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Black Friday Needs to be Reincarnated Not Resurrected

by Robert Hetu  |  November 10, 2016  |  Submit a Comment

Another November and another month of endless “Black Friday” retail promotions. In 2014 I hoped the end of this tired vehicle had arrived, as I described in a blog post In Cold Blood: The Murder of Black Friday.  However although beaten to death for another year retailers lacking vision for change resurrect it as their only way to compete.


Consumers are increasingly weary of the onslaught of promotional advertising. They are also increasingly aware that the deals are not really as good as they may appear. Retailers know that many of these great buys do not lead to other more profitable purchases and they do nothing to drive engagement, loyalty or great customer experiences.

This is a huge missed opportunity. Envision a retailer that brings to the market a new and different approach, using big data, advanced analytics and algorithms to identify personalized holiday promotions that include unique bundles of services and products. Another that targets customers with the ability to select one or two crazy-good offers of their choice based on their level of annual spend. How about a retailer that offers to deliver special buys to the door of their best customers on Thanksgiving evening?  As the Irish writer Jonathan swift posited, “Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.”



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Category: retail-trends  

Tags: black-friday  

Robert Hetu
VP, Analyst Retail
7 years at Gartner
29 years IT Industry

Bob Hetu is a Research Director with the Gartner Retail Industry Services team. His responsibilities involve tracking the technology markets and trends impacting the broad-based retail merchandising and planning areas. Mr. Hetu is an expert in the areas of brand, vendor and assortment management, merchandise planning, allocation, and replenishment. Read Full Bio

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