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Media advisory: Consumer behavior scholar available to discuss Black Friday, Cyber Monday

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

LAWRENCE — A University of Kansas School of Business researcher is available for media interviews to discuss Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Noelle Nelson, assistant professor of marketing and consumer behavior, can speak to outdoor retailer REI’s decision to close on Black Friday, signaling a growing trend away from normal post-Thanksgiving consumerism.

“Consumers are realizing that Black Friday deals aren’t just available on Black Friday,” she said, “and the frenzy surrounding that particular day is likely to start declining.”

Nelson says that while REI’s decision to close on Black Friday seems unthinkable, the choice is actually timely and strategic.

“By making the move to close on Black Friday before anyone else does, REI looks like the ‘good guy’ and is able to make closing consistent with the company’s brand image of getting outside,” Nelson said.

REI is taking the opportunity to build its brand, she added, when other competitors such as Target and Walmart would be unable to make the same decision given the financial viability.

“In REI’s segment of the market,” Nelson said, “those crazy sales aren’t as expected by the consumer, and it won’t be as big of a loss.”

Nelson holds a doctorate in marketing from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. Her research interests include working memory and negative effect in consumer behavior.

To set up an interview with Nelson, contact Austin Falley at afalley@ku.edu or 785-864-3852.

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