I write this on Thanksgiving, a day before the awful named, Black Friday. Why do we put so much energy towards this day? It's as if we are not doing our part for the economy if we don't shop. So many businesses depend on the sales they make around this day, it makes me wonder if we have totally missed the point of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Being a small business, I hope everyone that has a small business will find people knocking on their doors tomorrow. Yet, I dispise Black Friday and everything it stands for. It seems to be a day where shopping is some type of patriotic act, where if you don't shop the economy will go to "hell in a handbag."
I don't want to see the economy get any more disconbabulated than it already is, yet the idea that only through buying stuff over the next few weeks will solve our problems, just seems so wrong. I guess it also has to do with the fact that in the nursery business winter is very slow for us. We don't have a mad rush of people coming through our door on Black Friday. Matter of fact, it's usually one of the slowest days of the year for us. So maybe I am just bitter?
No, I am not bitter. I love the holidays, just not the forced buying that goes on. It reeks of herd mentality, and I have never gone along with the herd. If so much is riding on the period just before Christmas, we need to re-look at our businesses and ask why? Why are we not selling enough during the rest of the year that so much rides on these few weeks? I realize that Spring is our Christmas season, and we count on that two month period for profitability the rest of the year. Never the less, spring happens because of a natural urge by people to get outside, not a holiday, which after all was not created as a way to sell stuff.
There is an opportunity for garden centers to reach out to people like myself. People who are looking for more than the tension that comes with trying to buy everyone a gift, when they really can't afford it. People who just don't want to pile on the "buy" bandwagon. People who would rather give gifts that have meaning behind them. Or people that don't give gifts they buy, but give the gift of their time or effort.
Being in a business that does not have the mad rush to buy mentality of Black Friday, might make it easier for us.Â I would suggest that the time is right for us to identify those people, and give them an opportunity to try something different.Â We, in the garden business world are perfectly poised to be the "alternative" to the madness. Greenery, fresh air, hope, camaraderie, flowers, trees, longevity, and timelessness are the attributes we offer. We just need to get that message out, and they will come.