This year, Black Friday is expected to draw 114.6 million shoppers, just a drop in the bucket during a shopping period that spans five days during the Thanksgiving holiday, according to National Retail Federation.
Overall, an estimated 165.3 million people are likely to shop Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, according to the annual survey released this month by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.
“The tradition of Thanksgiving weekend holiday shopping has become a five-day event with consumers spending money in stores, supporting local small businesses, and online with their mobile devices and computers,” NRF President and Chief Executive Officer Matthew Shay said. “Even as people are starting to purchase gifts earlier in the season, consumers still enjoy finding good Thanksgiving deals and passing time shopping with family and friends over the long holiday weekend.”
However, the sales seem to be starting even earlier than usual, said EarlyBlackFriday.com founder Jon Vincent.
“While a lot of retailers are trying to move 'Black Friday' to earlier in the week, Best Buy is trying to extend Black Friday even further this year by releasing new doorbuster deals on Black Friday and the Saturday after Black Friday. This is something they haven't done in the past, and I think will work well for them as they seem to be the only retailer releasing new deals each of those days,” he said.
The EarlyBlackFriday.com site is a sort of data-base of Black Friday ads and Cyber Monday deals offered by a variety of retailers, from Kohl's, Old Navy and Target, to Walmart, AAFES Exchange Service and Amazon.com, among others.
Across the board, phenomenal deals are offered during the Black Friday buying period, but “if you could only go to one store this year, Walmart is the place to go,” Vincent recommended. “Across the board, they seem to have the best deals in a wide range of product categories. However, if you're looking for a TV, Best Buy is the place to shop, and the HDTVs they have featured on the front page of their ad are all excellent deals.”
Here are some of the other notable Black Friday deals that Vincent suggests perusing:
• Element 65-inch 4k Roku HDTV for $279.99 at Target (in-store only).
• Westinghouse 50-inch 4k Roku HDTV for $149.99 ($160 off) at Target (in-store only).
• Insignia 58-inch 4k Fire TV HDTV plus free Amazon Echo Dot for $199.99 (save $280) at Best Buy.
• Philips 65-inch 4k Android Smart HDTV for $278 at Walmart.
• Beats Solo3 Wireless Headphones for $129.99 ($50 off) at Target.
• Apple iPad 32GB 10.2-inch (latest generation) for $249.99 ($80 off) at Target.
• Samsung 3.1-Channel 340W Soundbar System with 6-1/2 inch Wireless Subwoofer for $209.99 (save $190) at Best Buy.
• Roku Ultra 4k Media Player for $48 (50% off) at Walmart.
• JLab JBuds Air Executive True Wireless In-Ear Headphones for $34 (50% off) at Walmart.
• Ring Video Doorbell 2 for $129 ($70 off) at Target.
• Google Nest Learning Thermostat plus $45 in Kohl's Cash for $179.99 ($70 off) at Kohls.
• Google Nest Hub Smart Display plus $15 in Kohl's Cash for $79 ($50 off) at Kohls.
• Black & Decker Children's Workbench for $34.99 at Target (50% off).
• Hatchimals HatchiBabies for $29.99 at Target (50% off).
• Ryan's World Deluxe Piggy Bank Surprise for $30 at Walmart.
• Kano Kid's Build Your Own Computer Kit for $49.99 ($100 off) at Target.
• KidKraft Montauk Outdoor Playset with Tube Slide for $799 at Target (save $450).
• Select Barbie Dolls, Disney Princess Dolls, and Hot Wheels Vehicles for $4.99 each at Kohl's.
• PJ Masks Headquarters Play Set for $19.99 (50% off) at Kohl's.
• 30% off select Lego sets at Kohl's.
• 50% off select Disney toys at JCPenney.
• More than 100 different PS4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One games for $15 each at Target.
• Xbox One S 1TB Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Bundle Console plus a $40 Target Gift Card for $199.99 ($100 off) at Target.
• Sony Playstation 4 1TB Console Bundle with three "Only On Playstation" games for $199.99 ($100 off) at Best Buy.
• Nintendo Switch Console with carrying case plus docketing station plus $90 in Kohl's Cash for $319.99 at Kohls.
• HP Pavilion Gaming Desktop with Intel Core i5 Processor, 8GB Memory, 256GB SSD for $579 at Walmart.
• Samsung 11.6-inch Chromebook 3 with 4GB Memory for $99 ($60 off) at Walmart.
• LG 32-inch IPS monitor for $129.99 (save $70) at Office Depot.
• HP Color LaserJet Pro M281fdw All-In-One Printer for $279.99 ($150 off) at Staples.
• HP 14-inch Laptop with AMD A9-Series Processor, 4GB Memory, 128GB SSD for $199.99 ($100 off) at Best Buy.
• KitchenAid professional 5-quart mixer for $229.99 at Target ($220 off).
• Small kitchen appliances (toaster, coffeemaker, crockpot, etc) for $10 at Target (50% off).
• Keurig K-Select single-serve coffeemaker for $59.99 ($70 off) at JCPenney.
• FoodSaver FM2106 vacuum sealing system plus $15 in Kohl's Cash for $67.99 ($82 off) at Kohl's.
• 40% off all Levi's Jeans at Kohl's.
• 60% off select styles of pajamas for kids at Kohl's.
• 25% off Nike, Adidas, and Skechers shoes for the family at JCPenney.
• Character two-piece sleep sets for boys and girls for $4.75 each at Walmart.
Bed & Bath
• 50% off all character bed-in-a-bag children's sheet sets at Target.
• Hotel Suite white goose feather and down comforter (all sizes) plus $15 in Kohl's Cash for $50.99 ($79-$129 off) at Kohls.
• The Big One bath towels for $2.54 each ($7.50 off) at Kohl's.
• JCPenney Home 40-pc. dinnerware set for $29.99 ($70 off) at JCPenney.
• 23andme Health plus ancestry kit for $99.99 at Target ($100 off).
• Weber Genesis II SE-410 Gas Grill for $699 with free assembly and delivery at Ace Hardware ($250 off).
• 60% off select Samsonite, Columbia, and TravelPro luggage at JCPenney.
• Protocol Garrison five-piece luggage set for $49.99 at JCPenney.
• 70-75% off all fine jewelry at Kohl's.
• 60% off select holiday decor and ornaments at JCPenney.
• Select DVDs and Blu-rays from $1.96 to $5.96 each at Walmart.
— Embleton is a reporter for the Jacksonville Progress in Jacksonville, Texas.