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Is There Life After Black Friday? Distributors Address December Doldrums

TWICE: How can retailers maintain their Black Friday momentum and avoid the traditional mid-December lull?

Warren Chaiken, Almo: Black Friday has expanded well beyond a single day, so I think we need to look at the entire holiday promotional period.

Retailers that want to continually garner market share and sustain momentum should maintain strong inventory and service levels, and continuously promote their specific value-added services such as installation and integration.

Tate Morgan, Petra Industries: Retailers should have stock of popular gift items. Trying to chase inventory late in the season can kill momentum. They should also reserve some promotions for post-Black Friday in efforts at keeping their brand in front of a public that hasn’t exhausted their gifting budget.

Dennis Holzer, Powerhouse Alliance: Over the past several years Black Friday sales have been creeping up the calendar and retailers are now promoting Black Friday sales as early as the late weeks of September.

Retailers are pushing “their” Black Friday specials earlier to catch consumer attention, trying to re-program them to take advantage of deals early, while taking some of the heat off their sales expectations that had previously been set for Black Friday.

Retailers will have an easy time keeping that momentum going throughout the season, because they’ll keep pushing and promoting opportunities throughout the fourth quarter, keeping consumers coming back for more deals and late-season opportunities. And don’t forget the last- minute shoppers!

Fred Towns, New Age Electronics: With major retailers continuing to begin Black Friday promotions earlier and extend them over the course of several days, we expect the momentum to carry well into December this year.

The release of exciting new products that tie into the Windows 10 platform and new devices with more robust speeds and entertainment options for the connected home will also help drive consumers in stores and online to contribute to a solid December.

Jeff Davis, D&H Distributing: Black Friday has gradually begun to extend itself through most of November. This makes for plenty of deals for consumers, but somewhat dilutes the impact of the original Black Friday weekend, making it more like “50 Shades of Gray November” than Black Friday.

Although it’s encouraging to think that the momentum will continue into December, this may further disperse sales, making “Black Friday” less of a discernable sales spike and more of a gradual progression toward the holiday season.

Alexandra Harding, Ingram Micro: Maximize the discount opportunities offered by the manufactures and have a good supply of stock.

There may be some shortages of TVs in Q4; use this opportunity to sell a complete solution and add to the basket accessories such as headphones, blue-tooth speakers, cases and charging devices.

For DIY-connected home devices, have displays and/or rich content for e-commerce sites.

Curt Hayes, Capitol: For starters, don’t start advertising holiday pricing until we get closer to the actual holidays. We all joke about how the holidays come earlier every year, but as an industry we set a low bar if we begin the conversation in October and early November.

Instead, promote the key products that will be a hit, playing up advantages and current pricing, then address holiday pricing when Black Friday is within reach.

It’s a fine time to build excitement for the latest and greatest our industry has to offer, rather than the lowest prices we’re willing to offer.