Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Big Box Boxing Day Sale Bungle

Does this message look familiar to you?

Traditionally, Boxing Day is the biggest shopping day in Canada. It’s comparable to the day after Thanksgiving in the U.S.

As I was reading the paper before work yesterday morning, I couldn’t help noticing the big sale flyers from sibling big box electronic stores announcing they were jumping the gun and starting their Boxing Day sales online at 8 p.m. that night.

I expected their websites would be busy and perhaps a bit slow. I also expected them to be prepared for heavy traffic since they put so much effort into promoting their online early-bird sale. I was wrong. When I logged on, I got the message above instead. I couldn’t even access either website until after 11 p.m. I had better luck getting what I wanted shopping in person last year.

I woke up this morning, logged on to Twitter and learned I wasn’t the only one annoyed last night. Mitch Joel sums it up beautifully in How The e-commerce Grinch Store Christmas - A Holiday Season Marketing Disaster.

I imagine the company in question will think twice about jumping the gun next Boxing Day unless they’ve ensured their websites are adequately equipped to deal with customer demand.

I hope other stores take note too, including the one that sent me an e-mail today announcing their online Boxing Day sale had begun. The tag line in their title bar states they are Canada’s #1 brand. Let’s hope they stay true to their word.


  1. It saddens me that this isn't the first time - because we all know it won't be the last.

    Consumers still seem to be "suckers" for a bargain and willing to do anything - including putting our integrity on the line - to get a better price.

    I caught myself thinking this morning that maybe I should head over to the store to see what stuff is left on sale.

    Why are we like this?

    Happy Holidays Eden! Hopefully next year, everything will get stuffed in our stockings ;)

  2. Mitch, Thanks for stopping by.

    Perhaps this will catch some readers off guard, but I'm not much of a sucker for a bargain. I hate fighting through the crowds and sifting through piles of messy merchandise. I usually shy away from clothing stores until after Boxing Day. If I do shop on Boxing Day, I make a list in advance and stick to it.

    In was disappointed with my online experiences at a few other stores with Boxing Day promos, especially the one "under construction".

    Why are people suckers when it comes to bargains? I don't have all the answers. As for me, I like it when I can get the most for my hard-earned dollar.

    As for 2008, hopefully retailers will learn from this experience not make the same mistakes twice.


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