Major retailers not running Black Friday ad circulars in newspapers

Brian Lutz
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Major retailers not running Black Friday ad circulars in newspapers

Post by Brian Lutz »

Typically on Thanksgiving we will buy a newspaper to look at the Black Friday ads and figure out what (if anything) we want to buy. This year there seemed to be far less of these ads than usual, with several major retailers notably absent. Looking through two different papers it seemed as though ads for Walmart, Target, Best Buy and Kohl's were missing. Fred Meyer and Macy's still had their ads, and Walmart chose to send out their ad in the weekly ad mailing. I believe Kohl's opted to mail theirs as well a couple of weeks ago.

I suspect there are a fair number of people now who buy one newspaper a year on Thanksgiving, throw out the newspaper and read the ads, but I suspect even that will soon be a thing of the past at this rate.
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Re: Major retailers not running Black Friday ad circulars in newspapers

Post by rwsandiego »

Although I am not a Black Friday shopper, it is always fun to look at the ads. In Arizona, Target stopped running a print ad shortly after the start of the pandemic. I think Kohl's sent one in the weekly circular mailing last week.
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Re: Major retailers not running Black Friday ad circulars in newspapers

Post by ClownLoach »

I can tell you that the newspaper distribution has become highly specialized in the last few years. If you are a retailer and you only want to have your circular in papers within a one mile radius of your store - that's what you'll get. The days of every paper having the same circulars has been over for some time now with the large conglomerates that own most of the newspapers across the country. As part of these changes to demographic-focused ads the newsstand copies rarely contain any circulars now - for that matter good luck even finding a newsstand! They can't tell the advertiser the demographics of the newsstand customer so generally they won't have their ad placed.
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Re: Major retailers not running Black Friday ad circulars in newspapers

Post by cjd »

I was wondering about this, as I did not pick up a paper yesterday. It does seem like in past years when we did get the paper that there were just not as many BF ads as there were 10 or 15 years ago.

I did look at the Black Friday ads on a few retailers websites and I was just not that impressed. There were no real "loss leaders" in any of the ads that I could see and the rest was discounts that weren't particularly different than a weekend sale might have.

It might just be me but the deals in what I did look at in local stores seemed somewhat unimpressive.

And yeah newspapers seem to rapidly becoming a thing of the past. I remember several years ago there were newspaper stands on many corners. I live "way out" and I used to be able to just walk to the end of my street and get a newspaper, and there were papers at many major intersections, even out here. Now I'd have to drive to Dollar General at closest if I wanted one.
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Re: Major retailers not running Black Friday ad circulars in newspapers

Post by babs »

The Oregonian newspaper charged 7.99 for the Thanksgiving edition. We bought it last year and it had very few ads. We didn't buy it this year. At 7.99, they are killing themselves off.
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Re: Major retailers not running Black Friday ad circulars in newspapers

Post by Super S »

babs wrote: November 26th, 2021, 9:25 pm The Oregonian newspaper charged 7.99 for the Thanksgiving edition. We bought it last year and it had very few ads. We didn't buy it this year. At 7.99, they are killing themselves off.
$7.99 for a NEWSPAPER? OUCH!

I have noticed a trend of newspapers randomly charging different prices based on content in the paper and have seen single copy prices sometimes fluctuate 3-4 times in a week.

I can't say I would buy a newspaper just for the ads though. You can easily find that information elsewhere for free.

I used to subscribe to the local papers wherever I lived. But the Longview Daily News lost me as a customer years ago when I stopped the paper for a week when I left on vacation, and I returned home with a whole weeks worth of newspapers sitting there piled up out in the open. The quality of the reporting seems to have declined and I rarely purchase a copy these days. I briefly subscribed to The Oregonian when I lived in Vancouver, WA but had constant delivery issues. This seems to be a problem with newspapers.

Newspapers are like the phone books. People aren't using them as much. Our local phone book is about half as thick as it was ten years ago. A big reason is a decline in advertisers, a problem with newspapers also. I do still sometimes use the phone book though when online searches for numbers result in nothing.

I think things are shifting to where stores will email customers or use regular mail for circulars.
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Re: Major retailers not running Black Friday ad circulars in newspapers

Post by TW-Upstate NY »

babs wrote: November 26th, 2021, 9:25 pm The Oregonian newspaper charged 7.99 for the Thanksgiving edition. We bought it last year and it had very few ads. We didn't buy it this year. At 7.99, they are killing themselves off.
Nowhere near as dramatic as that but the local paper used to sell advance copies of the ads in the Thanksgiving day paper on Wednesday right at their commercial printing plant for just a small premium above the regular price. This year, they were bought out over the summer by a larger local paper and they moved all printing to their presses so no more of that. And to stay on topic here, just read the Thanksgiving day paper yesterday and the only "national" inserts in there were Lowes, Rite-Aid and Big Lots. Can't ever recall a paper that void of advertising for major chain retailers.
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Re: Major retailers not running Black Friday ad circulars in newspapers

Post by bayford »

babs wrote: November 26th, 2021, 9:25 pm The Oregonian newspaper charged 7.99 for the Thanksgiving edition. We bought it last year and it had very few ads. We didn't buy it this year. At 7.99, they are killing themselves off.
I read reports of other newspapers owned by Advance Publications charging $7.99 for the Thanksgiving edition despite having few circulars. Probably a company-wide pricing decision.
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Re: Major retailers not running Black Friday ad circulars in newspapers

Post by SamSpade »

babs wrote: November 26th, 2021, 9:25 pm The Oregonian newspaper charged 7.99 for the Thanksgiving edition. We bought it last year and it had very few ads. We didn't buy it this year. At 7.99, they are killing themselves off.
I made sure last year as a subscriber to call and explicitly cancel the Thanksgiving edition. They sent it to all of us, and yes, bill out that high price. :roll:
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Re: Major retailers not running Black Friday ad circulars in newspapers

Post by Bagels »

Newspapers have been charging extra for their Black Friday edition for years… even though it’s their most profitable edition of the year, and even though many newspapers distribute the feature and ad sections for free.

I subscribe to the LA Times. Most retailers discontinued their weekly cuticular in the past several years; COVID accelerated the process. Target was the lone hold out, but ended theirs earlier this year.

Most retailers did run full circulars during Black Friday, but that diminished last year. Only Macy’s, Target, Kohls and Amazon (!) ran a circular this year (last Sunday’s paper, instead of the Black Friday edition).
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