Retail strategies changing, but Black Friday will remain important, expert says

Published: November 22 2013


GAINESVILLE, Fla. — University of Florida retail expert Steve Kirn says Black Friday is likely to remain an institution – even with top retailers planning to open their doors earlier and earlier on Thanksgiving.

Kirn, a lecturer and executive director of the David F. Miller Center for Retailing Education and Research, believes that large chains are moving away from the hysteria of Black Friday and trying to spread the wealth of the holiday shopping period over a greater number of days.

Black Friday is hard on employees, supplies and – maybe surprisingly – customers.

Encouraging a holiday built on “door-buster specials” only builds a short-term customer base, Kirn said. “There’s an incentive for retailers, in general, to pay attention to the way a significant number of people live their lives … to build stronger, more long-term relationships with the customer.”

Plus, Kirn said, there are numerous other opportunities throughout the holiday season for massive sales.

“So, if you miss Black Friday,” he says, “fear not.”

Kirn can be reached at 352-273-3277 or