2019-11-27 13:52:031 Oct 2018 01:53 AM EST
Black Friday is important for struggling retailers – especially in an uncertain economy and the ongoing retail apocalypse that’s affected hundreds of stores. However, some experts aren’t convinced that Black Friday is important. This year’s Black Friday is more than the starting point of the holiday shopping season. For retailers, it’s super important for achieving their goals.
Last year, Toys R Us filed for bankruptcy. Sluggish holiday sales cause the company to close its stores. The company announced in September 2017 that it would close all of its U.S. stores amid the holiday rush. There are only less than six shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. However, low unemployment levels and high consumer confidence should get people to shop as soon as possible.
According to the National Retail Federation, retail sales between November and December should grow between 3.8% and 4.2% compared to a year ago, according to CNN Business.
“We’re in a very strong consumer environment,” Cowen analyst Oliver Chen said. “If you’re having difficulties, what does it mean for the future?”
That message is directed to struggling retailers like Kohl’s and Macy’s that have no intentions of closing their doors. While they a healthy cash flow, they’re still in a lot of debt from not being able to finance their businesses. The next few weeks are important for these retail chains to make a successful turnaround. If Macy’s continues to lower its expectations for the holiday season, then it could cause even more store closures to happen, according to Chen.
It’s up to these retailers to go head-to-head with Amazon. Walmart has become offering free next-day delivery on orders over $35 for over 200,000 items. The company also plans to hire more staff throughout its locations across the U.S. Some stores will have mobile checkout scanners that can immediately ring up customers, allowing them to get through the lines.
Both Target and Walmart are offering curbside pickup. It makes it easier for customers to shop via their mobile devices and pick up their packages when appropriate. This could give them an advantage above other competitors. Of course, the biggest power player is Amazon. The retail giant still beats Target and Walmart with its free two-day delivery. Amazon also has the lowest prices when it comes holiday gifts. Amazon has also the most selection of merchandise too.
But according to some experts, Black Friday could spell disaster for some businesses. According to Peter Fader, Frances and Pei-Yuan Chia professor of Marketing, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, the Thanksgiving weekend is a time when customers treat retailers like crap. For retailers are brave enough to take on Black Friday, they should find ways to enhance their customer relationships rather than to just roll out deals.
Retailers shouldn’t just roll out Black Friday deals just to attract shoppers, Fader claims. They also shouldn’t do it just because their competitors are either. Instead, retailers should use Black Friday as an opportunity to reward their customers and improve their customer relationships that matter to them the most. This can align with the retailers’ values and mission. This strategy will allow retailers to stick around in the long run – especially amid the looming retail apocalypse.
Some Syracuse retailers also agree that Black Friday isn’t a big deal. While it’s hard to deny the power of Black Friday, some local Syracuse shops don’t see much of a difference, according to a report from Womply. The business software company analyzed data from over 52,000 local retailers across the U.S. during every day of the 2018 calendar year. The findings were compiled in a report about the current state of local retail.
According to Syracuse retail chains, it’s the No. 54 shopping day of the year when it comes to revenue. Only 28% of retailers are open on Black Friday, according to the Womply survey. Small Business Saturday is even of less important for local retailers, according to the report. It’s the No. 124 shopping day of the year and only 50% of local retailers are open for the day.
Over 165 million shoppers are expected to hit the stores this upcoming holiday weekend. That will include over 114 million on Black Friday alone, according to the National Retail Federation. These impressive numbers reveal that plenty of Central New Yorkers will be out shopping as well. Womply’s report just reveals that local retailers in Syracuse don’t expect much of a surge from this shopping day as retail chains do. Retail chains depend on the success of Black Friday.
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