Amazon Opens Black Friday Deals Store

Discussion
Nov 02, 2011
George Anderson

While brick and mortar retailers are trying to figure out if they should open at the strike of midnight on Black Friday — or even jump the gun and get started with sales on Thanksgiving Day — e-tailers don’t really need to be concerned, since they follow (outages not included) a 24/7/365 operating schedule.

But Amazon.com is not a company to let others get a jump on it and so has launched its very own Black Friday Deals store. Okay, we and everyone else knows it is simply a marketing device, but since someone at Amazon thought of it and got the thumbs up to push ahead, let’s examine what’s on offer.

Amazon is discounting hundreds of items, including cameras, clothing, jewelry, movies, video games, watches and more, between now and Black Friday. All purchases of $25 or more qualify for free shipping.

"When it comes to holiday gift shopping there are three things customers want: low prices, items to be in-stock and ready to ship, and a convenient shopping experience," said Sally Fouts, spokesperson for Amazon.com, in a press release.

Meanwhile, Walmart announced it would begin offering an early preview of deals it has planned for Black Friday. The chain also announced an early holiday sale running this Saturday between 11 a.m. and midnight.

Discussion Questions: What will Amazon’s Black Friday Deals mean for how other retailers — online and physical — approach the sales day this holiday season? Will Amazon need to have extra deep deals to become a competitive threat to (or a diversion from) brick & mortar Black Friday deals?

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11 Comments on "Amazon Opens Black Friday Deals Store"


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Paula Rosenblum
Guest
9 years 6 months ago

If nothing else, it may put a damper on the silly “CyberMonday” concept that’s a hold-over from when people did not have broadband internet connectivity at home.

Why wait for Monday when customers are wanting to shop at midnight Thursday? No lines, no cold weather, no gas to spend, shopping in your pj’s…you’ve gotta love it.

Doug Stephens
Guest
Doug Stephens
9 years 6 months ago

Clearly an attempt by Amazon to lure unwitting retailers onto a very dangerous battlefield. Amazon is already a threat AND a diversion from brick and mortar stores. The tendency of course, will be for many retailers to overreact to this maneuver and get drawn onto the price battlefield — exactly where Amazon wants them. My advice would be this… If you can’t crush Amazon on price, don’t bother trying. Stay competitive but differentiate your service offering to make direct comparison impossible. You won’t win every sale but you’ll still be in business this time next year.

Max Goldberg
Guest
9 years 6 months ago

Amazon strikes again! With value pricing, great customer service, a wide selection and a solid reputation, Amazon is poised for its best holiday ever. They don’t need extra deep deals on every item, they just need to have the item in stock and continue to do what they do best.

Steve Montgomery
Guest
9 years 6 months ago

I think it is a clever marketing tactic — taking the term applied to the brick and mortar world and applying it to the their web site. By announcing some of the items and prices Amazon is attempting to set price expectations for consumers.

I agree with Doug that the B&M stores should not attempt to beat them, but rather play to their strengths. These include the customers’ ability to actually physically touch/try the item and hopefully knowledgeable sales associates to explain the features, etc.

Dr. Emmanuel Probst
Guest
Dr. Emmanuel Probst
9 years 6 months ago

Smart move from Amazon and a new challenge for retailers. Black Friday is time sensitive and enables retailers to capitalize on a physical place to shop for deals (the store). E-tailers operate 24/7 and from one single platform, which I think somewhat takes away the ‘special time and special place’ components. Amazon just fixed this by creating a specific destination and a countdown to make the deals time sensitive. The bright spot for retailers: getting up at 4 am to line up in front of stores with your best friend is an experience that feel special for many shoppers and cannot be replicated online.

Paul R. Schottmiller
Guest
Paul R. Schottmiller
9 years 6 months ago

This is brilliant. Virtually unlimited assortment, aggressive pricing, and free shipping will make this very enticing for consumers (not to mention no weather, traffic, etc).

A big part of Black Friday is the “sport” of it and the social element. In my family the women approach this day with the same energy as men approach the opening day of deer hunting season.

How long till some shopping trips turn into house-based social events — eat, drink, talk, and share flash deals found while sitting around the living room with laptops.

How long till Amazon adds the capability to put in holiday shopping list information ahead of time so they can provide recommendations, incentives, and let you know when flash sales are approaching?

For B&M it is time to focus on multichannel to prevent pure plays from turning their Black Friday gray!

Bill Emerson
Guest
Bill Emerson
9 years 6 months ago

Yesterday we discussed whether 4-wall retailers will make good on their intent to hold prices this Holiday Season. So much for that.

Tony Orlando
Guest
9 years 6 months ago

The smartest businesses with the deepest pockets will win every time. Amazon is a large threat to the big box and main street businesses who are already stressed out trying to grow their business for the holidays. The shop local theme seems to be lip service to the folks in many communities, and it is going to be tough to compete against the Amazon way of shopping (convenience, price, and selection). I think Amazon will do quite well, at the expense of others.

Doron Levy
Guest
Doron Levy
9 years 6 months ago

I just hit the site and was offered the complete Indiana Jones DVD set for $32.99 plus free super saver shipping. Really good deal. And I like the tease factor of releasing deals at staggered times. So that answers my first question as to how competitive they will be and this first price point was fairly aggressive. I don’t think it will take any pressure off bricks and mortars at this point. Black Friday for 2011 has been so hyped up, I’m expecting Big Boxes to see record turnout this year.

Gordon Arnold
Guest
9 years 6 months ago

I hope their servers are in a cool dry place with plenty of access time for this trick.

Mark Burr
Guest
9 years 6 months ago

Amazon is a smart retailer that is jumping into this ridiculous fray in a unique way that few — very few — others can. For those without their unique abilities the question becomes why or even how to respond.

The problem is responding at all.

The whole Black Friday thing is becoming a thing where the famous quote from the movie “War Games” should be being considered. The quote came from the infamous WOPR that said “A strange game. The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess?”

Well, it is a game of chess. And, in some games of chess it’s also a good move to just tip your king over and get out.

There’s a better way.

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