Soundview Executive Book Summaries

Ready, Set, Shop!

Sooner or later, with a bit of push from media outlets and marketers, virtually anything can become an event. I’m old enough to remember when the autumn passed by quietly. It was a season where leaves changed colors, cooler temperatures crept into the forecast and before you were able to blink, it was the middle of December. In autumns of yesteryear, Halloween was still a holiday for children and the day after Thanksgiving was devoted to recovering from overindulgence of stuffing and pumpkin pie.

As with many traditions, debate varies as to the origins of the term “Black Friday” where it refers to the first day of the holiday shopping season. I must admit I found the Wikipedia entry to be interesting, in light of the fact that Soundview’s headquarters is located in the suburbs of Philadelphia, a possible location for the first use of the term. Regardless of where it began, the day after Thanksgiving has morphed into a tour-de-force of sales and marketing, to the point where it is now looked at as a key economic indicator of consumer confidence.

This year is receiving particular scrutiny as economists and retailers alike hope for the clattering of cash registers to continue in the face of overwhelming economic struggles. Retailers are going to extreme lengths to pull in consumers. In the past, we’ve covered books that help executives in the retail world gain a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t when it comes to putting a product in the shopping cart. I get the feeling that this year, it may take more than opening at 1 a.m. on Friday to entice people out from under their comforters.

Just like with the majority of our practices, the influence of the online world has altered holiday shopping. As Black Friday continues to begin earlier and earlier, many sources now point to the start of the following week as the next big commerce phenomenon. “Cyber Monday” is often the kickoff point for special Internet-only offers. The decision whether to venture out early Friday morning or wait for the Web on Monday is one that would likely resonate with the author of this book.

If you’re like me, and you’d rather stay in bed on Friday, we’ve got your online shopping needs covered. For the busy executive in your life, nothing beats a little concentrated knowledge courtesy of Soundview.


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