made (Figuring out what stores open when so I can get there early enough to get the bargains while not losing out on other bargains at other stores. This occasionally involves multiple people). With unemployment the highest it has been in years and the economy in the tank, it would be better for everybody if the ads were released as soon as possible so that consumers can save up and adjust their budget accordingly to get the items they need or just really want.
There is a major disconnect between the retailers and the consumer. Until retailers such as Walmart understand this disconnect and change their attitude about this issue, they will fail to reach their potential sales figures. Contact the major retailers and voice your opinion! If enough people comment, they might just change their ways to the benefit of everyone.