Thursday, November 8, 2007

Beware of Black Friday!

As retailers south of the border gear up for what's traditionally known as "Black Friday" (i.e. one of the busiest and most heavily promoted shopping days of the year), we're all wondering how things will fare. Will customers hoard into stores trying to get the best deals? Most definitely. Will retailers drop prices to record-breaking lows? Very possibly. Will chaos ensue? Time will tell.

Black Friday relates to the date in which retailers historically made the transition from unprofitability (the "red" zone) to profitability (the "black" zone). Since it falls on the day after U.S. Thanksgiving, which is always the fourth Thursday in November, the name Black Friday was born.

In 2006, this day led to record low prices and high shipments in the flat-panel TV arena. With sleeker, more technologically-advanced and already low-priced TVs on the market already, what will Black Friday mean for those playing in the LCD/plasma arena? As retailers fight for a larger piece of the shopper's money pie, how low will prices get, and how ridiculously great will promotional offers become? Judging from a move that Wal-Mart has already made, things could become mouth-droppingly exciting: according to DisplaySearch, the mammoth retailer is already offering a 50" HD plasma TV for less than $1,000 (the same TV sold for about $1,700 just last month). If this is a pre-Black Friday promotion, how cheap will the set be come end of the month??

DisplaySearch reports that Black Friday 2006 accounted for almost 20% of all TV units sold and 17% of revenues for the entire fourth quarter: yes, just that one day! Last year, Panasonic's 42" TH42PX75U was the best-selling model based on revenue, which was sold through Best Buy outlets at an impressive price of $999.

"Black Friday has always been a crucial event for retailers, but because of the surge in demand for flat-panel TVs, it has become an important indicator for selling trends for the rest of the holiday season," explained Paul Gagnon, Director of North America TV Market Research for DisplaySearch. "Brands, retailers, and many others can gain critical insights and develop tactical plans from these early Black Friday results."

With the Canadian dollar so high (and getting higher - it's almost $1.08 today!), Canada/U.S. borders could be more flooded than usual the week of Black Friday. Overly brave Canadians might just attempt being trampled by U.S. shoppers in an effort to cash in on the overwhelming deals.


Anonymous said...

I like to do all my Black Friday shopping online, saves time and money. I use this site alot,, they have a forum dedicated to Black Friday and have alot of the ads already listed. Ex: Target, Old Navy, Sears, Macy's. Check them out!

Marketnews - Christine Persaud said...

Hi anonymous,

Thanks for your comment. Although online shopping is certainly a fast and convenient method, we should certainly try our best to support our own Canadian retailers. After all, that's what our economy is all about, right?

Anonymous said...

Hey, It's great that our Canadian Dollar is so high. But before you spend all of your money south of the border, think about how you and others like you are impacting the Canadian Economy. Will you have a job a year from now? Think about that.

Anonymous said...

Hey, it's great the Canadian dollar is so high. But before you spend all of your money south of the border, think about the inmpact you and others like you are having on the Canadian Economy. Will you have a job a year from now? Think about that!

Anonymous said...

You and others like you should perhaps seek asylum south of the border since you are so intent on keeping their economy alive and abandoning ours.