MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Walmart is offering its “Deals for Days,” while Target says its Black Friday deals are happening “Now.”

The Mall of America will shorten its hours on the day after Thanksgiving, but extend them every other day that week to spread out the times shoppers can visit.

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“We know that safety is going to be top of mind for our guests this holiday season,” said Jill Renslow, Executive Vice President of Mall of America.

So, what will this holiday shopping season look like? Good Question.

“We never quite know, but the signs are good,” said George John, professor of marketing at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. “There’s a kind of money on the sidelines.”

Overall, the Deloitte 2020 Holiday Retail Survey found the average household will spend $1,387 this season. That’s down 7% compared to last year.

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“If you look at what happened during the pandemic, the big stores did just fine,” said John. “It’s the smaller mom-and-pop stores that took it on the chin. I think that’s going to continue through the holiday season.”

According to the Deloitte survey, 51% of Americans say they are anxious about shopping in-person. John said the move toward online holiday shopping has slowly been shifting for years.

He also says spread-out sales over November and December have also been a trend. He believes some of the sales people are seeing now are a normal blurring of prices over the holiday season.

“It’s not like I have my normal price, then come Black Friday, it dropped,” he said. “That’s gone away, it’s sort of jagged.”

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He said prices in Amazon products vary widely throughout the year and recommends people use the website camelcamelcamel to price compare.

Heather Brown