Thanksgiving is meant to be a day of gratitude and reflection, yet year after year, those warm, fuzzy feelings quickly give way to consumerism and greed the minute Black Friday kicks off. From a shopper's perspective, there are plenty of reasons to avoid hitting the stores on Black Friday. That day, however, is said to be a boon to businesses large and small.
Or is it?
These days, a growing number of companies are shutting their doors on Black Friday. In fact, ever since retailer REI made the decision to close on Black Friday in 2015, over 700 organizations have joined its #OptOutside campaign, which encourages workers and shoppers alike to spend time outdoors or use the day after Thanksgiving to connect with family rather than spend money inside a string of stores.
Of course, some business owners might liken the notion of closing on Black Friday to committing financial suicide. After all, it's one of the most popular shopping days of the year, and one that ought to be capitalized on. But actually, there are several good reasons to keep your doors shut on Black Friday instead.
1. You'll face more competition
When you run a relatively small operation, competing with the resources of a big box chain or major retailer is an everyday struggle. But on a day like Black Friday, when so many major players are sinking massive amounts of money into advertising and clamoring for extra customers, why subject yourself and your business to an even greater challenge? Though customers who are loyal to your business might show their faces if you open that day, new consumers will be overwhelmed with choices, and their chances of landing at your doorstep will be relatively slim. Therefore, you may be much better off promoting a sale at another time, when the competition isn't nearly as fierce.
2. You'll build goodwill among your employees
Those employees who work hard for you all year long? Chances are, they want to enjoy an extended holiday weekend with their families and friends. But if they're forced to come to work on Black Friday, that won't get to happen. On the other hand, if you keep your doors closed that day and let your team members take some much-deserved time off, they'll not only appreciate your consideration, but perhaps reward you by staying loyal for months or years. And since we all know how costly and time-consuming it can be to staff a business, it pays to do whatever you can to retain your most valued employees.
3. You might get the same results by promoting your products or services online
Opening your business on Black Friday means needing to pay for staff. And on a day when there's so much competition, you could end up forking over those wages for little revenue in return. A better bet, therefore, may be to focus on advertising your sales online, but keep your physical business closed. This way, you'll reap some cost savings, all the while avoiding a hard stop on the purchasing front.
Tempting as it may be to open on Black Friday, remember that as a business owner, you have other options for attracting customers and boosting sales around the holidays. And you may be better off pursuing those than hopping aboard a potentially disappointing bandwagon.