I woke up this morning to a very disturbing Target ad in my email.
According to the pop-loving retailer, today is Black Friday. For a moment I wondered if I’d undergone some bizarre, Rip Van Winkle experience. I know I haven’t been sleeping well, so maybe my body finally gave up and pulled me down to sleep for 4 months.
I knew that couldn’t be true because after four months, my email inbox would have a lot more than 50 new messages. No, the only reasonable explanation was that Target was trying to trick me into thinking that today was special. Friday after Thanksgiving special. Start of the holiday season special.
I’m not buying it. It’s July and it’s hot and sticky and last week there were fireworks in the sky. This is no time for a Black Friday sale.
It’s our own fault. We’ve all embraced this Christmas in July thing, so Black Friday was the natural next step. But here’s the problem – if you run a special sale every week, then it’s not really a special sale, is it? Why not do away with sales altogether and go with rock bottom prices every day of the year?
J.C. Penney tried that and failed. Seems customers don’t trust you when you say something is priced low all the time. But they do believe you when you shout 40% off for Black Friday in July.
The whole idea was a terrific marketing coup, because not only are people flocking to Target to save, every media outlet is covering the story. So yes, I’m helping feed the frenzy with this post. But like special sales, they’re only really significant when they’re rare. Next year, when ten other stores run Black Friday in July sales, Target will just be one of many and it won’t be interesting enough to cover in the press. Then they’ll be forced to come up with something even more disturbing – like a Valentine’s Day sale in August. “If you’re girlfriend is as hot as the weather, surprise her with a summer Valentine’s gift from Target!”
Now I have to go get ready for the parade. Jack Skellington is the grand marshal and I hear the Easter Bunny will be riding on the Luck o’ the Irish float.
Happy Halloween and have a great 12th of July weekend.