I really wanted to share Zoe's First Black Friday experience with you on Friday evening but I could barely keep my eyes open to eat dinner, much less type!
There had been so much publicity about the Black Friday events in Old Town that I was a little later sending out my email to my customer base. Also, I had just sent an email a few days prior about the Donations for Discounts program so I hated pounding people with so many emails. Although I know I have to embrace it from a business standpoint, I always feel a twinge personally when I'm part of pushing the commercialism of the holiday season.
Earlier in the week, one of my customers had come by and told me that she would be out of town on Friday but she wanted to call in during the 6 am - 8 am time period when we were offering 30% off everything in the store. And I had a customer email me on Thanksgiving to ask me to set aside a couple items on Friday when I got to the store so she could also purchase them during the time period. So, I thought I might get a couple sales during the early hours.
Still, I thought I must be crazy - was anyone going to get up to come shopping during the early morning hours at a boutique? Best Buy and Target, sure! Zoe? Who knows?
My mom and I got up at 3:30 am on Friday morning and were at the store by 5 am. I had several things I wanted to prepare prior to opening the doors at 6 am. We opened while it was still completely dark outside. And, to my surprise, the first customers walked in the door at 6:05 am!
We were steadily busy during that first two hours! I had more sales in that first two hour period than my very best day since I had been open. Many of them were previous customers who were thrilled to take advantage of the opportunity to purchase items that never go on sale! It was so much fun sharing the Black Friday experience with them! One of my regular customers brought her daughter with her and she drew this message on the Fisher Price draw/erase board I keep in the toy basket.
Things were quieter during the 20% off period between 8 am - 10 am but then picked back up for the rest of the day (we offered 10% off from 10 am - 6 pm). Because we weren't really in a position to brew coffee for our customers, we gave a $5 Starbucks gift card to each person who made a purchase on Black Friday. This really seemed to please our customers as there is a Starbucks just a block from Zoe!
I was also thrilled that one of my customers brought 30 food items for the Donations for Discounts program during that first 2 hour period! She was then able to take 60% off her purchases! And I have a great supply of food to take to ALIVE! this week!
I will admit that I normally keep a running total in my head on any normal day but I just couldn't do it on Friday because we were processing sales through so quickly in that first two hours. I was so excited when I ran my end of day program and saw the final result! As exhausted as I was, it was well worth it to open for those 12 hours. And I was so glad my mom was here to help me. There is no way I could have done it alone.
Zoe (and I) survived our first Black Friday!