I recently had the opportunity to interview Pierce Mattie, a PR specialist for retail and consumer goods. Pierce has been monitoring the industry for the past decade and offers up his advice to you, the shopper!
- Is Black Friday the Best time to get deals or will the same or similar deals be offered during the holiday season?
No, the very best day for deals is December 26th however, the inventory is different. In apparel you’ll see an excess of odd sizes that don’t sell well or colors that are not top choice.
- Is there a better chance at shopping your local store on Black Friday for deals compared to online?
Yes, online is typically better the following Monday. Online shopping from a brick and mortar retailer is often changed on Sunday night based on what did not sell well or what inventory needs to be pushed. It’s then on markdown on Monday online.
- What is the better strategy? Shopping alone or with friends?
Always with friends as they will help you search for the best deal and may talk you out of something, not into something. Make sure you stick to your list, you communicate your objectives to your friends in advance and don’t fall to peer pressure.
- Do companies issue coupons during the holidays? Can you contact companies directly for these?
Most manufactures today prefer that you go through a preferred retailer, catalog or wholesale partner. If they are a brand that retails direct to consumers you can easily contact their customer service department who will hopefully share with you their upcoming specials. Most savvy consumers today go direct to: RetailMeNot.com which ironically is mostly from retailers, not manufactures.
- Is there a specific age that companies market to for Black Friday? Toddlers, School Age, Teens?
It depends on the store. General super retailers; Wal-Mart, JC Penny and Target for example markets to new moms and families with infants and toddlers. Niche stores such as Best Buy, Macy’s and Kohl’s are trying to appeal to the tween market. The true teenager does not shop from any of the above.
- What are this year’s must-have toys?
1. Cuponk from Hasbro Games
2. Zubels Dolls at The Company Kids
3. Fast Lane Wild Fire RC from Toys“R”Us
4. Minotaurus from LEGO Systems, Inc.
5. Pillow Pets from Ontel Products Corp.
- Do you expect any toys to be sold out or hard to find this year?
Zoobles, Paper Jamz and Squinkies are being touted this year as the first to sell out.
- What % savings do most people save during Black Friday compared to other shopping days of the season? With sale prices going up and down throughout the season, are people REALLY saving that much money?
Typically retailers have created a 40% savings for the consumer on Friday. However due to the recession and expected flat numbers from last year the average American is expected to spend just a little over six hundred dollars this year. To combat this, retailers are inflating the suggested retail price thus creating a greater appeal to their ‘sale’ price.
5 Black Friday Shopping Tips you should not ignore
Pierce Mattie offers 5 tips that you must use for Black Friday Shopping to get the best deals.
- Do your homework: Before Black Friday, check prices online and in catalogs, sourcing the lowest price for the item that you want. When you hit the pavement on Friday, determine to find that item even cheaper!
- Don’t fall to pressure: Avoid gimmicks like Buy 3 get 1 free at all costs. Do you really need four of that item?
- Stick to your list: Create a shopping list of must-haves for your family members, friends and loved ones
- Keep to your budget: If you only have $500.00 to use this Christmas, stick to that. It’s easy to spend cash when sale prices beckon to you, but keep in mind that there’s a reason for your budget.
- Dress the part: Wear the most comfortable sneakers, sweat pants and tee-shirt possible to navigate streets, stores and around hordes of people. Bring water to stay hydrated and snacks to get through the long lines. And travel light.