Black Friday—If I could think of one word that describes Black Friday, it would be “gross.” Seriously, the whole concept of Black Friday is gross. And the exact opposite of what my business is all about.
At my studios, we try to create an experience for all clients that is personal and thoughtful. Our goal is to make everyone feel welcomed and “at home” when they walk through our doors. We want everyone to leave the stress of work and home behind so they can focus on a great workout that will help them get stronger. And honestly, I’m not sure how the f*ck Black Friday fits into that.
Waking up at the crack of dawn—or even before daylight hits—and frantically searching for deals is simply not part of our mission at Pure Barre Winston-Salem and Pure Barre Clemmons.
Sure, I can support the waking up early part. As an early riser, I can get an extraordinary amount of work done before everyone else even thinks about hitting “snooze.” But, I’m not sure how frantically searching for deals furthers our mission of creating a thoughtful and personal experience, or a stress-free studio experience for that matter.
I wrote about how we were opting out of Black Friday last year and you can revisit that post by clicking here. Still holding firm on that decision. Here’s why …
Shoppers Are Rejecting Black Friday
Some of you retail business owners might think I’m crazy for taking this approach, but holiday shopping trends reveal that consumers are rejecting Black Friday as “the day” to start their holiday shopping. According to GPShopper’s “Reality of Holiday Retail: Keeping Up With the Customer” report, one in three U.S. holiday shoppers (32%) actually begin their shopping in October to avoid the immense stress associated with holiday shopping (a.k.a. “Holiday Crush”). And … GPShopper’s research actually revealed that the largest group of consumers (27%) intend to do the majority of their shopping during the second week of December.
I think this is really interesting for three reasons …
- Most stores are likely to have their best holiday inventory selection at this time. This is 100% true for my studios—we’ll have everything we’re going to have for sale by the second week of December. All of our December orders will have been delivered. If you’ve been waiting for the best selection, this is it. Nothing else will arrive before the end of the year.
- There’s still time to order. Maybe?! By shopping the second week of December, there’s still time to order that perfect gift. Or if it’s totally sold out, come up with an alternate gift that is still thoughtful. Basically, it’s not crunch time and you still have a fighting chance to get that special item for everyone on your list.
- CASH FLOW! Like those in the GPShopper report, I typically do all my shopping during the second week of December and it’s for a very specific reason—those purchases will hit my credit card statement to be paid in February, allowing me to smooth out my outgoing cash. If you’ve had to spend on a lovely Thanksgiving meal or travel to eat your Thanksgiving meal, extending your payment options for holiday gifts makes sense. I also suspect that smoothing out cash flow is the main reason that 32% of U.S. holiday shoppers start shopping in October—they’re trying to avoid crushing credit card bills due that first week of January.
Referral-Based Businesses Don’t Need Black Friday
We all know that the true test of a satisfied client is whether that person would recommend your business to their friends. If your business plan doesn’t include getting referral business from your existing client base, no sale will make up for that lost revenue. The best thing you can do for your business is to earn your clients’ trust and respect so they will tell all their friends about how amazing you are.
When you have a referral-based business, like I do, no client is going to tell their friends, “Wow, that studio had the best Black Friday sale, so you should start taking class there immediately.” Instead, they will tell their friends and family about all the little things we do that make the other 364 days of the year an amazing experience. Being in the customer experience business means that Black Friday isn’t a part of what you’re trying to accomplish. And if something isn’t furthering your business’ mission statement, then you shouldn’t be doing it.
So … If you want to know if we have any Black Friday deals, the answer is, “Nope.” We’ll have classes in the morning to get a good post-turkey sweat (or to get away from your family), but that’s it. No fanfare. No wild and crazy blockbuster deals. If it’s deals you’re searching for, you’ll have to go elsewhere.
I hope that you have an exceptional Thanksgiving and get to spend quality time with your friends and family. Maybe get a stellar nap in.
On Thursday, I’ll be posting about how the fitness-focused (that’s us!) can avoid the dreaded “Holiday Crush.” If you’ve ever found yourself hating the holiday season or feeling less festive than you think you should be, then this is for you!