Just because Black Friday deals are over, doesn't mean that "Black Friday" pricing has ended. The day after Black Friday is just another part of Black Weekend for many major retail chains that have deals and discounts continuing on Saturday and even into Sunday. But the biggest Black Weekend news for November 24, 2012 is Small Business Saturday.
What is Small Business Saturday? It's one of those great fabricated retail events which gives American shoppers another good excuse to spend money and acquire stuff specifically from small businesses. The purpose of Small Business Saturday is to give some marketing support to businesses that can't afford mass media advertising or extreme loss leader discounts to compete with the big chain Black Friday bombardment.
It's really a nice idea, but American Christmas shoppers are in the mood for deep discounts, not retail charity this time of year. If small businesses can't compete, why should shoppers forego the deals and discounts that spill over from Black Friday into Black Weekend just to putz around in some small retail shop to make a pity purchase?
Two words. American Express.
American Express has designated itself the sponsor of "Shop Small," which is its clever advertising slogan for Small Business Saturday on Saturday, November 24, 2012. What this means for shoppers - specifically American Express cardholding shoppers - is that you can get a $25 rebate when you spend at least $25 at a qualified Small Business Saturday retailer.
How do you know which stores are qualified American Express Shop Small retailers? In general, they are the retail stores which accept American Express, of course. But Small Business Saturday is not limited to purchases at retail shops. It includes purchases at restaurants, attractions, entertainment, mini storage, car washes, and even legal services.
For instance, if you happen to be in Walt Disney World area of Orlando, FL on Small Business Saturday, you could get $25 freebies at Bargain World, Bongos Cuban Cafe, and the Zen Zone, to name just a few. If you're in downtown Orlando, Florida your possible $25 freebies could be redeemed at downtown Orlando and Church St. shops and restaurants as well as J. Tech Support, Lifesuccess Academy, and Orlando After School All Stars. if you happen to be shopping around Disneyland in Anaheim, California, you can get $25 freebies at businesses like Discount Tickets and Tours, Ghiardelli in California Disney and the Mickey and Me Outlet,
So essentially, wherever you are on Small Business Saturday, there are piles of AMEX-accepting businesses where you can get $25 of something for free. Presumably, if the business has taken the time to register as an official American Express Shop Small retailer, then they are planning to be open for business during this one-day-only Small Business Saturday November 24th event.
Specifically you can find out where Small Business Saturday stores are near you with a nifty little Shop Small store locator from American Express... click here...
Certainly this Small Business Saturday event is of great benefit to the not-so-small business of the American Express corporation. With every swipe of an AMEX card, a nifty little fee goes directly to American Express. And given the size of those fees, AMEX needs to provide a little end-of-year kickback to the source of their small business swipes. All in all, on the surface, Small Business Saturday seems like a win-win cross promotion, and a good example of how businesses can cooperate instead of compete so that everybody wins.
Here's the most important piece of information American Express cardholders need to know. You MUST register your American Express card on the American Express website BEFORE you make your purchase in order to get your $25 rebate. And American Express claims that there is a "limited" number of enrollments that they will allow. Which means you need to click here to register your American Express card now, before American Express reaches the altruistic limit of its rebate budget for this promotion.
It's also important to know that you only get one $25 rebate for the whole day. You don't get a $25 rebate for every place where you make a $25 purchase. This is an important thing to understand, otherwise you will get an unwanted holiday surprise with your next AMEX statement, and spend a lot of time backtracking with returns.
It's also important to know that you don't get this $25 rebate at every place that accepts American Express. If you decide to whip out your AMEX to pay for a Kohl's Nightowl Deal on Saturday evening, you won't get a $25 rebate from AMEX because Kohl's (KSS) hardly qualifies as a "small business." The promo is designed to get you into the doors of those backbone-of-America-Main-Street small businesses, not mega retail chains.
But, speaking of mega retail chains in general and Kohl's specifically, if you're not completely burnt out from your Black Friday binges, there are still deals to be had on Saturday and Sunday, sometimes referred to as Black Weekend or Pre-Cyber Monday. There are many of the major retail chains like Target, (TGT) Burlington Coat Factory, and IKEA that are extending their Black Friday deals all weekend (while supplies last, of course).
There are also plenty of retail chains like Macy's, (M) Michaels, Meijer and Kohl's that are launching completely new Black Saturday deals, discounts, and doorbuster sales for Black Weekend shoppers on Saturday, November 24, 2012. Of all these, Kohl's seems to be the most aggressive in working to keep shoppers spending.
Without much competition at all, Kohl's will have the earliest store opening times on Black Saturday, opening its doors at 6:00 AM, with Earlybird Specials from 6:00 AM to 1:00 AM. Kohl's will also stay open until midnight on Black Saturday, and will run an extra set of special Nightowl Deals from 3:00 pm to midnight, with merchandise from just about every department on sale up to 65% off.
Kohl's is also very smart with its marketing promo to get shoppers to come back in that lull week after Black Friday, which some retailers (or maybe just journalists) are referring to as Cyber Week (the week after Cyber Monday). Both on Black Friday and Black Saturday, Kohl's shoppers get $15 in Kohl's cash for every $50 they spend. So the bottom line is that shoppers are getting 30% off their entire purchase, on top of the special discounted price. Sort of.
The catch is that you have to come back to Kohl's and spend your Kohl's cash at a Kohl's store between November 26 and December 3rd. But the good news is that there's no pricing restrictions, which means that you can spend your $15 of Kohl's cash on a $15 item and walk out of the store with a freebie. Of course Kohl's will be working really hard to make sure there's not much you can purchase at a $15 price point in order to pry that little bit of extra out of your wallet. But that's the fun part of the Christmas holiday shopping dance, right?
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