The Black Friday campaign Fry’s put out did not impress me – it blew me away and is simply one of the best retailing campaigns I’ve seen in a long time. Instead of opening up at 8pm or 9pm on Thanksgiving, Fry’s made it where people can start shopping online at 12pm on Thanksgiving Day and pick up their items in the store on Friday. Not only is Fry’s Black Friday campaign genius and filled with awesomeness, it is a playbook of next generation clicks and bricks retailing model that smaller retail operations will need to incorporate in their growth strategy. Look at Everybody Else and their “Door Busters” Black Friday Campaign If you look at all the other retailers doing “door busters”, they do two things – they make their employees leave Thanksgiving with their family early to deal with a bunch of a-hole f*ckwads fighting and scrambling over some ish made by camp labor in Asia. Cops and security have to work overtime for crowd control and some stores have to pay extra to accommodate all of this crazy and sad demonstration of mob action. Cashiers have to work long lines dealing with customers who breath stinks from eating turkey and not brushing their teeth. A customer that did not step into the arena for fight for something will have to walk away empty-handed and pissed. And worse of all, the retailer is discounting and offering loss leads and may not even become profitable from even being open on Thursday night. Fry’s “Skip the Black Friday Line” Campaign Is a Super Win-Win. What makes Fry’s the killer campaign for Black Friday is they basically leverage online shopping and retail pickup that is a next generation business model called clicks and bricks. This is where you can order online and pick up at the store the next day. Let’s look at all of the benefits. Employees can Stay Home for Thanksgiving. Because the ordering is done online, there is no need to have employees showing up to get paid overtime and deal with rowdy customers who breath stinks. Employees can stay home with their family and morale is better than “if you love your job, you better show up!” threats that other retailers engages in. Just-In-Time Logistics. Think about it, Fry’s can spend all day Thursday and early Friday morning gathering the online orders in real-time and adjust to real-time demand moving products where they are in demand and get real-time sales data. In some cases, they can ship directly from a hub warehouse or express ship overnight products from one location to another location if they have a higher demand for a product. Real-Time Notification of Availability. Let’s say the product is sold out on Thursday before Black Friday – Fry’s can alert customers that the product is sold out and offer them a raincheck in an email on Thursday or early Friday. Now the customer can go deal with nutjobs fighting at the other retailers or they can just chill and Fry’s can offer them the product on Saturday or next week – Fry’s can keep the customer who don’t have to walk away mad. The Takeaway for Hood Businesses What Fry’s has done is what I want every brotha or sista who is thinking about opening up retailing in the hood to consider. In fact, what Fry’s has done is already built into the workflow process of our upcoming point-of-sale software for the hood where we incorporate the clicks and bricks concept. Brick and mortar retailers can take advantage of using online channels such as e-commerce and m-commerce allowing people to shop and checkout from their personal devices and pick up the item at their convenience from the retailer. This is also the benefit of the QR Code Wall Shopping web application where people can order products with their mobile phone and receive the item in the mail or pick up from the physical store where they can be upsold on other items. African-Americans need to stop thinking of brick and mortar retailing as cash and wrap station and start thinking of segmentation of workflows from mobile shopping to mobile checkout to real-time inventory tracking and on-demand fulfillment and picking. Once again, in order to remain globally competitive in the 21st century, brothas and sistas will have to learn to look worldwide for patterns and practices that we can apply to our hoods and urban community to create economic development solutions. Tesco in the UK has done a great job with mobile shopping and online shopping with pickup options and also in South Korea with their QR Wall in the subway. From all of the hybrid clicks and bricks business models we studied worldwide, we are looking at reports of up to 300% increases in sales orders as well as near instant return-on-investment, paying for itself in weeks! Fry’s get a 5-star rating for me with their Black Friday campaign and too bad Best Buy cannot get a clue still participating in this ignorant “door buster” crap. Watch and see how successful Fry’s will start reporting on how well their “Skip the Black Friday Lines” campaign goes.