• November 25, 2017
  • Bob Quinn
  • General

Did you know that Woodies, the Irish owned DIY superstore, refuses to participate in Black Friday? Its reasoning for not embracing the post-Thanksgiving shopping day is that Black Friday is an American invention that has no place here in Ireland, well according to the guy I spoke to in-store this week.

Since 2014, Black Friday has really taken hold as a retail ‘event’ as important as Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. Within three years consumer behaviour in the third week of November has changed perhaps irrevocably. Cyber Monday is hot on its heels.

It’s not a concept that is relevant to my business exactly but Black Friday has a resonance in my personal and business life.

It tells me that things change. They can change rapidly and take you by surprise, or they can change slowly (and still take you by surprise).

If I was a retailer, I would be paying a lot of attention to what is behind the growth of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

I would be looking at which factors are driving consumer change and how I need to react.

It’s coming up to the seventh anniversary of The Money Advisers. In those seven years, there’s been plenty of change.

Seven budgets have been delivered by three different ministers for finance. There have been three governments (and as many Garda commissioners). The people of the USA elected Donald Trump as their president and the people of the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union.

Some of those changes don’t affect me directly. But they do affect the world I live in and they affect the worlds of my clients. I certainly can’t afford to ignore them.

To go back to Woodies, it has its reasons for eschewing Black Friday, and I hope they are based on analysis and thoughtful consideration.

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There are some retailers who left it too late to react and a few who haven’t even noticed it. Those ones might not be around next year.

So the best thing for me about this year’s Black Friday was totally free – the reminder to notice what’s changing and be ready to interpret those changes for my own best interests.

Tune into my Thursday consumer and finance segment on Lunchtime Live here.

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