With waning enthusiasm for Black Friday’s in-store mayhem (around 75% of UK and US shoppers plan to buy online – Deloitte & PWC, 2016), and 61% of leading UK retailers calling the event both unprofitable and unsustainable (LCP Consulting, 2016), the stage is set for a shift in its narrative.
As broached in Renegade Retail, smart companies are taking the opportunity to rebrand Thanksgiving, too, making it more relevant for audiences disenfranchised by a traditional family focus.
We select the best unorthodox Black Friday and Thanksgiving retail concepts of 2016.
- Counterintuitive Anti-Commerce: Echoing REI’s Anti-Black Friday Campaign last year, British outdoor apparel and equipment manufacturer Berghaus is encouraging consumers to get outside with a treasure hunt. Clues for The Get Out Game were being posted on its website from November 21-25. On Black Friday (November 25), it will release a final clue revealing the location of a flag at four locations across the UK. The first few customers to find a flag will receive prizes such as an Extreme Micro Down jacket (worth £190), with 1,000 additional prizes up for grabs.
- Discount Alternative for Deeper Engagement: New York-based luxury e-marketplace Orchard Mile is dropping traditional Black Friday discounting at its SoHo pop-up store. Instead, it’s offering visitors the chance to win the shop’s entire inventory. The aim of the revised tactic is to make for bigger talking points, triggering more long-lasting engagement than quick-fire savings.
- Civilised Counterpoint: Offering more of a counterpoint to Black Friday than a stand against it, bookshops across the UK are hosting relaxed shopping experiences featuring book signings and tea pop-ups on what’s being dubbed Civilised Saturday on 26 November.