Why Not a Catalogers’ Black Friday? (Or, How I Developed a Major Inferiority Complex on Your Behalf)
Did anybody else get an inferiority complex over the Thanksgiving weekend? I’m referring to the hoopla that surrounded Black Friday on Nov. 23. Like just about anything else in America, Black Friday gets bigger every year, and this year really went over the top. It got me thinking about the future: Does this “holiday” have to be a retail-only one?
I certainly read enough about it. I saw plenty of TV news clips of those crazy, sleep-deprived shoppers lining up outside the stores in the wee hours of that Friday morning. I sifted through enough Circuit City, Kohl’s, Macy’s and Wal-Mart circulars about their 5 a.m. store openings and those six-hour-only, to-die-for sales. But I received no catalogs prior to Black Friday looking to cash in on the big day in their own way.
And then came Cyber Monday, Nov. 26. By the end of that day, I found myself wondering again, why didn’t I see any catalog (e-mail) offers? My wife Donna, my 17-year-old son Marc, and I all buy from catalogs. They collect our e-mail addresses.
This is admittedly subjective since we don’t dole out our e-mail addresses to every multichannel marketer under the sun. But here’s my point: Because she possesses so many store credit cards, my wife did receive killer sale offers on Monday via e-mail from the likes of Staples, Macy’s, Victoria’s Secret and Ann Taylor. She did actually get an offer from one cataloger, Performance Bicycle. And our copy editor Mavis Linnemann reports that she received an e-mail offer that day from the reincarnated J. Peterman catalog. But that’s about it.
Hey, the retailers all had their day on Black Friday! At least Monday should’ve been catalogers’ day?
And here’s where the inferiority complex comes into play. I got to thinking: Why can’t this considerably smaller, lower-profile portion of the retail industry that we call the multichannel business grab a piece of either day’s action? Catalogers have a whole lot of ways to cash in on either of them, but I witnessed nothing. Even the Performance Bicycle offer my wife received was a holiday-themed offer that had no time limit (for that day) and basically no urgency whatsoever. And at just 10 percent off orders of $50 or more, we could have gobbled up about four or five cheap bikes at Wal-Mart instead.