With another holiday season quickly approaching, this is a time of year in which retail management is gearing up for the fast-paced frenzy of the holiday season. Store locations are already beginning to decorate the stores, companies are adding seasonal sales and sales support staff, and retail distribution channels are operating at full capacity to fill the stores with merchandise in preparation for the critical weeks ahead that can make or break the year for many organizations. These traditional happenings mark some of the more predictable retail industry trends that occur on an annual basis.
But the evolution of retailing is also leading to other tendencies that are rapidly changing the way we shop. In one of the most noticeable retail industry trends, much more is being consumed on Thanksgiving than turkey and all the traditional trimmings. The day itself is being devoured by retailers and bargain-hunting shoppers as the holiday shopping season is being further extended over the Black Friday weekend as retailers engage in an aggressive game of Thanksgiving store hour one-upmanship. The skirmishes began years ago as retailers launched store openings earlier and earlier on the morning of Black Friday to lure the huge crowds of bargain-busting shoppers into retail locations.
There are several retailers that have a history of opening earlier and earlier each year for Thanksgiving/Black Friday, and by the time they announce sale launch times for this year, it’s likely they’ll be welcoming deal-seeking shoppers sometime in the early afternoon of Thanksgiving, before the day’s first NFL game has even ended—and before the turkey is on the table in many American households. Even in an age of e-commerce and omni-channel retailing that has opened so many different options for consumers, there are many retail organizations that feel the need to open their doors to meet the demands of a highly competitive retail market. Clearly, some consumers will go shopping whenever retailers say their doors will open for Black Friday sales, no matter if it’s a national holiday.
There are several retailers that have not only confirmed they will remain closed on the holiday; they are promoting the fact that they are staying closed. On the other side of the stage, there are those that argue that such decisions can be valuable both for the retailer and the retail customer.
What do you think? This week’s LP Magazine Instant Poll asked: Should retail stores be open on Thanksgiving?
Quite convincingly, there are many that believe that current retail industry trends are missing the mark with US consumers. Our poll respondents clearly indicated that they feel the Thanksgiving holiday should be a day reserved for family and friends, and not a day for shopping in retail stores. 98 percent cast a vote against spending Thanksgiving Day at the nearest shopping center.
With the current opportunities available in an age of e-commerce and omni-channel retailing, 22 percent felt that these options might present an acceptable option for those that couldn’t wait until Black Friday. However, 76 percent voiced their strong opinions that retail industry trends should hold par and leave the traditional Thanksgiving holiday to family and friends.
So how do our poll results compare to other national polls that posed the same question? As LP Magazine researched similar queries across the country, we found slight variations depending on particular audiences, but all overwhelmingly agree that the majority of Americans disagree with the current retail industry trends. In the most comprehensive poll that we found conducted by PBS Newshour, more than 18,000 respondents came to the same conclusion with outcomes nearly identical to our results. Approximately 98 percent of poll participants cast a vote for store doors to remain closed so that both employees and customers could spend the holiday with family and friends.
The evolution of retail has led to many revolutionary changes in the way that we shop and spend in recent years, and will only continue to transform the way that we shop in the years to come. Changes are often met with some resistance. By the same respect, shoppers also love a great deal, and if there’s a sale, they will come. How we adjust is where the true story lies; and only time will tell how this story will pan out.
From the entire team at LP Magazine, we hope all of you have a wonderful, safe, and prosperous holiday season!
Have any additional thoughts that you would like to share? We’d love to hear about it. Please share your thoughts by clicking here. All responses to our polls are strictly confidential