For a few years now, a movement has been growing to stop buying on the day after Thanksgiving. The formal movement is called "Buy Nothing Day" but many people have been doing this, including my family, for years.
Is this a retailer's nightmare? Is this a push by consumers to let retailers know that the aggravation and the hassles are not worth the cost savings? Is it a push to get retailers to offer the savings on other days? Actually, it is a push to reduce consumption in general. Adbusters plays a big part and has some very interesting stories to tell about the annual event.
How would you handle a customer strike like this?
Is this an opportunity for other companies to benefit?
I suppose there are many ways but I think the best is to lead the revolution and not be a follower. A campaign that says, "Avoid the rush..." then give them something that makes it easier or completely different.
Our family, to get away from the living room mess, goes to the movies on Christmas Day. At first, I thought it was terrible to make someone work that day. However, since they were already there I guess I was not making it worse. When we started, 10+ years ago, hardly anyone was in the theatre. Now, there are crowds.
What can you do to change "Black Friday" for shoppers?
Can you create a movement that takes advantage of sentiments like those felt by shoppers in crowded stores?
Is there a bonus you can offer for not shopping on that day?
(Why tell this story now? Because if we wait until that day, it is too late.)
UPDATE - Seth Godin has an intersting note about "Changing the Game" that I think goes well with this idea. He notes how Google has changed the paradigm for social networking with portable identities. Now you are not trapped if Facebook locks youout.
In that light; what if you closed your store that day?