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Decking the Halls: How Businesses
Can Prep for Black Friday

As Andy Williams crooned, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” – but is it really? For business owners, the holiday season, and its premier shopping day ­– Black Friday ­– can present mixed feelings. Black Friday can jump start sales, but also stress business owners to the core, making them feel Grinch-like as they dread those turkey-stuffed shoppers at their doors
 
If they plan ahead, business owners should not have to suffer from annual Black Friday-induced anxiety. Its arrival is never a surprise since it always falls the day after Thanksgiving — and - the term may have originated right here in Philadelphia. According to Business Insider, police officers in Philadelphia began using the term in the 1960s because they had to work 12-hour shifts the day after Thanksgiving to accommodate increased crowds, including families and students who were off from school, not to mention the heavy traffic in Center City.
 
However, another explanation for the name “Black Friday” might make more sense: the increased sales experienced during the busy shopping day could push a company’s books into the “black” in terms of profitability. Consequently, business owners, who have the potential to see a spike in sales on Black Friday, might consider embracing the day.
 
Though not all area retailers can expect the Black Friday foot traffic that the King of Prussia Mall or new Fashion District will see November 29, they should prepare for increased volume. Below are several steps business owners can take to get in shape for Black Friday:
 
  • Review sales patterns – Business owners and managers should look back on sales histories for recent years to identify whether they see a spike in sales on Black Friday and if so, the particular items that sell best that time of year.
  • Stock inventory – Based on that historical sales analysis and what business owners know about their customers, as well as what the hot new toy is this year, business owners should make sure they have the right inventory on their shelves and enough of it.
  • Develop marketing materials and email lists – Business owners should consider creating marketing materials to promote their products and pricing ahead of Black Friday to help consumers find the business among its competitors. Business owners should also review their email marketing lists. If they don’t have lists, they should collect customer emails or consider purchasing a list.
  • Staff up – With shoppers traditionally out in masses on this day, it’s smart for business owners to boost staff for Black Friday or consider seasonal hires.
  • Get some rest – Black Friday can be draining for storeowners and shoppers alike. All staff members should get a good night’s sleep before tackling the day.
  • Focus on customer service – Business owners and managers should be careful not to let crowds and stress get the best of them on Black Friday. Focusing on providing quality customer service, will help keep the customers coming back throughout the year.
  • Reflect on the day for next year – Finally, after the holiday shopping season is over, business owners should look back on Black Friday and the holiday shopping season as a whole, and review how they could have been more prepared or improved the customer’s experience in anyway.
 
The white-twigged reindeer have been flanking the King Prussia Mall entrances since before Halloween — the holiday season is here. This year, business owners should leave any Black Friday anxiety behind and seize the day.