More early color on Black Friday

In hindsight (after Black Friday weekend), the tactics used by most retailers last weekend drove results…if NPD and NRF numbers are to be believed. (We’ll learn more on December 1st when stores report November sales.) In the RetailWire comment below, I express some skepticism:

As I mentioned recently when panelists discussed Macy’s and Target’s midnight openings, I can see most big retailers opening on Thanksgiving Day within five years. But there is a degree of “mutually assured destruction” in the early-opening arms race. The CEO of Best Buy recently commented that he was planning to open at midnight on Black Friday — begrudgingly, and in response to the competition — but was deeply concerned about the effect on store managers’ and associates’ morale.

And the “doorbusters” that have traditionally driven early Black Friday business lose all sense of urgency if they are available all day Thursday in stores and online. We’ll have to see what sort of color is provided along with November comp-sales reports to see whether this tactic works or not.

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