Best Buy on Black Friday

As early as Eight o’clock on Thursday night, Best Buy’s extremist of customers started lining up outside of their stores in preparation for the store’s Black Friday 5 A.M. opening. You could find many of the crazed crowd wrapped up in heavy blankets, in sleeping bags and pitched tents on the storefront sidewalk. 

Since my wife and I have been looking around for a new TV to replace our 28 year old tube (Evidently Dillards sold some good TV’s back in the day.), some of our relatives jokingly thought I should go out there and wait with the crowd in hopes of getting an awesome deal. They even said they would bring me out some leftovers for dinner.

That got me thinking. Why wasn’t there anyone from Best Buy out there taking care of these people, no matter how crazy they are?

The whole thing is already a lot like waiting in line for the concert tickets of the year or a tailgating party before the big game. The only thing missing is the local radio station blaring tunes for the crowd and broadcasting live on location. Throw in a couple of vendors selling turkey legs, hot chocolate, t-shirts and memorabilia you’re all set for a Black Friday celebration.

The typical Black Friday strategy is to create the illusion of scarcity by offering certain items at largely discounted prices. This, in turn, drives traffic to the store. In theory this should work. After all, I’m more likely to buy something impulsively once I’m in the store.

The only problem with this is that all the retailers are using exactly the same strategy. Really I think it comes down to a word of mouth problem. With everyone is screaming the same message (HUGE DISCOUNTS), in the same way (TV ads, Newspaper ads, flyers, emails) then who are consumers going to listen to?

The answer: People they trust. And where are consumers before Black Friday? They are with friends and family talking about any and everything, and I’m sure shopping plans for the following day will be thrown into the mix somewhere. In my families case, we were talking about the line that had already started to form outside of Best Buy.

This is where my question to Best Buy comes in. What better way to get people talking even more than by embracing these extreme customers that are drawing attention to your store, by throwing a Black Friday tailgating party?

Here are some ideas on how you can turn a boring pre-Black Friday line into a tailgating party:

  • Hire a DJ spinning the newest music releases. Throw in some Christmas tracks here or there.
  • Pull in a huge Best Buy bus with wide screen HD plasma TV’s on the side.
  • Have a gaming tournament.
  • Hand out fleece Best Buy blankets and sweatshirts to the crowd.
  • Serve Thanksgiving turkey legs and hot cocoa.
  • Draw a crowd and spark the curiosity of passerbys.

At the very least it would show customers that you care.

What do you think?

Could an organized event like this possibly even prevent a tragedy like what happened at Wal-Mart?


(Photo Via: Flickr)