Reporting Rachel Slavik
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Weeks before the halls are decked, the deals are already coming out — and Black Friday isn’t for another two weeks.
Best Buy and Wal-Mart already have flyers online. And some stores plan to open Thanksgiving, because nearly 25 percent of shoppers went bargain hunting on Turkey Day last year.
“It’s convenient for a lot of people who are eager to get out there and get their purchases. But for me, I’ll wait a little bit and go around 8 a.m.,” Shanise, a shopper, said.
This year, you can get your shopping done before dinner, instead of making the mad dash when doors open at midnight.
Sears is the first to start the holiday savings. It’s offering pre-Thanksgiving discounts online as early as Nov. 18 – that’s five days ahead of the retail holiday. But you’ll have to join the free Sears Shop Your Way membership program to order the deals. In-store deals begin at 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 23.
K-Mart released three holiday ads, calling them the “Triple Doorbuster.” There are different deals offered in-stores and online for Thanksgiving morning, afternoon and early Friday morning. It’s also reminding customers of its layaway program as an incentive for shopping now and receiving later.
Wal-Mart has similar deals. Its Black Friday event starts at 8 p.m. on Thursday in stores. Then starting at 10 p.m. more items will go on sale, with some items — like TVs, Blu Ray players and iPads — being guaranteed in stores until 11 p.m (if you’re waiting in a specific line). Then on Friday, more items such as electronics, clothing and housewares will be offered at a discount.
Additionally, starting Nov. 19, Wal-Mart is offering store maps to customers so they can map out their route when finding deals. The company says there will also be a mobile app available.
No matter where you shop, experts at Best Buy expect tech toys like tablets and e-readers to fill wish lists this year.
“Everyone wants a smartphone. They want to be connected and on the go. They’re a huge and hot item,” said Best Buy lifestyle supervisor, Joy Hoerner. “Things that are becoming more popular are definitely cases and screen protectors to keep them nice and protected. Also, a lot of people are finding a lot more now are bluetooths. They want to be hands free and safe on the road.”
Year after year, the biggest door buster of them all remains to be TVs.
“They’re an awesome item. There’s excitement, and they’re something for the whole family,” Hoerner said. “You can get away with buying a TV, and it’s an automatic gift for everybody.”
To make sure you’re making the most of your Black Friday deals, do your homework before getting in line. When it comes to buying a TV, know the difference in technologies.
“If you’re not sure the difference between an LCD, LED or plasma, those will be great things to get to know,” Hoerner said. “Each one of those is going to describe the differences in the TVs and some TVs will look better in different living rooms, or bedrooms and living situations.”
Along those same lines: you should get an idea of what size you actually need to fill a wall or entertainment center. The TVs always look bigger on display because the space is much larger than most living rooms.
And, finally, talk to the professionals about what you need. They can help you figure this out based on what you like to watch.
“That’s really going to decide how fast or how great of a hertz rate you need,” Hoerner said. “If you watch football all the time, or you want something with action, or all you do is watch the news. That’s information we love to know when it comes to make the right recommendation.”
Target’s Black Friday ad apparently got leaked online Friday. The retailer won’t tell us if what’s show are the real deals, or when doors will open. But that online ad says 9 p.m. on Thursday. Its website recommends texting DEALS to TARGET (827438) to get notified of deals when they become available.
Black Friday Deals