Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Black Friday: No riff-raff, please

November 27, 2009

saksBargain shoppers turned out en masse across the land on Friday morning to observe Black Friday rituals, while retail temples from Target to Macy’s to Saks slashed prices to get people to do one simple thing: buy more stuff.

But upscale stores — and some their shoppers — seemed to think the Black Friday extravaganza beneath them.

I got a sense of this while I was interviewing people outside Saks’s flagship store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue this morning. I asked a customer exiting with a Saks bag full of merchandise what she thought of the sales. She sniffed:“I’m not here for Black Friday. All the stuff I bought was full price!”

Peter Bertling, a lawyer visiting from Santa Barbara, California, had a different point of view about discounts. “I hadn’t planned on buying a suit,” Bertling said as he left Saks. “If not for the Black Friday sale, I’d probably be at the hotel with my wife right now.”

While Saks discounts many items by 40 percent between 8 a.m. and noon on Friday, other upscale rivals seemed to the think holiday discounts were déclassé. At 9 a.m. on Friday, while Saks and Tiffany were open, other upscale stores that line Fifth Avenue, such as Cartier, Versace, Prada, Piaget and even Bergdorf Goodman, were closed.

(Photo: Reuters)


Luxury brands need to come off their high horse and enter the ‘real’ world. I suppose that would negate the exclusivity of such labels….overall, this Black Friday has offered less enticing deals than in previous years. It will be interesting to see how the numbers add up this weekend, in comparison to previous Black Fridays’ will_make_or_break_black_friday

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