Is a sale on Thanksgiving good for your customer?


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In his blog today, social commentator Cal Thomas posed the question of whether retailers were compromising the sacredness of Thanksgiving by positioning sales in what should otherwise be a day with family.  In response to the question of, is nothing sacred?  Thomas opines,

“Apparently not. The “season” of Thanksgiving has been eclipsed by advertisers who are desperate in this recession to boost holiday sales long before most people have finished (or even started) eating turkey.In recent years we have seen the first wave of the advertising onslaught around Halloween. And that has been mostly a few trees popping -up in department stores. But this year, the line between Thanksgiving and Christmas has been bulldozed. Ads for 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. sales on “Black Friday” and even 10 p.m. sales on Thanksgiving evening are the norm. And like virginity that has been violated, it will be impossible to re-draw the lines.”

As a customer experience designer, I am wholly unqualified to address the MACRO social issue of Thanksgiving day shopping but I do think it begs an issue of business strategy.

If you are facing the decision of being open on a holiday, it is critical to determine if such an opening will serve the needs of customers and staff.  If it doesn’t, the short term gain to profits may well be offset by long-term ill will and negative impact on staff morale.

Being a business owner, I don’t judge the hard decisions made by leaders who need to make salaries.  However, I try to guide my clients to think about customers as people who have a long-life cycle.  Purchasers are not CONSUMERS to whom you SELL.  They are people with whom you relate.  As such, every decision must be made in the context of how it will affect the relationships with your team and with the people who buy your product.  That includes the decision to sell or not to sell on Thanksgiving?  What are your thoughts?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Joseph Michelli, Ph.D.
Joseph Michelli, Ph.D., an organizational consultant and the chief experience officer of The Michelli Experience, authored The New Gold Standard: 5 Leadership Principles for Creating a Legendary Customer Experience Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and the best-selling The Starbucks Experience: 5 Principles for Turning Ordinary Into Extraordinary.


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