Black Friday Looms | J@N | 11.24.10

Black Friday Looms | J@N | 11.24.10

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the USA, and following that comes one of the biggest retail shopping days of the entire year, commonly referred to as “Black Friday.” This is the day when retails stores slash their prices and offer insane incentives in hopes of drawing in the throngs of shoppers that choke the malls and storefronts on this crazy, crazy day.

Tonight, we’ll share with you some insight as to how the traditions began, horror stories that’ve cropped up over the years, and wrap up the episode by briefly covering Cyber Monday – the internet’s version of Black Friday – as well as sharing our Wish Lists with everyone, about what we’re hoping to see under Jupiter Broadcasting’s tree (or menorah) this holiday season.

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HISTORY

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Friday_(shopping)

The term “Black Friday” originated in Philadelphia in the 60s.
It was a common phrase among bus and taxi drivers.  It originally had a very negative connotation, as it referred to the state of traffic on this day caused both by shoppers and people returning home after Thanksgiving.

Later, in the early 80s, it began taking on a new more financial-centric meaning.
The concept was that many retail stores operate at a loss for most of the year (in the RED) while they begin pulling in a profit during the holiday shopping season (going into the BLACK), and that this day marked the beginning of that BLACK season.

Time.com: History of Black Friday

HORROR STORIES

In 2008, a Walmart greeter in New York was trampled to death by a mob that shattered the glass front doors and rampaged into the store just minutes before opening.
Also in 2008, two people were shot and killed in California, over a dispute in a Toys R Us.

Gizmodo:  Horror Stories from Black Friday
Mainstreet.com:  Black Friday Violence

General customer service anecdotes:  http://notalwaysright.com/

CYBER MONDAY

In a recent turn of events, a group of major retailers got together in 2005 and declared the Monday following Thanksgiving as “Cyber Monday” and began holding sales accordingly.

The shopping trends were watched, and a large portion of folks would return to work on Monday and continue their shopping online if they did not find what they wanted during Black Friday.

SALE SECRECY

I asked my brother for Black Friday stories, and he said he didn’t have any YET, but he’s working retail this year.  Told me they didn’t even know what was going to go on sale this weekend!  They’re keep it all very secret, even from employees.

Whyyyy?

Apparently the sales are so ridiculous that many retailers are worried that competing stores will come up with bundles/sales/offers that are in direct competition with their offers.
example:  If Best Buy offers a laptop+bag+mouse+warranty for a stupid-low price, and Target finds out about it, they might put together the SAME bundle for $50 less.

Some major retailers have even attempted to use the “take-down system” of the DMCA to stop tip sites from publishing leaked sale details online. Even though this practice is incorrect (since sales are not copyrighted) it has still threatened some sites into shutting down in the past.

WISH LISTS

Jeremy:  http://amzn.com/w/SELCZGJNF3KI
Bryan:  http://amzn.com/w/25QKBBK5DQACM
Chris/Studio: http://amzn.com/w/14FENCL0T6H9L

SHOPPING HELPERS

App can point you to lower prices by scanning barcodes
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/25/technology/personaltech/25smart.html?_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss

Cyber Monday Safety Tips from Better Business Bureau
http://www.wlky.com/news-archives/25910946/detail.html

Newbie Tips for Surviving Black Friday
http://greaterannapolis.patch.com/articles/black-friday-tips-for-a-novice-2

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