After five years of Black Friday trolley tackling in the aisles, retailers are trying to clean the slate of the holiday’s bad rap.
As brands are either introducing more imaginative initiatives, or ditching the sale altogether, we’ve picked out five that have chosen to do something different, setting the tone for Black Friday’s future:
REI: Opt Out, Opt Outside
For the third year, the outdoor brand opted out of Black Friday and encouraged customers to #OptOutside instead. REI Stores were shut for Thanksgiving and Black Friday, giving staff a paid holiday and encouraging them to reconnect with their families in the great outdoors.
Household Takeout: Going against the grain with a strong brand story has the power to win customers for life, not just for the sales season.
ARKET: Colour is the New Black
To coordinate with the store’s colour-block layout, ARKET introduced Blue Monday, Grey Tuesday, White Wednesday and Green Thursday sales, in addition to the traditional Black Friday. Selected items in that day’s colour had 25 per cent off.
Household Takeout: A fun twist on a brand’s characteristic features reinforces their unique take on the sale while avoiding storewide discounts.
Patagonia: Giving Back to The Planet
100 per cent of Black Friday sales were donated to under-the-radar organisations seeking to save the planet for future generations. Last year’s ‘fundraiser for the earth’ raised $10 million for the cause, exceeding the brand’s expectations five-fold.
Household Takeout: Customers see through a token Black Friday sale, but buy into an authentic campaign which offers value without sacrificing community values.
Amazon: The Home of Black Friday
The ecommerce giant gave Londoners a bricks and mortar Black Friday experience. The pop-up let customers try out the products for themselves and enjoy free pampering sessions before shopping sale items using the Amazon app.
Household Takeout: Slowing down the shopping speed provides a welcome break from the high street crush, while in-person trials drive conversions.
Everlane: Commerce with a Conscience
Since 2014, the brand has used Black Friday to raise the profile of sustainable fashion. Each year, profits are put in a Black Friday Fund to improve conditions for the brand’s factory workers. Last year, profits were used to provide helmets for the factory workers in Vietnam, to ensure safety on their ride to work.
Household Takeout: Rethink the retail response to the sale season to be a beacon for positive social change.
Images courtesy of Patagonia, ARKET, REI, Gizmodo and Everlane.