So, if I asked you what the craziest day of the year, at a retail store was, what would you tell me? You would probably say something like Black Friday, but you would be wrong. While that day might generate the most sales for Target, the store is usually only crazy for a few hours, at which time it slows down and normal foot traffic ensues. The absolute craziest day for Target, at least, is December 26. Want to know why?
December 26 is the day after everyone has gotten their presents and realize they would have preferred something else. Maybe we should think more about what people really like before buying stuff we hope they’ll like. Therefore, they get up early in the morning on the day after Christmas (their bodies are still wired that way since their kids got them up early on Christmas day), they go down to their local Target store, and they head straight to the guest service desk where they will exchange, exchange, exchange. Finally happy, they will exit the store and proceed to enjoy their newfound presents to themselves. This is precisely why their friends and family printed them out gift receipts, for just this eventuality that they feared would happen anyway.
The second reason it’s the craziest day of the year is because of markdowns in both the Christmas items (we call them Trim & Tree at Target), and in the toy department. After a whirlwind has hit both departments (they’re two of the three biggest sellers — electronics is the first) they are ready to be renewed (on the part of toys), and completely changed out (on the part of Trim & Tree, which will become patio items in the very near future). With this in mind, people come from far and wide to buy items for 50% less than they could have on the 24th. These people mob the store, and wait outside for 7 o’clock when the store officially opens on this day. They fill up cart after cart of clearance merchandise, and they leave happy. These are the people who buy their Christmas cards for next year on this day so they never end up paying full price for them. I admire these people.
And finally, the third reason is one you’ve probably already figured out: gift cards. Leading up to the holiday, so many friends and family members realized you would hate their gifts or just exchange them, so instead they went the non-creative route and bought you a gift card instead. So, armed with your bevy of gift cards (some that feature Spot, the Target dog — isn’t he cute?), you venture out to Target and spend, spend, spend — other people’s money, in the form of those cards. So, it’s almost as wild in the store on this one day as it was in the entire week leading up to Christmas, with people buying what they really wanted with these gift cards, or exchanging what they got for better things. Sounds like fun, huh?
Then again, it sounds like more fun to sleep in, but I work at six.