It’s tough for a small retailer (and despite our considerable size in the “bike shop” category, we’re actually pretty small in the grand scheme of things) to compete with the media attention given to midnight mall openings and people camping out for days to save $400 on a crappy 47″ TV. I’ve joked about dressing guys up and having them stand with signs in the middle of El Camino or Foothill, but maybe these guys have got it figured out. The reality is, when I look at the numbers, they’re not bad. It’s just that they’re not the mad-dog shopping experience that TV says should be the norm.
Interesting to hear about the mob scene at Victoria’s Secret when they opened up at midnight post-Thanksgiving; Steve’s daughter works there, said it was absolutely nuts, and they weren’t offering anything special then that they didn’t offer before or afterward (except that the first couple hundred people got a free small bag with a few trinkets & trash). I’ve only been at this for 38 years (33 years as Chain Reaction), so you’d think I’d have it figured out by now. I have, but will I remember? Next year, no big sales like we had this year, ‘cuz it’s obvious that I could almost give stuff away and few would come in, because everyone believes the malls are where it’s at. I’m going to push the anti-mall experience next Christmas season, quality over savings, durability over trash. We’ll see how it works out. –Mike–