Black Friday Battle Shapes Up as Nordstrom vs. Walmart

Black Friday Battle Shapes Up as Nordstrom vs. WalmartThis story was updated at 4:29 pm on 11/10/11

With Walmart's (WMT) announcement Thursday that it will open at 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving, the holiday is now officially morphing into Black Friday Eve. While some shoppers will spend the day camping out and grilling turkey burgers in parking lots, others -- fed up with with the ever-earlier shopping frenzy -- are boycotting the day. Vocal anti-consumerism activists are gathering support for "Buy Nothing Day", and many more are making the easy choice to stay home and sleep.

Nordstrom, (JWN) the Seattle-based department store, has figured out a way to reach these contrarian consumers, who will still shop this holiday season, even if they're not at Walmart looking for deals while the turkey is still warm.

For as long as anyone can remember at Nordstrom, stores have posted signs informing customers it won't be engaging in Christmas marketing or displays until Thanksgiving is officially over. (News stories on the strategy date back to 2005).
Black Friday Battle Shapes Up as Nordstrom vs. Walmart
"We won't be decking our halls until Friday, November 25," the signs read. "Why? Well, we just like the idea of celebrating one holiday at a time. From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving."

One photo recently shared about 17,000 times on Facebook was actually from last year, when Black Friday landed on November 27. On Nordstrom's Facebook page, excited commentators who spotted the viral image are commending Nordstrom for its "classy decision," "true respect for each holiday," and "caring about the people behind the money."

Of course, upscale Nordstrom also cares about attracting those shoppers who can afford to spend a little more during holidays and skip the Black Friday deal scavenge. So far, the anti-marketing marketing campaign appears to be working its magic.

"I commend you for taking the step of not decorating yet. I plan to spend my holiday budget with you for this exact reason," wrote one fan on Thursday.


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