Recently in the news, there was the article about Black Friday sales being less this year than last year due to stores starting the sales in the evening of Thanksgiving Day. Seems to me that two years ago the stores still opened up early on Friday and then last year they began the sales at midnight, and now this year in the early evening.
So what is it for next year, sales beginning at noon on Thanksgiving? One doesn't need an MBA to figure out a pie can only be sliced so many times until each meal has a smaller and smaller serving. The people are not going to run out on Friday or Saturday to shop again since they already made their purchases. In the 1960s, I was a store manager in Youngstown and in Warren of a store for Western Auto (out of business now) and we didn't put up Christmas decorations until after Thanksgiving.
We still had plenty of time to sell out of Christmas merchandise by Christmas Eve, and if there were too many items in those last few days, then we cut the prices down even more. I got a phone call from the regional manager on New Year's Day of 1969 asking me why I was at home instead of at the store office compiling last-quarter data. I told him there was plenty of time to get the data to the home office by Jan. 5 and since New Year's day was a holiday, I was spending it with my family.
That was a tip-off that management's philosophy of retail sales was changing and you could figure on no more Sunday closings or holidays off. Now with Christmas items and music playing in the stores starting at Halloween, store management has succeeded in angering employees as well as customers. There was a survey recently and one out of two adults really don't have any Christmas spirit any longer. Can you blame them?
-- Elias J. Vujovich, Southington