Black Friday’s shift to “early to buy” comes with challenges

Black Friday’s shift to “early to buy” comes with challenges

Black Friday Shoppers Worry About Economy as Retailers Push Sales

Black Friday is the unofficial kickoff to the holiday shopping season. But after years of over-saturation, retailers are shifting to a new strategy—more of their deals, earlier.

“We have a strategy of doing two different things—shipping the same products on one day and on another,” said Greg Miller, president of Black Friday, a retailer that operates 12 stores nationwide. “Right now, it’s a little bit of both.”

In recent years, shoppers have grown accustomed to big sales throughout the day. Retailers offer lower prices on big-ticket items such as TVs, cars and electronics. But small-ticket items such as toys and gift cards are given off as more of a treat.

Black Friday’s move to make “early to buy” the new norm comes with challenges.

While Black Friday has long been a day that brings out many shoppers, it’s starting to turn into the biggest shopping day of the year.

And retailers are facing a changing holiday environment as an economic recovery is far from complete.

Sales are weak

Miller says the biggest difference he sees between how retailers used to operate and how they are operating now is that Black Friday used to be a very strong day. In his view, that was because they were trying to sell a lot of more expensive items all at once.

“It’s the fact that the economy is still recovering and I feel better the economy is going to recover more and more so the same things as you did 20 years ago are going to come back,” Miller said. “I don’t think it’s going to be as big a difference.”

In fact, sales have been weak for years. The last time sales were so low so early was in 2010, when retailers including Toys R Us, Macy’s and Target were all selling below expectation.

During that time, stores were struggling with inventory and high wages. But for Black Friday, the stores can take advantage of their high demand by offering discounts on the things they know consumers will buy, including small-ticket items.

“That’s what makes the difference,” Miller said. “Right now

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