Office supply company Staples is one of the first retailers to release a few of its Black Friday deals, doing so with several teaser posts on its Facebook page. And in a testament to just how tough it’s going to be this year to grab shoppers’ dollars, Facebook users are already expressing their disappointment with this year’s deals.
Yesterday, an early post on the Staples Facebook fan page promised a preview of some of the store’s Black Friday deals, making Staples one of the first retailers to verify any leaked deals. Then, over the next few hours, the Staples administrators posted several deals on products, including a flash drive, GPS unit, computer monitor and laptop. Each post received several likes from fans of the page, but each offer was also met with backlash, comparing the deals with lower prices last year, existing better offers or lack of details on the products.
Retailers need this holiday shopping season to pay out to make up for almost two years of depleted consumer spending. We’re already seeing a number of businesses pushing deals early, such as one day offerings from Walmart and Sears and Toys “R” Us releasing its holiday Big Book through Facebook, and several retailers already have Black Friday deals circulating on the internet. This is the first instance of a company leaking its own deals, and there are a few positives to be had from the somewhat negative response.
By using its 57,000-fan page to tease its Black Friday deals, Staples is able to gauge consumer response and get a vague idea of how much traffic it can expect the day after Thanksgiving. While posts have been skeptical of the offers, the early information gives Staples plenty of time to reevaluate offers and adjust prices or products. The posts are also citing specific deals and prices as comparisons, giving the office supply retailer and exact target when making those adjustments.