As the holidays come around once again, people are in continuous search of finding the best deal they possibly can for gifts. Black Friday is every shoppers dream, because it gives them a chance to find that gift at an amazing, affordable price. In a recent Wall Street Journal article titled, “Department Stores Lure Black Friday Shoppers With $19.99 Women’s Boots”, it discusses the strategy department stores across the country use to gain massive profits on the shopping holiday.
Starting seven years ago, Belk Inc. has used this $19.99 strategy, and has stuck to it since then. Joseph Safdeye, the chief executive of the shoe importer E.S. Originals (who came up with the idea) stated $19.99 as the “magic number”. ‘When a lady can walk in with $100 and buy five pairs of boots, that’s a good deal,’.
It’s tough for any company to come up with the perfect door-buster, especially since the shoppers are expected to spend $27 billion this time around. It causes a “vicious battle” for the market share. Belk’s general merchandise manager, David Neri, said that the company does not make money off of the $19.99 price, but the promotion drives people to the stores and the website, resulting in an interest of purchasing other additional items as well. In addition, the margins on the boots are “razor thin”, but it does eventually add up due to the volume of sales.
Overall, it’s interesting to see what marketing strategy companies use in order to generate sales. This article evokes readers, especially ones who run businesses, to think about the best way to sell and market a product. In this case, stores saw an opportunity to get products off the shelves, using boots as their leverage. Boots aren’t just made for walking.