Most of you know the reason they call the busiest shopping day of the
year Black Friday is because it is considered the day retailers begin
operating in the black (turning a profit) and, if the season goes well,
will finish the year with financial books in the black.
This year, the black also symbolized death. When I heard the news story
about the temporary store worker who was trampled to death by an
overzealous crowd of shoppers, I was shocked. But not completely
surprised. Sometimes people can be desperate for deals – no matter what
I personally don’t shop on Black Friday if I can avoid it. Oh, I
consider it. I page through all the circulars to see what’s on sale,
then ask myself, “Is there anything I can’t live without? That I’d
fight the crowds for? Is this deal sooooo good it is worth setting the
alarm for 2 a.m. so I can be in line somewhere by 3 a.m. for a 4
o’clock opening?” Pretty much without exception, the answer is no.
A friend of mine said he had wonderful shopping experience this year on
Black Friday. That’s because he was hitting antiques shops instead of
the big box retailers. “No crowds to fight there,” he said. Then we
both realized that while it was good news for him and his bargain
shopping mission, empty antiques stores are never a good sign.
Antique Trader would like to know what you shop and mall owners are
doing to attract shoppers this holiday season? How can we as an
industry convince people that purchasing an antique for themselves or
as a gift is a far better investment than buying a silly gadget that
could break by the time the Easter bunny comes hopping around?
Perhaps instead of focusing on offering the best deals, we should offer
the experience. We have something those chain stores don’t have. We
have history. We have nostalgia. Who doesn’t like to step back in time
and remember Christmases past? Have you found a way to offer that this