Behind the Scenes of Black Friday


Rachel Kamita

Black Friday is coming are you ready?

By Rachel Kamita, Staff Writter

Black Friday is one of the best and worst retail days of the year. Yes, people can get great deals for the Christmas season, but stores have to deal with the early hours, crazy customers, and chaos. Black Friday used to start the day after Thanksgiving, but now it starts the night of. This begins the chaos that is the Christmas shopping season.

Many people plan their Thanksgiving gatherings around their Black Friday shopping schedules, which means finishing dinners early to head out to the malls. Many customers prepare their shopping lists by studying the newspaper inserts, store catalogues, and internet ads. Customers have no idea what goes into preparing for the biggest sale of the year.

Some stores start planning for the big day six to eight months in advance, leading up to the hype of Black Friday. It all starts with looking back on how last year’s Black Friday went like what sold, what price points appealed to the customers, and what did the competition offer for their products. Questions store marketing departments ask would be, “Are stores starting hours earlier? Did stores offer different sales at different time periods throughout Black Friday?” They would then analyze what items were sold and what didn’t sell from this year. From knowing this, stores would start planning the offer that it wants to give customers on their products or maybe create a new product to be sold just for the Black Friday sale. Stores can also take advantage of this time to liquidate slow selling products to make room for newer items.

Advertisements is the next step leading up to the big day. About a month before, stores start to advertise its Black Friday sales using flyers, banners, social media, and word of mouth. Two weeks before, stores start to receive and stock merchandise. Finally the week of Black Friday all marketing should be in place like flyers, signs, and banners up in and around the stores.

With preparations made, the only thing left to do is wait for Friday and hope that everything goes smoothly.

Several years back they (customers) would line up four to five hours ahead, but that was when Waikele used to be one of the few malls which participated in BF (Black Friday),” said Brian Kawakami, director of Stores LeSportsac. “Now that many retailers participate, we usually have a line a hour prior.”

So now, with all the sales that go on before Black Friday starts and online sales that have started, people come later to standing in line. This is because customers have already been buying items online and from stores earlier. But there are still problems that stores face during the sale. First, stores need to find employees to work on Black Friday. Then they have to make sure their employees get to work on time through all the traffic and can find parking. Many stores suffered technical glitches due to heavy traffic on charge card approvals. There are also shoplifters that plague stores taking advantage of the crowds.

So when shopping this Friday, keep in mind how hard the stores have worked to prepare for this day so that shoppers can dabble in amazing discounts. Be nice to the employees because they are trying to make your experience shopping a good one while there are hundreds of people in the store. Have fun and be safe while getting those great deals this year.