All over the globe families are preparing to gather together, and traditions are about to re-cement themselves in time for another year, but for those of us in the retail environment, a rigorous month is ahead.
As most people know, “Black Friday” as it’s called, is the day following Thanksgiving Day. The name of this unofficial retail holiday comes from the fact that for many businesses, this day marks the time of year where a business stops losing money for the year (when they’re “in the red”) to the day where, for the next month until December 25th, they make their entire years’ worth of income (when they’re “in the black”).
For me it is an unbelievably exciting time of year, marked by airplanes, hotel nights, and trying to keep my suits neatly pressed while shoving my luggage into overhead compartments. It’s going from an 85 degree day in Phoenix, AZ to a minus 20 degree evening in Minneapolis, MN.
Between me, my father, and two other men, we ensure that all 20 stores are visited, most several times, between December 1st-25th each year. This year, we’re bringing each team breakfast before the store opens, and spending the rest of the day in the store before heading to the next city later that evening. But we certainly don’t visit the stores for show. We’re selling, meeting with all of our team members, answering questions, asking questions, and making sure that the entire store team knows how grateful we are to have them working for us, and working as hard and long as we know they will until Christmas Day.
All of us came from Shane Co. stores originally, in a sales capacity, and we’ve all felt the six- and seven-day weeks that our wonderful team endures happily and with broad smiles during this holiday timeframe, to ensure that our loyal customers are met with the standards that we’ve built over 4 generations.
It’s really a blast watching people buy their holiday gifts, and converting the sometimes stressed-out looks on their faces when our customer walks in the door, to a smile and the look of relief on their way out.
My favorite story from last Christmas was when I was in Minnetonka, MN working with a gentleman who was looking to purchase a really pretty $100 freshwater strand of pearls from us. Being helpful (and admittedly having my salesman hat on) I asked the gentleman if I could save him a trip to the mall and make his wife happy at the same time by matching a $35 dollar pearl bracelet to the strand. He looked at me, jumped up and down, and clapped his hands together at least a dozen times…I took that as a yes, and concluded that this gentleman enjoyed shopping in the malls within 72 hours of Christmas about as much as I do!
It really is fun having a full month of the year where I rarely look down at a clock, and have full days feel like only a fraction of a moment. The only thing that I will enjoy more is taking my final flight back to my hometown of Denver, CO and walking in the door of my apartment to spend the last day or two before Christmas with my new fiancée.Share on Facebook