Saturday, November 24, 2007

saturday sales

Those of you who remember the secret $99 HD DVD sale at Wal-Mart may be interested in the "sequel": a Sony PlayStation 3 game console with ten Blu-ray movies, for $499.
The model being sold is the 80-Gbyte version, which costs about $499 or a little more just by itself. Tacking on ten additional Blu-ray movies, which can cost $20 or so apiece, is a heck of a deal.

Of course, what this means is a riposte of sorts from the Blu-ray camp, which Sony leads. To me, there's a world of difference between a $99 (or $199 or $299) HD DVD player and a $499 game console, no matter how many freebies are thrown in.

The sale will begin on Saturday, Nov. 24, at 8 AM, according to the secret Wal-Mart Web site advertising the deal. (It's an official Wal-Mart site; click on the Saturday specials link to view the offer.) Other deals will be announced as that date nears, as well as "Black Friday" sales.

Today, shoppers will line up before dawn outside their favorite stores to snag "door-buster" bargains and other flashy promotions meant to boost the holiday-sales season for retailers.

It's the most-talked-about shopping day of the year — but it's not the only named day between now and Christmas.

We know of at least three invented to generate buzz during the all-important sales season, plus a couple of others:

• Today is called Black Friday because retailers used to mark their ledgers with red and black ink, and it was when many went from red to black — posted a profit for the year. It's typically the year's busiest day for the sheer number of shoppers, but that hasn't always translated to the most sales; the Saturday before Christmas vies for top billing in terms of dollars rung up at the cash register.

• Buy Nothing Day is an attempt to call attention to the environmental and social consequences of what one group calls the frantic consumerism of modern life. The Adbusters Media Foundation organized the day 15 years ago in Vancouver, B.C., and has since taken it worldwide. It's the Friday after the U.S. Thanksgiving in North America and Saturday elsewhere.

The group recommends people take the day to go on a relaxed family outing or attend a public protest — just don't spend any money.

• Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, wants Black Friday to carry over into Saturday, so it petitioned Martin Rees, the astronomer royal at London's Royal National Observatory, to rename the Saturday after Thanksgiving a Friday. Wal-Mart says such a move would benefit people who prefer to stay in today but don't want to miss out on the bargains. Wal-Mart has only so much pull, though. Rees had not responded to its request as of Wednesday.

• Cyber Monday is when many Americans return to work after Thanksgiving and buy holiday gifts online they weren't able to get at brick-and-mortar stores over the weekend. Or so that's the thinking. The National Retail Federation's division coined the term in November 2005, after online retailers noticed a surge in sales the Monday after 2004's Thanksgiving.

• If today is for planners, Super Saturday is for procrastinators. The Saturday before Christmas has ranked No. 1 or No. 2 for holiday shoppers in each of the past five years, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers and ShopperTrak, a Chicago-based data firm. ShopperTrak predicts the day after Thanksgiving will claim the top spot this year, with Super Saturday at No. 2.

But not everyone has one day in mind for buying gifts. Gena Barker, 29, of Seattle, said she'll do her shopping in the final two weeks before Christmas. Today, she said, is "when I avoid the malls."

"I just don't like to wait in line — or get up at 6 a.m.," she added, laughing.

— Amy Martinez


PCC Natural Markets will open a store in Edmonds in mid-2008 in a building vacated by Albertsons in 2005. It will be the ninth store for Seattle's PCC and will be renovated to include eco-friendly features that the chain hopes will result in LEED Platinum Certification, a designation awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council. PCC's Redmond location was the first grocery store to qualify for LEED Gold Certification by exceeding industry standards for energy efficiency and systems performance. The Edmonds store, at 100th Avenue West and Edmonds Way, will employ about 100 full- and part-time workers. — MA

Pacific Place and Westin Seattle are reaching out to well-heeled dog lovers this holiday season with a travel-and-spend package that costs $5,500 for one night. The "Pampered Pooch" package is available through Dec. 30 and includes a $1,000 Pacific Place gift card, a luxury suite with doggie bed at the downtown hotel, transportation in a stretch limousine, and four hours of dog-sitting services while the owner is out shopping.

No takers yet.

Less-expensive packages being offered by Westin and Pacific Place are enjoying brisk sales, though — nearly 1,000 since the start of this month. Those packages cost $229 and $399 a night and come with Pacific Place gift cards worth $100 and $200, respectively. — AM

Howard Schultz won an award for responsible capitalism from First magazine, a business publication in the United Kingdom, where Starbucks has about 700 coffee shops. Schultz received the annual award Tuesday at Marlborough House in London from Alistair Darling, the U.K.'s chancellor of the exchequer, which is like our secretary of the treasury. — MA

Tottini , a Seattle-based retailer of modern children's furniture and toys, began selling on this week. It lists more than 300 items on the Web site, including an elephant-shape foam toy for $119 and a $50 pretend mailbox set. Tottini has a store in South Lake Union. — AM

Gilt , a new jewelry and accessories store started by Jenny Corry, a longtime Microsoft employee, opened Monday at Bellevue Square. The store carries the Danish Pilgrim jewelry line, with prices ranging from $40 to $125. — AM

Kent-based cooperative REI plans to open a 26,000-square-foot store in Brentwood, Calif., in 2009. REI said more than 7,000 co-op members and other outdoor enthusiasts live within 15 miles of the new site. REI has 24 stores in California and plans to open another next spring in Stockton. — AM

Retail Report appears Fridays. Melissa Allison covers the food and beverage industry


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home