Uniregistry launched its .BlackFriday new gTLD domain extension in July of 2014. According to nTLDStats.com, there are currently a bit more than 12,000 .BlackFriday domain names registered.
I wanted to see if and how major retailers are using .BlackFriday domain names. I looked at the exact match .BlackFriday domain names for 25 of the top 100 retailers, according to the National Retail Federation’s Top 100 Retailers 2015 list. To select the retailers that have an online presence and would be expected to have Black Friday deals, I used my judgment to create this list from the larger list of 100 retailers, eliminating brands like Jack in the Box and Wegman’s.
Here is a list of exact match .BlackFriday domain names for 25 major retailers and how each is being used:
- Amazon.BlackFriday – Forwards to the Black Friday landing page on Amazon.com (Owned by Amazon)
- Apple.BlackFriday – Does not resolve (owned by Apple)
- BedBathAndBeyond.BlackFriday – Parked page (not owned by BBB)
- CrateAndBarrel.BlackFriday – Does not resolved (unregistered)
- Dell.BlackFriday – Forwards to an affiliate page (unregistered but seems to be monetized by my ISP, Fios)
- Dillards.BlackFriday – Registrar landing page (not owned by Dillard’s)
- DollarGeneral.BlackFriday – Registrar landing page (not owned by Dollar General)
- FootLocker.BlackFriday – Domain name is suspended (not owned by Foot Locker)
- GameStop.BlackFriday – Registrar landing page (not owned by Game Stop)
- Gap.BlackFriday – Forwards to Gap.com (Owned by Gap)
- HomeDepot.BlackFriday – Does not resolve (owned by Home Depot)
- Ikea.BlackFriday – Does not resolve (owned by Ikea)
- JCPenney.BlackFriday– Registrar landing page (not owned by JC Penney)
- Kohls.BlackFriday – Forwards to a blank page (not owned by Kohl’s)
- Macys.BlackFriday – Forwards to a blank page (not owned by Macy’s)
- Michaels.BlackFriday – Forwards to an affiliate page (unregistered but seems to be monetized by my ISP, Fios)
- NeimanMarcus.BlackFriday – Does not resolved (unregistered)
- Nordstrom.BlackFriday – Resolves to a landing page unaffiliated with the store
- PetSmart.BlackFriday – Forwards to PetSmart.com (privately registered)
- Sears.BlackFriday – Forwards to a blank page (not owned by Sears)
- Staples.BlackFriday – Does not resolve (owned by Staples)
- Target.BlackFriday – Forwards to Target.com (owned by Target)
- ToysRUs.BlackFriday – Forwards to a blank page (not owned by Toys R Us)
- Walmart.BlackFriday – Does not resolve (owned by Walmart)
- WilliamsSonoma.BlackFriday – Does not resolved (unregistered)
Out of the 25 domain names I queried, about 1/3 of them are registered by the brand. Some of these resolve to the correct website, but it seems like the majority of those do not resolve. Although I wouldn’t expect any traffic, I don’t see why they aren’t at least forwarded to the correct website, even if it is just one visitor.
I was surprised to see private registrants owning a great deal of these domain names. IMO, there is little to no aftermarket value for a brand .BlackFriday domain name and the risk seems to far outweigh any reward. A UDRP, URS, or even a lawsuit could be costly to defend and/or harm the owner’s reputation going forward.
I asked Uniregistry CEO Frank Schilling about the .BlackFriday extension, and he seemed pretty happy with the registration numbers. According to Frank, “the extension is miles ahead of where we thought it might be at this point in time.” He added, “[w]e are most pleased with the string and plan to start earnest direct-marketing efforts targeting Blackfriday in 2016 .. in 10 years we now feel like there are going to be 100,000 registrations which is incredible.”
It will be interesting to observe their marketing efforts, especially as it relates to major brands whose trademark domain names may already be registered.