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Lowe’s, Best Buy Start Black Friday Early

It’s 8:47 pm PST, nearly midnight on the east coast and 2,000 people have just left a comment on a Lowe’s Facebook post that went up five minutes ago. Why? Because in just a few minutes, Lowe’s is going to launch their Black Friday Sneak Peek Party where they say they’ll be giving out coupon codes for up to 90% off items at Lowes.com.

The deals will be off specific items and limited in quantity which means bargain hunters have to virtually stand in line and fight the crowd if they want to get one. A coupon handed out at 1 am will probably sell out within the hour, which of course, is meant to entice people to stay on all day and night. In between giveaways, Lowe’s is going to announce the Black Friday sale items that will be available on the real BF – the day after Thanksgiving. Talk about creating a buzz!

Though it’s likely no one will be trampled in the Facebook melee, (more than 90,000 people signed up for the event), there’s bound to be some hitches and some hard feelings as the day goes on. One can only hope that Lowe’s has a properly prepared staff of social media managers, customer service reps and website troubleshooters on hand to deal with the load.

For those that like a more visceral experience, Best Buy is having their own pre-Black Friday sale this Friday and Saturday. It may be wishful thinking on their part, but the ad talks about lines forming two hours before store opening, tickets as place holders and limited quantities.

All this without the sinking sensation of having eaten too much turkey? How’s a person supposed to cope with that?

For months, experts have been saying that the deals will happen early and often this holiday season, with some retailers, like Newegg.com, going for a Black November concept in order to maximize sales.

Update – two minutes after the hour and Facebook fans are already complaining that Lowes.com is down. It’s going to be a long night.

Are you ready for Black Friday?

ETA: Lowe’s 5,000 90% off coupon Black Friday Facebook Party just ended a half hour in with only 100 coupons given out on a mixer. Servers are dead. Party’s over and the mocking has begun. A lesson to be learned here for sure.

  • http://www.frankthinking.com Frank Reed

    My wife has been following this as a customer of Lowe’s and she has taken a sympathetic view toward them because they are handling the situation as best they can and they reaching out.

    Definitely a cautionary tale of just WHERE I.T. must be involved in what are otherwise business/marketing decisions.

    Thanks, Cynthia.

  • dean

    I hate to toot my own horn but I called this a couple weeks ago (http://j.mp/aLyFlE). This was fraught with disaster from the get go.

    I would love to know the details from inside Lowe’s – how was this conceived? Who conceived it? What planning was done. Did they have a disaster recovery plan? Why couldn’t they see that the risk of implosion was enormous.

    Just plain bad execution all the way around.

    • Cynthia

      The most ridiculous part, is that they handed out 100 codes to several thousand people. They would have been better off just giving away prizes to 100 Facebook fans who were on at the time.

      Now they say they’re going to give out the codes sporadically so there won’t be so many people clamoring for them, but I suspect this won’t help. Once the code is handed out, you’ll have the same problem.

  • http://www.CouponCorner.com Mike

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