Last week I wrote about the insanity of going out on Thanksgiving Night to shop with an unhealthy dose of tryptophan coursing through one’s veins.
Upon retrospection, my stance hasn’t changed at all and has gotten even more firm. If somebody can point the logic out of starting the shopping season early, I’m all for hearing it, because I’m starting to think I’m in the minority here. I actually stayed home and played board games with company and caught up on people’s lives, but it looks like most of my peers watched some steel doors for a few hours until they parted.
Foolishly, I look at Christmas shopping as a situation of supply and demand. My wallet is the supply feature and the Christmas gifts scribbled out by family and friends is the demand. Whether I start shopping with large pieces of turkey still digesting in my stomach acids or wait a few days doesn’t make my wallet any thicker, so retailers are still pulling from the same pot o’ gold no matter when I grace them with my presence.
Maybe this is what I’m stuck on.
Let’s say the Thursday shopping is a rousing success. You know what that inevitably means? That we will hear news reports that Black Friday wasn’t as strong, or once mid-December rolls around that retailers will need a last-minute push to make their projections. Because people don’t magically stand in the freezing cold and get a wad of cash handed to them. They spend it, then it is gone, and then the presents are wrapped and given out.
My wallet will be empty whether I shop Thanksgiving Thursday, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or a random Tuesday before Christmas.
If I step back and think about why some major retailers are struggling, I have to believe it is because they don’t look at the big picture. They see a quick money grab on Thanksgiving night, but in my eyes, they leave a lot of cash on the table. They get a stampede of people who have been up all day, eating and drinking and they keep them up for hours past when the body is used to. Then they have them stand in long lines, fight with crowds, and finally assault their senses with neon-bright store lights.
Wouldn’t “The Art of Shopping” be a much more pleasing battlefield to traverse if you let these people rest, have them get up at a normal time the next morning and cheerily take their money once the eye gook has been rinsed off in a relaxing shower and the coffee has jump-started the old brain synapses? I’m sure none of these CEOs were farmers, or they’d know the old adage about fattening the pig before slaughter.
And that might be why they aren’t making as much bacon as they want year after year.
Can you hear the wheels turning?
“We make the bleary-eyed zombies stagger out to grab what they’ve come for and then watch them shuffle home to collapse into a bed. What if they were pampered for their efforts? Pay $25 for a soothing foot massage and get the rights to buy that iPad for only $399! What about making Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks the official sponsors of the Best Buy line around the store and offer free sugar and caffeine to all of those ready to burst in and empty their pocketbooks?
“Let’s have a rebranding. So, instead of Black Friday, it is Green Friday!”
They can have us for an entire day instead of a couple dark hours. By the way, I dreamt up this column while sleeping on a fattened stomach and in a tryptophan coma Thursday night, while thousands of others were beating each other up and freezing.
You can reach Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org to increase the supply in his wallet.