Saturday, November 26, 2005

The Not-So-Horrific "Black Friday"

When I went to work on Friday, I fully expected things to be crazy. I expected people to be everywhere to the point that all my mutlitasking skills would have to be put to use on overdrive. I imagined that it would be difficult to leave the floor for lunch and that the crowds would harass me even as I got ready to leave.

Fortunately for me (and unfortunately for the store, I guess), this was not the case.

Given that it was the infamous "Black Friday," the crowd was pretty slim in the morning. One co-worker told me that it was the slimmest Black Friday he'd seen in his two-plus years working at the store. There were times where I had little to do but tasks. This is not to say that it wasn't busy at times. It seems like quite a few people bought fitness equipment and game tables. Also, I did get to multitask a few times here and there. For the most part, though, it was no worse than a semi-busy Saturday or Sunday.

The best indicator of sales through all the stores overall was the edicts about doorbusters. We had doorbusters (just like damn near every store of any kind) that were supposed to last for about six hours. They were supposed to entice customers with limited time only deeply discounted stuff. However, as the day went on, the time for the doorbusters kept being extended. The ending time went from 11:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. until finally we were told to keep the signs up all day. By the time I left, we had to manually change the prices to the doorbuster deals.

One thing I found interesting about my experience is what I learned about how customers perceive value. Customers (at least our customers) were more concerned with overall value versus price. We had two treadmills on sale as doorbusters. The first one was only $300 (which is very cheap for us considering that our lowest regular price treadmill is about $500) while the second one was around $500. Guess which treadmill sold out before the day was over? The $500 treadmill. Why? Well, the $500 treadmill was originally almost $1000 while the $300 treadmill was originally about $500. The customers who came in noticed that the $500 treadmill was a better value even though it was more expensive and spent accordingly. In fact, in the roughly eight hours I worked, we only sold one of the $300 treadmills.

Overall, I had an interesting experience on Black Friday. Part of me is glad that I didn't have to deal with the craziness that plagued other stores (a local home improvement chain was supposedly packed to the gills). I'm also glad that management actually bought us lunch for this day. However, there is a small part of me that wishes that I could have had the chance to really work hard. Finally, here is one little the time I left work at about 3:00 p.m., the store was actually pretty busy. Did things pick up at night? I will have to find out.

1 comment:

  1. Just came across your blog. I went out shopping yesterday too and it wasn't that bad-but then again, I just went into one store and knew exactly what I wanted. Nice writing style.