EDITORIAL: Season to shop requires some thought
Nov 21, 2012 (Menafn - The Telegraph - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --Thanksgiving Thursday, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday -- if you're not already on the shopping tarmac, ready for takeoff, you're probably intending to head back into the hangar for an extended weekend.
All the big merchants are gearing up like never before, taking advantage of an early Turkey Day to trot out savings galore.
Of course, they are hoping once and for all to break out of the financial doldrums that have had many of them locked into uncertainty the last few years.
Some merchants couldn't wait for tradition, bucking it by offering Gray Thursday -- big bargains on the evening before the big shopping day.
The opening times are all over the place: Kmart opens at 6 a.m. Thanksgiving; Toys 'R Us, Walmart, Sears and Target open late Thursday night; Best Buy, Kohl's and Macy's open at 12:01 a.m. Friday; JCPenney follows suit at 6 a.m. Friday.
Love it, hate it, you've got to understand it to appreciate it, this Byzantine approach to marketing. Like moves on a chessboard, the strategy keeps evolving.
Of course, these are some of the same retailers who this year put Christmas goods out the week before Halloween, so early that we wonder why they even bothered to put away last year's.
Many customers plan for all this hubris accordingly. They have a ritual they follow. Get up early, head to the local coffeeshop, line up their circulars and plot their course for take off. The comparison to aviation is appropriate since together the swarming hordes sound much like the reverb on a 747.
But those steeped in tradition must now be questioning their approach. With all the options, do they shop on Wednesday night, Thursday evening, or Friday morning?
We suppose the answer is, it really doesn't matter as long as they do it. The economy of the next six weeks will spell the difference for most retailers who rely so heavily on the holiday season. The rest of the year could almost go for naught if there is a big boom now.
So, we say, let the shopping begin ...
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