What is a 'Doorbuster'

A doorbuster is a marketing and sales strategy retailers use to get a high volume of customers into their stores during their opening hours. During a doorbuster sale a particular item or a selection of items is offered at a special discount price for a limited period to get customers in the door or "bust open the doors" to get them. Doorbusters tend to be used during special shopping event days that are related holidays. Some synonyms for doorbuster include "doorcrasher" or "doorsmasher."

Breaking Down 'Doorbuster'

A doorbuster is a strategy that serves a dual purpose. The goal of these special low price deals is to get customers into the store to buy specific items on sale and also to get them to come in and look around at what other items the store has to offer. The idea behind the "limited time" strategy is to get customers to rush into a particular store in order to take advantage of these deals, but also to dissuade them from going into a competitor's store. Based on strategy, a doorbuster has the same goal as the "loss leader strategy," which seeks to attract customers by offering an item at a deeply discounted price, often at a loss.

Doorbuster Practices

The most common holiday door buster deals are employed around Thanksgiving and Christmas. Some examples include "Black Friday" — the day after Thanksgiving in the United States — which kicks off the holiday shopping season, and Boxing Day, the first weekday after Christmas, which is a traditional shopping day in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and Commonwealth countries. During these shopping event days stores tend to open far earlier than usual, such as midnight or even late on Thanksgiving evening, and feature doorbusters to entice shoppers to take advantage of the additional shopping hours.

Doorbuster Techniques

Doorbusters may be limited by the number of items available or by the amount of time they are priced at a certain discount level before they revert to their normal price. Such doorbuster sales may employ a small-print disclosure of "while suppies last." When a very small number of deeply discounted doorbuster items is offered, and they invariable sell out fast, offering a similar but more expensive item at full price may constitute a "bait and switch." Such a practice is considered an unfair sales and promotion practice and is illegal in many countries. Many retailers now disclose exactly how many of a particular doorbuster item are in stock.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Foreign Items

    Foreign items are checks or drafts drawn on a financial institution ...
  2. Cyber Monday

    The Monday following U.S. Thanksgiving weekend, representing ...
  3. Competitive Pricing

    Competitive pricing is the process of selecting strategic price ...
  4. Special Item

    A special item is a large expense or source of income that a ...
  5. Merchandising

    Merchandising is any act of promoting goods or services for retail ...
  6. Bait and Switch

    Bait and switch is a sales tactic that lures customers with low ...
Related Articles
  1. Small Business

    6 Psychological Traps That Make You Spend

    If you're finding it hard to stick to your holiday budget, you're not alone. Find out what retailers do to weaken shoppers' resolve.
  2. Insights

    Amazon Opens Black Friday Shop Early

    You don't have to wait until the day after Thanksgiving to do your Black Friday shopping at Amazon. The retailer started its Black Friday early.
  3. Trading

    Are Dollar Stores Really A Bargain?

    It's hard to resist an item that's $1. We tell you when you should fight the urge.
  4. Personal Finance

    You'll Be More Thankful If You Stick To A Thanksgiving Budget. Here's How.

    Before buying your turkey and trimmings, plan and budget to keep costs under control.
  5. Investing

    Wal-Mart's 3 Most Profitable Lines of Business (WMT)

    Learn about the key drivers of Wal-Mart's profitability as the company is concluding its fourth quarter, which is the period of its highest sales and income.
  6. Personal Finance

    How To Use Price Adjustments To Get The Best Deals

    We take a look at 6 top retailers' price adjustment policies, and tell you how to get your money's worth.
  7. Insights

    154 Million People Shopped Over Thanksgiving Weekend

    Number of consumers rise but average spend down as retailers spread out sales.
  8. Insights

    The Best Black Friday Deals

    The best Black Friday deals are already being advertised, with shoppers poised to score serious savings.
  9. Personal Finance

    5 Money-Saving Shopping Tips

    Reducing the amount you spend is the easiest way to make your money grow.
  10. Personal Finance

    22 Ways to Fight Rising Food Prices

    As food costs rise, it can be difficult to stay on budget. In this article learn some tips that are handy and teach you to spend less each month.
RELATED FAQS
  1. On What Days are The American Stock Exchanges Closed?

    Like most companies, the major stock markets in America are open for trading on normal business days only. Read Answer >>
  2. Is the retail sector also affected by seasonal factors?

    Find out how the retail industry is affected by seasonal patterns in consumer tastes, especially for companies that tailor ... Read Answer >>
  3. What is the accounting treatment for unusual or infrequent items for IFRS and U.S. ...

    Learn to identify the unusual or infrequent items listed on an income statement prepared according to either US GAAP or IFRS ... Read Answer >>
  4. Does Advertisers provide good financing?

    Making use of seller financing means that you're buying on credit. The seller is essentially loaning you the funds to buy ... Read Answer >>
Trading Center