Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Black Friday: That time when retail CEOs don’t shop

November 27, 2009

best-buyHow important is it for top executives to know what their customers think of the businesses that they run? Most agree that it helps, but on Black Friday, chief executives of two of the country’s most popular venues for frenzied, over-caffeinated shoppers said they don’t shop at their stores at that time of year.

We could think of plenty of good reasons not to hit the chaos scenes known as big-box retailers on Black Friday. For one thing, it’s crowded and you have to wait in line all day while you’re holding boxes of stuff. Add a couple of cranky toddlers, and you could envision hundreds of reasons to stay home.

The CEOs of Best Buy and Toys “R” Us have different explanations.

“This is my 25th year in a row I am working on Black Friday… so I don’t get the chance to shop,” Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn told Reuters in an interview. “I work it, they shop.”

Toys R Us CEO Jerry Storch prefers the old, reliable punching bag: He blames the media. “Mostly on Black Friday, I talk to you!” Storch said.

(Photo: Reuters)

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