Beyond Black Friday? A Shift in Thinking

Nov 30, 2016 — Brayden Gervan
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The retail weekend of the year has come and gone, and as usual for the weeks leading up to, the day of and the days following, we as consumers have been inundated with the best deal or the most exclusive deal.Screen Shot 2016-11-30 at 12.42.47 PM.pngThe culture that has been created around the Black Friday weekend has become crazy. Companies are experts at fostering and nurturing the fear of missing out (FOMO) mentality, driving people into a frenzy that has been taken to the extreme. However, some companies have chosen a different route.

On Monday morning, I was discussing the weekend with a colleague and fellow iQmetrix blogger, Tanya Floer, she was telling me she was down in Minot, N.D. to do some Black Friday shopping. She mentioned that the mall didn’t seem busy.

Sounds great right? A quiet shopping center on what should be one of the busiest shopping days of the year. Wrong! She went on to tell me that she felt that she was missing something, that there was somewhere else to be, that she was missing out on a better deal elsewhere. 

Shopper thinking is changing

As a marketer, I get it, exclusivity is an effective marketing tool and as a person who suffers from extreme FOMO, I love finding that best deal. It brings an unparalleled level of satisfaction and I would be a liar if I said I wasn’t surfing the internet, all weekend trying to find it. But the more I looked the harder it was to decide, that best deal was quickly becoming my white whale so to speak. After failing to pull the trigger on multiple “deals” I took a break and saw something on Twitter that got me thinking. It was a tweet from Scott Stratten

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This tweet really struck a chord with me, and kind of snapped me out the frenzy.  It also got me thinking. A few weeks back I wrote about how Black Friday is trending to no longer be the busiest shopping day of the year, so I wanted to look into why this was the case.

What I found is that traditional brick-and-mortar stores are finding it harder and harder to compete with online deals. Furthermore, companies with a social conscience are resonating more and more with consumers. The result appears to be a paradigm shift in how some brands closing shop on Thanksgiving and in some cases the weekend is a way to generate goodwill with consumers.  

A shift towards social responsibility

Major retailers like Costco, DSW, TJX (T.J.Maxx; Marshalls and HomeGoods) and smaller lifestyle brands like REI, and Patagonia closed their doors on Thanksgiving and in some cases Black Friday. Patagonia took it a step further, pledging to give 100% of global in-store and online sales on Nov. 25th to grassroots environmental organizations

One company, Lifestyle over Luxury, even shut down its website for the weekend, further committing to the movement on less consumption and more quality time with family and outside.

I applaud these brands, it’s nice to see brands changing the conversation around Black Friday and shifting the focus away from consumption and back to what matters. 

What else is trending in retail? Explore our retail trends blogs to find out. 

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