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Black Friday 2009 Sales: Should Your Franchise Unit Join the Hype?

Franchisors and franchisees – should you join the Black Friday 2009 sales? Based on the stats, you should.

Black Friday Union Square San Francisco

Black Friday - Union Square, San Francisco

The day businesses, especially retailers, have been waiting for is finally approaching: The Black Friday on November 27, 2009.

The Black Friday (and the whole Christmas shopping season starting from that day) is the Day for customers to lavishly spend their money and for businesses to attract and serve as many customers as they can. Franchises are definitely on the bandwagon right now and I don’t think you should miss this out.

Papa John’s, for example, has already launched a Black Friday weekend specials: Partnering with Nintendo, they are going to give away – through the Sweepstakes program on their website at PapaJohns.com – 300 Wii Sports Resort prize packages, with an approximate retail value of $330, from Friday, November 27 to Sunday, November 29.

Consider these stats from Black Friday 2008, courtesy of About.com:

  • 172 Million Shoppers
  • $10.6 Billion in Sales
  • Shoppers spend on average $373
  • There was a 7% overall increase from 2007

Those are strong numbers considering the recession and the right reason why you should join Papa John’s endeavour in 2009 Black Friday.

How to do a Black Friday sales?

If you think Black Friday as a regular ‘on sale’ day, think again – Black Friday is filled with enthusiastic shoppers who are ready to spend (even more than they know they should!) Thus, you should offer an all-out sales campaign and focus on volume rather than margin.

The key is to take benefit from the hype and buzz first and profits second. Buzz is intangible benefit to your brand name – a hyped brand name is far more valuable than mere profits. This one day of the year is the instant publicity for your brand name (and stores) – think Black Friday as a ’30 Seconds to Fame’ or ‘American Idol’ show, where short performance (in this case, sales campaign) can enhance your success for the whole year and more.

Here’s an issue: To do Black Friday sales at 5 AM or earlier (even midnight)? Well, most do follow the traditional and conservative opening hours at 5 AM, but some start at midnight. If your franchise is very popular and you present customers with outstanding sales or offers, starting out at midnight is a good way to create buzz and coverage.

All in all, missing out the Black Friday 2009 would be a reckless decision. In my opinion, you have no reason to stay away from the Black Friday. If you aim to focus your marketing campaign to Christmas shopping season, you should start from the Black Friday (or even from Thanksgiving.)

Ivan Widjaya
I wish I were in the US this weekend
Image by visnup.

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