Black Friday – Lousy Deals; Damp Squib?

Folks, we just went for a spin to check out the Black Friday crowds and deals (in the U.S.).

On both the crowd and deal fronts, we’d say we were disappointed (our focus was on electronics).

We checked out Wal-Mart (both outside and inside), Staples (inside and outside), Best Buy (parking lot was 70%-80% full), Circuit City (few cars in the lot) and a huge mall.

Shockingly, the Wal-Mart parking lot was not full around 6:45AM EST. There were not that many people inside too.

On the whole, we didn’t see much excitement on shoppers’ faces and we’d be surprised if this Black Friday doesn’t prove to be a damp squib.

At Staples, we did see a few desis (one Tamil guy we’d met once and a few Gujjus).

The deals were for the most part lousy, whether it’s the LCD/Plasma TVs, notebooks, desktops, digital cameras et al.

Black Friday DealsWal-Mart Parking Lot – Not Full

Lousy Free Breakfast at Sam’s
Like typical desis, we couldn’t resist the free breakfast offer at Sam’s Club.

As we entered, the lady at the entrance made a big deal of the Free Breakfast. We feigned indifference. You see, even if you are cheap you don’t want to appear cheap. Right?

And like all things from the Waltons, the free breakfast was disgustingly lousy. The bagel trays were mostly empty, no coffee at first, few orange juice bottles and the African American staff utterly indifferent.

Sam’s Club=Cheap skunks. And coming from a cheap desi, that’s a real insult.

Of course, Sam’s Club hardly had any crowd because they hardly had any deals.

What did we buy?
At Staples, we purchased a 8GB flash drive ($15.99), a 8GB SDHC card ($17.99) for our digital camera and a Norton Internet Security 2009 3PC-edition (free after MIR).

In all, we probably saved about $90-$95.

Nothing else was exciting.

Did you guys go out for Black Friday shopping or were you put off by the lousy deals this year?

We think that American retailers will have to come out with more attractive deals if they want to make money this holiday season. So, watch the fliers in your Sunday newspapers carefully.

2 Responses to "Black Friday – Lousy Deals; Damp Squib?"

  1. the gora   November 30, 2008 at 3:33 am

    I don’t think the Black Friday deals were all that great. The stuff was overhyped this year with places promising to go overboard on the discounts in the hopes of luring people to spend in spite of the economy and credit crisis affecting family budgets. But there weren’t any great deals on stuff I could actually use.

    For example I walked into Macy’s and things like jeans, khakis, dress shirts, and shoes, things in the $50-$100 range were not really discounted at all. But things like cashmere sweaters or scarves that would be $200 normally were marked down to $150 or $125.

    Most of the focus was on electronics from what I saw, with either CC or BB offering an HP notebook for $350 and plasma/LCD tvs discounted by $100 or so.

    I never went before and can’t say I’ll want to go again next year as it just wasn’t worth it. Even more disturbing was that taking into consideration the fact that the deals didn’t seem to great to begin with, how desperate are people to save $100 that they would trample a Wal-Mart worker to death in Long Island, breaking down the doors and bullrushing the entrance at 5 AM?

    And apparently an 8 month pregnant woman was caught up in the chaos as well and had to be taken to a hospital. At first I was upset that people would treat a woman like that, but then I also thought why the hell is she putting herself at risk by camping out to get into the store at 5 am in the presence of an unruly crowd? It’s never the victims fault, but still some prudence would have been encouraged from her husband or herself, yes? Responds:

    The death of the Walmart worker was a tragedy beyond words.

    We’ve never completely understood the buy, buy, buy culture. Not that it’s unique to the U.S. From what we gather, the 350-million Indian middle class is caught up in that sentiment too and racking up heavy debt in the process. Wonder if Europe is any different?

  2. joeantony   December 1, 2008 at 5:34 am

    I dont know what happened to their (wal-mart) much hyped entry in Indian markets… Responds:

    Wal-mart has a wholesale presence in India not a retail presence (to the best of our knowledge).

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