Anyone that lives in the United States or visits the country on a regular basis knows that the Friday after Thanksgiving, commonly known as Black Friday, is the day that marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. It was first instituted in 1932 and its popularity has progressively increased, such that for over a decade, Black Friday is the day in which the largest number of sales and purchases is registered in the US, given spectacular bargains offered by many retail businesses. And since it coincides with a holiday weekend, the event also sees a sizable percentage of Mexican and Canadian shoppers, who cross the border on those dates to take advantage of promotions and sales offered at physical locations and their online counterparts.
In 2011, Mexico’s Business Coordinating Council joined forces with the federal government, private sector organizations and banking institutions to create a similar initiative, called El Buen Fin (The Good Weekend, in English), consisting of four days with great opportunities for both commerces and consumers. Like Black Friday, it takes place in November, and it was designed with two specific goals: to jump-start nationwide economy and to encourage the creation of end-of-year jobs, maximizing cooperation between the public and private sectors. The end result is to offer consumers real options to save money making holiday purchases with good promotions and low prices.
Since its inception, El Buen Fin has proven a successful initiative, one that has been improved and gathered momentum year after year and is now one of the most highly anticipated events by consumers all over the country. And just as in the US, it has become intrinsically tied to Mexico’s holiday season. For each edition of El Buen Fin to succeed, close synergy between municipal, state and federal authorities, along with Mexico’s Procuraduría Federal del Consumidor—the country’s consumer protection agency—and the implementation of monitoring programs that guarantee the legitimacy of all the promotions. Finally, thousands of participating companies and their employees join in the effort, creating a value chain that stretches from manufacturers and suppliers, to retail operations and consumers.
El Buen Fin is no casual undertaking. It has to do with inventory renewals that take place at the end of each year, the launching of new and improved models, products and services, moving existing inventory, launching new production lines at year closing, and of course, redefine a marketing strategy for the following year. All of the above benefits consumers with lower prices and helps retail operations to create space for new product.
What has been the end result? For starters, El Buen Fin has produced a constant increment in sales, participating businesses and retail locations when compared with the previous year. The sixth edition, which will take place November 18 – 21 this year, promises discounts of up to 80 percent, and an overall sales increase of 5 percent in relationship to last year, translating into over 4,000 million MXN.
One of the important improvements for El Buen Fin 2016 is the inclusion of Mexico’s tourism sector, through the Federal Tourism Secretariat. They will be promoting Viajemos Por Todo México (or Let’s Travel Through All of Mexico in English), an initiative created by Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto in April of this year, with the purpose of establishing special offers and competitive products that will encourage more Mexican nationals to travel. The program also forges alliances among enterprises that put together special travel packages that take advantage of underutilized infrastructure at important tourism destinations throughout the country. According to official statistics, approximately nine million airline seats, 200 million bus seats and 93 million hotel rooms remain unused in Mexico, per year.
The results have been positive, so far. To date, 44 tourism destinations have registered an average increase of 11 percent in domestic tourist arrivals throughout the country. Over 1,000 companies have joined forces, promotion over 1,300 tours with discounts of up to 60 percent in prices and packages. This represents 70 percent of hotel rooms, 85 percent of plane seats, and 40 percent of bus seats, nationwide. Companies such as Aeromexico, Interjet and Volaris, along with organizations such as Mexico’s National Association of Hotel Chains, Hotel Motel Association and Mexican Bank Association, collaborate with the federal government through the Mexican Business Coordinating Council, the latter pledging a 200 million MXN investment until the end of the year to stimulate the program. Those interested in learning more about special travel prices and packages can visit the website viajemostodospormexico.com.
Without a doubt, El Buen Fin 2016 will bring excellent opportunities throughout Banderas Bay for consumers and businesses that wish to register in the program. Registration is available at elbuenfin.org, where you can also find detailed guideline information and a search engine with all the official offers and promotions. El Buen Fin can also be found on Facebook at facebook.com/elbuenfin.