Super Cities №21 — The Apex Predator

Brendan Hart

One Big Thing

When desperate, extend Black Friday

For the first time, Best Buy Co. offered hundreds of Black Friday deals on TVs and other devices in early November in hopes of driving sales before the competition heats up.

With Amazon as the Apex Predator, holiday e-commerce for big-box retailers is an increasingly nasty place.

Target. Walmart. Best Buy. All are large companies with resources. All are desperately trying to stay alive during the holiday season as Amazon relentlessly takes market share.

Amazon’s approach is brilliantly simple: use an advanced algorithm to scrape competitors’ lowest prices. Then drop the price slightly lower. The result is that Amazon’s customers get the best price and reliable delivery.

To compete, Target is streamlining its messaging (going from 28 season-specific phrases to 7) and extending the timelines on its offers.

In the words of a famous newscaster, “good night, and good luck.”

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