Black Friday continues. As of this writing, millions of shoppers across the country are doing great deals in stores. Outlet stores opened last night and Kohl opened at 4:00 this morning. Walmart is open 24/7 in response to the death of an employee in a stampede last year and injured customers. Old Navy called its Thanksgiving sale “Gray Thursday”. Black Friday, Gray Thursday, or Internet Monday … it’s all for retailers who are willing to do whatever it takes to make it easier for people to make money.
No matter what your job is, Black Friday can teach you a lot about being a good businessman. More on this in a second.
I went to Black Friday events but never attended. I have been a specialty retailer for over 12 years and have seen aggressive consumers fight their share of “stuff”. Most people are nice, but there are always one or two … you know who you are.
Becoming a reseller is not easy. You are the ultimate winning piece. Manufacturers usually sell to wholesalers who then sell to retailers. Window rents are more expensive than warehouse rents. In addition to wages, payroll tax, workers’ compensation insurance … and inventory! The only good thing about retail is that you have money when you sell. There are no net bills. Plus, it’s a hard day’s work to make a dollar profit. You gotta love retail.
Now they go out and earn. There isn’t much room for error. If you are a reseller, it is best to stay in your game every day. You need to know how to get people to the door (traffic) and how to buy them when they’re there (for diversion). You need to know the product packaging, store layout, and inventory management. You need the right stock for your customer and you need the right quantity. best portable induction cooktop black Friday deals Buying more inventory this month, even just a little bit, might put you off work. Retailers are highly skilled business people as they should be. Very low-profit margins.
So when I see a discounted sale of over 45, I feel a little twist in my intuition about this retailer. I know they’re moving inventory to pay the bill. They lose money on this sale. They are looking to move the product and take some of their cash reserves because if it doesn’t sell, they will still have to foot the bill. Minimize damage as it was. You see, most retailers receive net terms on the inventory they carry. They buy it in bulk and have time to sell it, usually 30 net (30 days). Sometimes that’s so much that you can buy Christmas stock in January from a catalog builder, deliver it in July, and have until January 1 to foot the bill. (All these months before you can show it – add more to the overload.) This is unusual. Small wholesalers can only give you 15 terms (15 days to sell this product).
Walmart is an exception. They run a grocery store. Store owners keep products on shelves, send invoices, and receive payments when the product is sold. If the product doesn’t sell, they replace it with something that works and mark the invoice accordingly. Walmart never pays a bill before a product is sold. This is the best business model. They make a crate, light it up, and then come to the others and manage their inventory. They removed the more expensive and unpredictable aspects of retail. Very smart work. I like the way Walmart rediscovered gaming for retail, but I’m not a Walmart fan. They didn’t change the industry, they changed the ways for themselves. They used deep pockets to create an unfair advantage, and the market and the government allowed that to happen.
Let’s go back to the dealers. They are taking risks. When they buy something they have a good customer, they want to understand it well. They need to know their market.
Even if you don’t have a retail business, there are ways to take advantage of Black Friday. In my community in Santa Clarita, California, I noticed a skilled restaurateur put a sign in his window announcing a champagne breakfast on Black Friday at 6 pm. Hope some buyers take advantage of it, it can ease their obsessive frustration a little bit. Or broadcast a short-term sale to mobile users only.
If you work in a field other than retail, read what’s happening today and during the holiday season. Study the retail process if you can. This is a really interesting and unusual job. You can learn a lot.