Productive Leaders

Ph.D., CSP, CDR, US Navy Ret.,
CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame

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Black Friday I love Black Friday, the day when retailers’ books go from red to black because of the profits they make on the day after Thanksgiving. It is a dance, of sorts, between the retailers, trying to woo customers into spending as much as possible, and the consumers who are trying to buy products at the lowest possible prices. Thanks to advanced advertisements and internet specials, die-hard Black Friday shoppers comparison pre-shop days before Thanksgiving, and have a plan for exactly where they will be at 4 in the morning on Friday. Some stores opened at midnight Thanksgiving night so that shoppers could shop all night. (This is a little too New Moon for me, but it is very helpful for shift workers.) The frenzy that now comprises the Black Friday shopping madness makes some wonder whether or not the lower prices are worth the lines, crowds, and fatigue. I go out every year because I find it entertaining to watch, and because nothing else is quite like the hunt for a great deal. What I saw were some retailers being smarter about sale items – instead of advertising low priced items in the stores, those items were marked with the same tags as non-sale prices, making it more difficult for the non-prepared to find the loss leaders. This was a good idea on the part of retailers, because customers had to be both smart and motivated to get the great deals. In many cases the great deals were sold out at 6:05 when the store only opened at 6:00 am. Black Friday is a perfect example of pure market competition. Buyers know the prices throughout the selling market, and sellers hope to make up in volume what loss leaders cost them. I saw people with ads from several stores, simultaneously checking print ads with online specials. Buyers were being smart, which delighted me. Stores had plenty of personnel, lots of inventory, and steady sales, who also pleased me. This is how a market is supposed to work: Buyers and Sellers coming together in an exchange of goods and services, at price and quantity equilibriums that satisfy both. According to early numbers, Black Friday was good for both buyers and sellers. That is the way the free market is supposed to work – both sides are supposed to gain and feel as though they benefitted by the transaction. Mary Kelly

1 Comment

  1. Mitch Mitchell

    Great blog!

    USMA ’90


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