Target Team Prepares for a Door-Busting Black Friday

November 20, 2012 - Article reads in
The Target Team Prepares for Black Friday

With Black Friday just around the corner, we’ve been busy working on our deal-grabbing game plan. (Our routine usually involves multiple cups of coffee and Archer Farms energy drinks!

And we’re not alone. Devvrat Brahmachari, an HR/Electronics team member at the Washington Square Target store in Tigard, Ore., is a human Black Friday countdown clock. “I restart my countdown the Saturday after Thanksgiving every year. You could ask me any time of the year, and I could immediately tell you how many days we have left until next year’s Black Friday!”

Black Friday is one of the biggest shopping days of the year. At Target, it’s also one of the most exciting days of the year to bond with coworkers and show off holiday spirit.

Just ask Kelly Riley’s fellow team membersA store team leader from the Wareham, Mass., Target store, Kelly says her team can’t wait for Black Friday. “It’s really an event for us in many different ways. This year, we’re looking forward to starting the morning with lots of food! Shortly after we open and continuing throughout the day, we’re having our team’s favorites—chicken with tortellini and broccoli, salad and bread—brought in. We’re also ordering pizza, sandwiches and other snacks throughout the holiday weekend. ”

And store team leader Jeremy Frenz makes Black Friday extra special for the early shoppers at the Wauwatosa, Wis., Target store. While guests eagerly wait in line for doors to open, he grabs a megaphone and mingles with the crowd of guests. “I have this huge turkey hat that I wear—it’s fun to interact with everyone before the shopping starts.”

Below, we chat with Target execs Beth Jacob (BJ), Shawn Gensch (SG) and Dustee Tucker Jenkins (DTJ) to hear about their Black Friday plans and preparations.

What is your favorite part about Black Friday?
BJ: Watching how excited our guests are when they find a great deal, especially right when the stores open—you can just see how thrilled they are!
SG: It’s always interesting to see what our guests have in their carts, baskets and arms. I also love to watch our Target team members interacting in such a positive, friendly way—with each other and with our Black Friday guests and visitors. They’re the perfect combo of the fans and coaches at a big game—supporting all of the players, keeping our guests and team members safe and going for the WIN.
DTJ: I love the ritual of Black Friday. Everyone has their thing—some people dress in matching holiday shirts, others plan their route using our store maps and, last year, I even ran into a family dressed as Santa, Mrs. Claus and the elves. Whatever it is, I love to see the passion that our guests put into their holiday shopping preparation.

Will you be visiting any Target stores on Black Friday this year?
SG: I will be in Palm Springs with family this Thanksgiving, so I’ll be visiting all of the Riverside County, Calif., Target stores. It’s great to visit different Target stores and witness the same dedication by team members across the country.
DTJ: Of course! It’s become a family tradition to pick our Weekly Ad favorites and then see what door-busters sell out the fastest. I also plan to swing by Neiman Marcus to say hello to our fabulous holiday partners and pick up a pair of heels that I’ve had my eyes on.

What is the first store section you head to?
BJ: Without a doubt, my family always hits up the Electronics and Toys section first. It’s become a tradition to find the best gifts for groups we love to support during the holidays with gift donations. The deals on entertainment are great, and we enjoy shopping for the toys that our kids “always wanted or loved.”
SG: If it’s my first Target store, I like to head to Toys and Electronics and check out the door-buster zones. If it’s a later Target stop, I like to subtly (of course) walk the store to see what products guests are most excited about.
DTJ: My husband is a gadget guy, so he immediately heads to the Target Electronics section to try and score the latest-and-greatest toy. I trail after him if I can keep up, but I usually get sidetracked because I can’t resist the great deals on CDs and DVDs.

Do you have a favorite Black Friday memory?
SG: In 2004, when I had been at Target for only a year, I worked the first six opening hours on Black Friday at a Madison, Wis., store. It was so much fun to help guests find the hottest deals. And, it was such a great experience to work side-by-side with that amazing store team!
DTJ: My first Black Friday at Target was one I’ll always remember. There’s nothing quite like being in the store just before opening and participating in the team huddle. I wish I could bottle the team’s enthusiasm as they prepare for one of the busiest days in retail. The team understands the competitive nature of Black Friday, and they want to “win”—their spirit is contagious!

How does Target make Black Friday a safe and fun shopping experience for guests and team members?
BJ: I thought using shopping carts as a way to organize the lines last year was brilliant!
SG: The entrance queuing and controlled checkout are paramount, as well as the way team members assist guests with lifting and loading larger items, provide carts as guests enter, and keep pathways clear and crowds safe. I know it sounds basic, but those are truly some of the things guests appreciate about their Target shopping experience—on Black Friday and every day!

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