CLEVELAND - Black Friday. It's become a tradition but its popularity and character have fallen. We are uncovering the Black Friday Myth and showing what the future holds for the pastime that's past its time.
"We'll be losing money all year but don't worry about it we'll make money over the holidays,” said Dr. Elad Granot about what the strategy of many retailers has been over the years. Dr. Granot is the Dean of the College of Business and Economics at Ashland University. "That's going away because shoppers don't shop like that anymore."
Dr. Granot told us because of the huge demand for products online, even the promise of major doorbusters, of course with limited quantities, on Black Friday isn’t working. “Last year you had 3 million less shoppers going into stores than you did the year before,” said Dr. Granot. “This year the predictions are it's going to be more than last year that will simply stay away from stores."
One of the reasons Black Friday has lost its luster is many companies started offering deals all year round as well as deals in the weeks leading up to Black Friday that mimic the traditional day. "The idea of one specific day is losing any of its meaning and that goes for Cyber Monday as well, by the way…Everyone wants whatever they want at the best possible deal that they can get."
Dr. Granot told us retailers have to understand what's happening with brick and mortar stores. People are using stores as a showroom to try things on, check things out and then buy items online. "The trend is unmistakable,” he said.
So what should you expect from stores that want to attract your business? "What smart retailers are doing and should be doing in the future is provide more things than just the sales. Experience has become a big deal,” explained Dr. Granot. He also pointed out that younger consumers aren't into stuff as much. They’d rather have money for things they want to do. "Memories are created by experiences. So, if you go to a really fancy restaurant courtesy of grandma for Christmas, you'll probably remember that more than the new pair of socks," he told us.
It's all adding up to a wake-up call for businesses. "If they're doing it right, they'll be in the black all year."
Some of the biggest things keeping people from going to Black Friday sales also include crowds, long lines, the weather, and even gas prices. You don't have to jump in the car when you can jump on-line and shop from your couch.