What do retailers get out of Black Friday?

My two teenage sons stayed up all night with friends outside our neighborhood Circuit City to take advantage of Black Friday discounts. The primary draw appeared to be the opportunity to hang out with friends rather to make important purchases.

So, what did the retailer purchase by slashing prices? Hard to say. My sons typically go to the Best Buy across the street. Chances are that they will be back there now that the sale is over.

I think retailers should work harder to cultivate a long-term relationship at events like this. Why not sign up shoppers to receive email notification of special “members-only” sales … like a Black Wednesday preview sale? That way they can foster loyalty throughout the year to recoup some of what they invest in big sales events.

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