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article imageBlack Friday strikes Las Vegas, dubious advertising confuses Special

By Jay David Murphy     Nov 27, 2009 in Business
Black Friday strikes Las Vegas with thousands of people heading to outlet malls, department stores, and electronic stores. Fry's Electronics brought in crowds at 5 a.m. with some questionable advertising.
It's 5 a.m. in Las Vegas on "Black Friday", as it has come to be known as, the day after Thanksgiving's door-buster sales.
Actually, the Las Vegas Outlet Mall and the Premium Outlet Mall opened at midnight while other businesses were slated to open at 5 a.m. with special limited time savings on selected popular products.
Wal-mart, Target, and Kmart also join in offering special one-day pricing, kicking off the Christmas shopping season.
Digital Journalist Jay David Murphy was at the Fry's Electronic store on Las Vegas Boulevard at 5 a.m. to witness a "Black Friday" sales event after noticing some peculiar advertising in the ad that was placed by Fry's Electronics in the Las Vegas Review Journal on Thanksgiving.
First, there are the stock numbers associated with each of the advertised laptops, televisions, and other products at greatly reduced prices.
Second was the "One Day Only" sale heading on the ad.
A quick interview with Robert Lildell (one of the many mangers), who was out front of the store where thousands of people waited in line, confirmed that each of the items with stock numbers meant that there "was only one of the items at that price." But nowhere in the ad is that stated.
What it does state is, "All items limit 1 per customer per item. Limited to quantities on hand. No substitutions, and no rain checks on these items."
In the world of marketing this is know as "ad price baiting." Put out a very low price and limit the availability. What Fry's Electronics has done with their ad is to skirt the "bait and switch" law by making just one of the items available. To be actual "bait and switch" there would be no product available at that price.
It's a very fine line, and the ad draws in much attention. Jay Lopez is one of those who came carrying in the add to check out the laptops (each with an individual stock number). When told there was on one of each available at that price, he was surprised and admitted he was completely unaware of the marketing tactic.
This is close up of the ad Jay Lopez was looking at and your can see the stock number which indicate...
This is close up of the ad Jay Lopez was looking at and your can see the stock number which indicates there is only one of these available.
Lopez, "I'm looking at laptops and a couple of hard drives, but I didn't know that there was just one of each."
While speaking with the Manager Robert Lildell he said, "The one day sale is three days. We will have new ads each day."
So he confirmed that the Fry's Electronics Store "One Day Only Sale," is actually three days.
Fry s Electronics store front on  Black Friday in Las Vegas with police protection.
Fry's Electronics store front on "Black Friday in Las Vegas with police protection.
Meanwhile the front of the store is being guarded by Las Vegas Police, at the taxpayer's expense, adding to the excitement and available to handle any customers who might become angry once they find out what was advertised is no longer available.
Many other shopping opportunities are taking place on "Black Friday" throughout Las Vegas and the United States. A majority of the sales are very straightforward and offer big discounts. Not all businesses choose to produced confusing advertising like Fry's Electronics. But it is still important to read the fine print and remember if it's to good to be true, it probably is.
More about Black friday, Las vegas, Christmas shopping, Electronics, Jaydavidmurphy
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