5 Ideas to Make the Most from Black Friday

In a few weeks, it will be here. Leftovers from the Thanksgiving turkey—if any remain—will be chilling in the fridge. The NFL will have declared five Thanksgiving Day winners, and millions of Americans will be scurrying through the aisles of retail stores.

Yes, Black Friday is coming. But if you’re a tackle dealer, is it really worth it?

Most of the independent dealers we surveyed about the nation’s largest “shopping holiday” agreed that it is. But if you’re new to the game, or you simply want to shake up your Black Friday events, here are a few things that outdoor retailers around the country are doing to make an impact on their customers this year:

  1. Feed the masses- Yes, many shoppers will have kitchens full of leftovers, but that’s not going to help them when they’re out scrounging for deals. Consider throwing together a few extra dishes for your customers while you’re cooking a holiday feast this year. It doesn’t take a ton of effort to cobble together something delicious (and re-heatable) in a slow cooker. If you’re in a colder part of the country, you likely already offer hot coffee…how about taking it to the next level?
  2. Host a film festival- Fishing film festivals are a popular way to promote tackle stores, and while you might not have time to market a fully-fledged event this close to Black Friday, a mini-festival in the evening hours, when shoppers are already weary and eager to get off of their feet, could be an entertaining way to differentiate yourself from other stores around town. (YouTube is the gift that keeps on giving.)
  3. Create a social media scavenger hunt- Make the most of crowded malls and shopping centers by scattering coupons or special offers from your store around town. Post clues or locations on your social media pages and reward loyal customers who engage with you there. It’s not only a way to create some buzz online, but it’s also a great way to draw shoppers who might be elsewhere into your business.
  4. Host a digital fishing tournament- Apps like GoFree and Fatsack Outdoors make it possible to host tournaments without the hassle or expense of a weigh-in stage. Inviting all of your customers to participate in a Black Friday tournament can give anglers who aren’t the mass-shopping type a way to stay connected to your store. And, as a bonus, you could score points for “getting” them.
  5. Lock your doors and turn off the lights. If you’re not a tackle dealer who is breaking sales records on Black Friday, why not shut your doors? REI raised eyebrows last year when they opted to do so, and instead created a social media tag urging customers to #optoutside. The movement went viral, and REI has renewed the initiative this year. The big box outdoor retailer has a cult-like following among outdoor enthusiasts, and creating a counter-culture movement only served to galvanize their tribe. If you choose to join in, make a fuss about it online. You want people to not only know that you’re closed, but to know why. (This route goes great with a tournament, too.)

There’s no sure-fire recipe for success on Black Friday. Despite it’s popularity, the “holiday” has become less popular in the wake of online and week-long sales that have taken a bit of its steam away in recent years. Still, it’s a day with high cultural awareness and enough media coverage to shine a spotlight on your store. And shaking things up is always worth a shot.