To Shop or Not To Shop

Originally, and for hundreds of years, Thanksgiving was a day of celebration, of being thankful for our blessings and sharing with those we love.

Then, Thanksgiving became less traditional meaning turkey, family, football and a day off work.

Now, with “Black Friday”— and sometimes even “Black Thursday” — millions of American households consider Thanksgiving as a prelude to a shopping spree and are intent on rushing out to buy bargains for Christmas.

Black Friday used to be the extra dessert after Thanksgiving, a day to stretch our shopping muscles for Christmas. It was fun, productive and beneficial. But now some of us Americans believe retailers have crossed the line and shoppers have lost their minds, not to mention their manners.

For the last decade, retailers, keen to spur holiday spending, have moved the starting line forward for this consumer sport, luring shoppers to get up earlier and earlier on Black Friday or, in recent years, to leave their homes on Thanksgiving day itself by offering deals on limited supplies of high–visibility products such as must–have toys and the hottest consumer electronics. Grab your credit card, be the first in line, trample your fellow man and woman…get that deal!

Up to 150 million Americans visit stores on Black Thursday and Friday, with almost half this number saying they will definitely shop and the remaining 76 million say they will wait to see what merchants have on offer for the three full days after Thanksgiving. Billions of dollars will be spent.

While it is understandable that brick-and-mortar retailers have become very aggressive trying to reel in customers due to online competition, volatile consumer confidence, minimal margins resulting from continual markdowns and our inconsistent economy, the frenzy caused is absurd.

Gone are the days when shoppers pored over newspaper ads the day after Thanksgiving and then planned their fun trip to the Mall. Shopping now is more of an interactive game, in which consumers hunt and gather bargains forcing retailers to continually extend themselves and still make a profit. It’s all so exhausting.

The great game of holiday buying and selling added another dimension that took hold but is slowly reverting back. Employees are beginning to protest having to work on Thanksgiving. Americans are revisiting conversations about the real meaning of Thanksgiving, which previously had always been a traditionally important and restful holiday. Many of us have grown tired of watching people pushing, shoving and crushing each other on, or within 24 hours of Thanksgiving. Oh, the dichotomy of the human spirit.

The menacing Black Thursday turns off some Americans but no doubt there will be those who will line up early and rush in when the doors open on Thanksgiving evening. Those whose ancestors came over on the Mayflower, and still live in Plymouth, Massachusetts, are glad that Colonial-era blue laws prohibit retailers from plying their wares on Thanksgiving. They still know this holiday is about giving thanks for all we have.

However, most everywhere else in America, stores will fling open their door and move out of the way for their shoppers galore while letting commerce invade what used to be such an enjoyable and restful holiday.

So much for peace and quiet.

______________________________________________________________

JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom incentive travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies in many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.

JNR Spotlight: How a Massachusetts Dealership breaks all the Traditional Automotive Rules

The Kelly Automotive Group credits three generations of hard working and dedicated automobile enthusiasts for the phenomenal growth and success it has experienced over the past 50 years. Established by Roland D. Kelly in 1965, his son, Brian Kelly is now the President and CEO and runs the 11 stores, with 485 employees and 13 franchises in Massachusetts.

Their showrooms contain fleets from Nissan, Infiniti, Honda, Volkswagen, Jeep, Maserati and Fiat, with their Nissan Dealership representing over 35% of the new Nissan’s sold in the surrounding district.

What factors make the Kelly Automotive Group so successful? It all comes down to the treatment of people: Customers and Employees.

Customers:

  1. “Honest Sales and Excellent Service”

When Roland D. Kelly founded the Kelly Automotive Group he wanted his dealership to stand out from the crowd. He instilled a pride in “Honest Sales and Excellent Service” for all of his employees and as a result, his customers trust the company.

 

  1. The “Kelly Automotive Look”

The Kelly Group understands that buy a car is big decision for most of the people who walk through the doors of their dealerships and that customers want to see someone represents the worth of the vehicle. All employees at any of the dealerships must adhere to the company dress code. Their outfits must come from Men’s Wearhouse, White House Black Market or Anne Taylor and the company shares the cost of the clothing but the employee gets to keep the garments.

 

  1. Easy Process

The Kelly Automotive Group maintains a 25,000 sq. ft. climate controlled indoor showroom that can hold up to 200 vehicles. Having so many models in an array of colors on hand can cut the buying process down by 45 minutes. A customer can come in knowing what they want and drive out with the car that day.  Their website touts their great guarantee “If we advertise it, we’ll have it when you get here. It’s easy, it’s honest and it’s guaranteed!”

As the winters get cold in Massachusetts the indoor showroom also cuts down any deterioration of the vehicle compared to when cars are left outdoors.

 

Employees:

  1. The Right Employees

The Kelly Automotive Group hires educated people and spends time training them in the areas they need.

 

  1. Take Care of Employees

The Kelly Automotive Group takes good care of their employees with Brian Kelly stating “It really isn’t complicated. There isn’t a magic formula to it. It’s just doing the right thing.” This motto has resulted in high retention rates with some employees celebrating over 40 years with the company.  A feat not often met in the Automotive industry.

 

  1. Promotes from Within

A big key to success is listening to employees and hearing where they see themselves in the future. Brian Kelly takes time to hear what employees are passionate about. It is not uncommon for those who start off as receptionists or greeters to progress into higher roles.

 

Brian Kelly makes a conscious effort to expand to new locations most years by accessing new pieces of land every week. This growth in dealerships allows for his young employees to continue to grow and move up in the company.

 

Employee retention is one of the most valuable assets a company can have.  For additional ideas on how to keep customers and employees loyal and engaged contact us directly at 800.343.4546, or email us at jnrinfo@jnrcorp.com. We would love to set up a time to discuss programs that can increase productivity and ROI.

By JNR Incorporated

Written by Stephanie Thomas

______________________________________________________________

JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom incentive travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies in many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.