While there is a wealth of stories associated with the coined term “Black Friday”, Black Friday first started making big waves in the 70s and the 80s and shops ate up the chance in getting a big spike in their official kickstart to the holiday season, where gift-giving is seen as just as important as gift receiving. In recent years, however, business’s on Black Friday have seen a serious decline from in house foot traffic, with people preferring to sit at home in their comfy pants and browse the web. So should you and your business participate in the Black Friday madness, or should you bow out and wait for the foot traffic to fall the rest of the season? Let’s look at the pros and cons of America’s favorite consumer holiday.
As stated previously, in the last five or so years, sales on Black Friday have plummeted. According to the Wallstreet Journal, Black Friday sales have been falling rapidly every year. In 2018, Black Friday sales declined a whole 9 percent from the previous year in 2017 and that year sales had fallen another 4 percent. Stores have seen less foot traffick every year on Black Friday and seem to be declining more and more. However, don’t let plummeting sales scare you away. As it turns out, Black Friday is still the most lucrative day of the year for storefronts, with the following Saturday being the second biggest, on average. Whether keeping the lights on the day or not is important is up to you, but any business still stands to turn a massive profit on Black Friday, in theory.
Most restaurant workers, coffee shop baristas, and store clerks understand that Black Friday is a day to rally the troops and prepare for battle against the sales hungry consumers. It is, understandably, sort of what you sign up for – especially for the seasonal hires. However, it is understood that while it is an important day for the business itself, it’s not all that important for the employees busting their butts to help the business turn a profit. For the most part, employees see no increase for their own pocketbooks, yet are expected to work twice as hard, and for someone possibly making only 8.25 an hour, it’s silly to expect them to care about your bottom line when they might be dealing with unruly customers all day and well into the night.
We’ve already touched on the fact that sales are dropping steadily on Black Friday, and to try to make up for this, many stores have started opening their doors earlier and earlier, with some opening on Thanksgiving day after six PM to allow their employees their family dinners (or so they say so we consumers don’t feel too guilty keeping them from their families when out making their purchases). At the end of the day, most employees are going to be disgruntled, and that upset may carry on into other days of the year. If you still think Black Friday (and Thanksgiving day) are days worth taking from your employees, try to subsidize it with either higher pay for the day or even gifts and/or plenty of snacks and food to keep them energized and appreciated.
We’ve discussed Cyber Monday before (link to article here) and for good reason! Cyber Monday in the technology age, is the new Black Friday for the consumers. It’s easy to understand why. Not only does no one have to sit outside a tent in negative 20-degree weather in order to get the newest 50-inch tv at a stellar price, but being able to lounge around the following Monday in your pajamas is ultimately the preferred outcome. In 2018, Cyber Monday was the busiest day in the whole weak for the peak part in sales with over 16 million transactions taking place over the course of the day. While Black Friday seems to be going on the decline every year, Cyber Monday seems to have the opposite effect with their sales growing.
Whether you think Black Friday is the best move for your business is up to you. While Black Friday is still the busiest day of the year for storefronts, it is apparent that the internet is stripping away people’s desires to fight in the storefronts. While Black Friday seems to be going out the door, there are still plenty of reasons to participate in Black Friday. Whether you think it’s worth it for your business is up to you.