A Week Until Black Friday, We Should All Be Thankful For The Industry We Work In!

Thanksgiving is less than a week away and in just seven days it will be Black Friday.  How important has Black Friday become for retail?  In 2019 (right before the Covid pandemic), Black Friday beat CYBER MONDAY as the busiest digital shopping day.  Over 93 million people shopped online on Black Friday, beating Cyber Monday by over 10 million customers!

Tell Me More About Black Friday!

From our friends at Good Housekeeping, Black Friday, a.k.a. the day after Thanksgiving, is the most popular time to shop in stores out of the entire year. The National Retail Federation (NRF) found that 77 million people, to be exact, shop in brick-and-mortar stores on Black Friday. And throughout the holiday weekend, 174 million Americans shop either online or in stores — that’s more than half the U.S. population!

The term “Black Friday” was initially associated with a stock market crash.

Two men working in finance tried to conspire against the gold market so they could make a profit, according to the New York Times. But their scheme failed and caused the market to crash on September 24, 1869, which became known as Black Friday.

But Black Friday as we know it actually got its start in the 1950s.

The city that first popularized the term was Philadelphia (my home town….. and you thought Philly was only famous for cheesesteaks and unruly sports fans!). Police officers, frustrated by the congestion caused by shoppers on the day, started referring to it derisively as “Black Friday.”  

The rest of the country didn’t make use of the term until the late 1980s. That’s when retailers decided to take advantage of the opportunity in a more positive way, according to History.com, as it was usually the point in the year when they were actually able to turn a profit.

Today, the average American spends $335 on Thanksgiving weekend.

About 75% ($250) of that money goes toward gifts, according to the NRF. According to a TechCrunch article referencing Adobe, consumers spent $5 billion online during Black Friday 2017. And each year, that number gets higher with the exception of 2008-2009, total holiday sales have continued to increase.

Black Friday is unofficially the best day to buy a TV.

The 2017 study by Adobe says you’ll save the most money on appliances, jewelry, televisions, and tablets on Black Friday. If you’re shopping for toys, you’ll get the biggest discounts on Cyber Monday.

In addition to long hours for retail workers, Black Friday is the busiest day of the year for plumbers.

Roto-Rooter says they receive the most calls on Black Friday, specifically for kitchen sinks, garbage disposals, and toilets. Pretty gross, but that’s what happens when there’s so much food consumed in one day!

Are You and Your Stores Ready?

Okay, let’s get back to work.  Now that you know almost all there is to know about Black Friday, let’s back up twenty-four hours and talk about Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is an annual national holiday in the United States and Canada celebrating the harvest and other blessings of the past year.  Being blessed, or thankful, it’s a time to get together with family or friends, feast on too much food, maybe watch a lot of football, and get ready to shop, shop, shop.  

I’ve written earlier about the importance of being ready and prepared for the beginning of the holiday shopping season so I assume that by now, stores are merchandised, loaded with stock and customers are ready to be served by your trained employees.

So, with everything in place, let’s take a look and see what some of the leaders of our incredible wireless and mobile industry are Thankful for on the eve of the biggest time of year to make sales and meet or beat your revenue targets.

I reached out to many of my friends and associates in the industry that I have had the pleasure of working with over the years and asked them “what are you thankful for this year?”  Their answers are diverse but not at all surprising.  We’d love to hear from you as well; what are YOU thankful for this year in wireless?  Or what do you think the top executives need to work on?

Here are a few comments in no particular order:

Eric Schneider, CEO of AKKO (Modern Phone Insurance Solutions) is “thankful to our amazing partners who value products designed to an amazing value to users and a seamless claims experience.” https://getakko.com

Hassab Awan, CEO of Efani  tells us that “it feels great to have the opportunity to protect thousands of clients. With 5G, Cybersecurity & now satellite internet, we’ve so much to learn & innovate. I feel blessed every day at my job.”  www.efani.com

Ehsan Gharatappeh, CEO of Cellpoint Corp. is “thankful for all the Cellpoint team members who devote themselves to our relentless pursuit of making our customers happy.  Thanks also to our customers who are smart and capable enough to create opportunity that creates enough demand for us to all have a plentiful Thanksgiving!”  www.cellpoint.com

Cat Coughran-McIntosh, CEO of Sky Peak Technologies is “grateful for the amazing interest and positive feedback we are getting from the MVNO industry as we bring On-Device, Intelligent Content Shaping forth. We are honored by the industry’s welcome and interest in our new technology. We look forward to working with everyone to deliver more data-intensive content for LESS while helping make your subscribers HAPPIER!” skypeaktechnologies.com

Adam Wolf, President of the National Wireless Independent Dealers Association is “thankful for the dealers. that we’ve been able to create a growing organization that helps hundreds of small businesses “keep their edge.” We’re also grateful to our Vendor Partners, who have graciously provided discounts and other benefits to our members – ensuring they save thousands of dollars each year.  Finally, we’re thankful to our partner organizations, who help us on the advocacy side – allowing us to be the single, strong voice for the dealer and repair community where they need it most. www.nwida.org

Tom Hansen, CEO of SMART Customer Solutions, is “THANKFUL that our leadership & culture provides for us to retain our employees.  Talent is the key to success!”  Smartcustomersolutions.com 

Kim Kerr, SVP Business Sales and Operations at US Cellular “I am thankful that we are part of an industry whose mission is to keep people connected to the people and things that matter most to them”.  www.uscellular.com

Jeff Moore, Principal at Wave 7 Research “I am thankful for telecom conferences.  As much as I love Zoom and Skype meetings, my experience is that there is nothing like in-person meetings for networking.  My favorite event these days is the All Wireless & Prepaid Expo, but I also enjoy WISPA conferences, including WISPAmerica and WISPAPALOOZA.”  About Wave7 Research – Wave7 Research

From all of us here at Atrium Unlimited Consulting atriumunlimited.com, here’s wishing you and all of your family and friends a very Happy and Safe Thanksgiving, especially if you’re traveling.

All the Best and Good Selling!