Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Black Friday: No riff-raff, please


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.”