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Expert Pitch: Trends and Truths about Black Friday

Stores and consumers are gearing up for Black Friday on Nov. 24, but the truth is bargains will start days before then and last through the end of the year. Experts from Florida State University are available to talk about Black Friday and holiday shopping trends:

Mike Brady, chair, Department of Marketing
Mike Brady, chair, Department of Marketing

Mike Brady, Carl DeSantis Professor, chair of Department of Marketing
(850) 644-7853; mbrady@business.fsu.edu

Brady’s main research interest is customer service/frontline service. He said it’s changing dramatically to better serve consumers.

Brady has published articles in top scholarly journals, including the Journal of Marketing, Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Retailing and the International Journal of Research in Marketing. His research articles have been cited more than 16,000 times.

On Black Friday, Brady said, businesses are working harder to make sure they have the right employees on the front lines of the shopping crush.

“A frontline worker once told me, ‘You don’t work Black Friday, you survive it.’ That comment reveals a problem: The retail industry struggles to get good frontline employees because the publicized chaos turns them away from the industry. In reality, retail is a great way to break into business, and many of the careers don’t require working on the floor.”

Elizabeth Goldsmith, professor emerita, Dept. of Retail, Merchandising and Product Development
Elizabeth Goldsmith, professor emerita, Retail, Merchandising and Product Development

Elizabeth B. Goldsmith, professor emerita, Department of Retail, Merchandising and Product Development
(850) 443-5814; egoldsmith@fsu.edu

Goldsmith tracks apparel buying and is the co-author of the upcoming book entitled “International Retailing.” She said buying online is a worldwide trend picking up speed in the United States.

“This holiday season will be the first time that we will see more gift purchasing online than in stores. The numbers are being tracked by researchers and by organizations like the National Retail Federation. Buying online is easier, the variety is incomparable and shipping is often free. Watch for more bargains and free shipping to stimulate buying. Stores will compete by offering free gift wrap, discounts, entertainment and other incentives.”

Luke Hopkins, assistant chair, Department of Marketing
Luke Hopkins, assistant chair, Department of Marketing

Luke Hopkins, assistant chair, Department of Marketing
(850) 645-0941; lhopkins@business.fsu.edu

Hopkins’ research focuses on customer relationships. He teaches workshops on how to manage and deliver quality customer service. Hopkins has published articles in the European Business Review, Journal of Public Affairs and the Journal of Family Business Strategy, and he is co-director of FSU’s Center for Retail Innovation in the College of Business. Hopkins said the big news this holiday season will be consumers’ continuing shift to online shopping.

“Sales forecasts for Cyber Monday project increases as high as 15 percent. Maybe this year’s predictions of sluggish brick-and-mortar sales for Black Friday prove we’ve hit a tipping point in attitudes toward online shopping.”

Despite the convenience of online shopping, plenty of shoppers are still motivated to get out of bed during the wee hours of the morning to score some deals in stores.

“The concept of scarcity is frequently used to explain why customers are willing to endure bad weather, long lines and mobs of deal seekers. Combine scarcity with the tradition of Black Friday shopping, as well as the heightened energy of the holiday season, and you begin to see why our usual rational buying behavior can quickly shift to a more primal, ‘must-have’ mentality.”

Maura L. Scott, Madeline Duncan Rolland Associate Professor of Business Administration
Maura L. Scott, Madeline Duncan Rolland Associate Professor of Business Administration, Department of Marketing

Maura L. Scott, Madeline Duncan Rolland Associate Professor of Business Administration, Department of Marketing
(850) 644-6554; Maura.Scott@fsu.edu

Scott’s research interests include the phenomenon of over-consumption among consumers, goal-setting, self-regulation and transformative consumer research. She has been published in a number of marketing journals, including the Journal of Consumer Research and the Journal of Marketing Research. Scott also has industry experience, including marketing management positions at 3M Company, Dial Corporation and Motorola.

“The frenzy of the holiday season can trigger consumers to engage in over-consumption in their eating, shopping and spending. My research examines the environmental, social and psychological factors that influence over-consumption, as well as strategies to help consumers reduce unintended over-consumption.”