The Chicago Tribune is giving the gift of a free issue to Cyber Monday shoppers. Online, right? Wrong. This free newspaper (a 75 cent value) only applies to shoppers who actually venture out to stores today.
Sands China’s weak debut in Hong Kong – a first-day drop of 10 percent – was the fourth-worst launch on that market this year, but came as little shock to analysts who were betting against the Asian gambling play. Rival Wynn Macau is down 5 percent since listing in October.
More shoppers flocked to stores over the Thanksgiving weekend (like these shoppers heading into Macy’s at 5 a.m. on Black Friday). However, they spent a lot less per person than last year.
Americans were united this weekend in the hunt for cheap electronics. It looks like the biggest Black Friday deals out there were for flat-screen televisions at around $400 (remember when $1,000 was considered a discount?) and laptops under $500.
“Last year, Blu-ray players that were selling for probably $200 were selling for closer to $130 this year. Television sets that were selling for $599 last year were selling for $399 this year,” said Scott Krugman, a spokesman for the National Retail Federation.
The annual ritual began with all the proper signs. Shoppers lined up before midnight on Friday. Some wore pajamas, others imbibed hot coffee or alcohol. Store managers straightened rows of sweaters and blew dust mites off flat-screen TVs while their doors remained closed.
Then the rush started.
There were fights over toy hamsters, a clamor for laptops under $500 and even a leather jacket or two was purchased. Retailers prayed and tried to banish the ghosts of a terrible 2008.
How 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.
You can spend millions of dollars on an advertising campaign if you have something to sell. Alternately, you can try some cheaper experiments and hope that downmarket charm trumps slickness.
We were wondering earlier today how much longer it would take until customers shopping for Black Friday deals got rowdy. We told you about one shoving match in Centennial, Colorado, that involved dropping a little old lady. Now we have a “disturbance” at a Walmart store in Upland, California, near Rancho Cucamonga in Southern California’s Inland Empire. What motivates some of these attacks? Toy hamsters! (See our earlier entry on this phenomenon. Also, look toward the bottom of this blog entry.)