Black Friday ain’t what it used to be. Promotions and discounts have already gotten underway for holiday shoppers at national retailers across the country. And now, more than ever, the big names, like Macy’s, Walmart and Best Buy are opening on Thanksgiving Day, much to the consternation of many employees.
But the real action is already starting. According to the website, BGR, Walmart has 115 deals listed in its pre-Black Friday Sale, which is already underway. Notable deals include discounts on 58-inch Samsung LED HDTVs and 40-inch Samsung HDTVs. Meanwhile, Aeropostale is promoting a 50 percent off promotion and Home Depot has 12 pages worth of deals. That’s a small sample of the deals out there. But you get the picture, retailers who’ve had two years of punk holiday sales are desperately trying to prime the pump and get consumers’ attention with early markdowns. The National Retail Federation has predicted the season will yield good, but not spectacular, results for retailers with a gain of 4 percent in sales through year end.
This trend is definitely in consumers’ favor, but you’d be well advised to compare prices no matter where you shop. Online, retailers engage in dynamic prices, which means they change prices constantly to try to find the best possible price point for them. Andrea Woroch, consumer analyst with Kinoli, suggests using price comparison apps, such as PriceGrabber and Google Shopping, to make sure you score the best price.
Whether you shop on Black Friday or not, my advice is to keep an eagle eye out on what you’re paying.