Just because Black Friday has become a shopping season that runs nearly the entire month of November does not mean that major retailers won't be rolling out the big guns during the traditional kickoff to the Christmas sales push.
Of course, even the term Black Friday no longer rings entirely true because what once kicked off on the Friday after Thanksgiving now starts on the holiday itself for many of the biggest players. That's true for Wal-Mart , Target , and Best Buy , three of the major retailers that will lead the way this holiday season.
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Two of the three companies, Target and Best Buy, have announced their Black Friday plans, while Wal-Mart has kept its a secret, focusing attention on a shift in how it does business. That does not mean the nation's biggest retailer will be sitting out Black Friday, just that it's holding back some of its plans in order to keep customers focused on its current offers.
And while the Friday after Thanksgiving may no longer be quite as important to fourth quarter results as it once was, it's still a big deal, and Wal-Mart, Target, and Best Buy will all be big participants.
Stores are already packed with holiday merchandise. Source: Wal-Mart
Target gets aggressiveBlack Friday will be part of what Target is calling "10 Days of Deals" a promotion offering deep daily discounts on electronics, kitchenware, toys, and more from Nov. 22 through Dec. 1. As part of the "10 Days of Deals," guests will have access to a Black Friday presale on Wednesday, Nov. 25.
"Black Friday continues to kick off the holiday shopping season for many guests. This year Target will open our doors at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving for the millions of families who make Black Friday in-store shopping part of their tradition. For those shopping from home, Target is once again making all of our Black Friday deals available on Target.com," said Chief Stores Officer Tina Tyler in a press release.
The Black Friday savings actually kicks off Thanksgiving morning at Target.com where the deals below will be offered (as they will in the stores later that night). Some of the offers include:
- 55" Westinghouse LED TV, $249.99, Reg. $599.99
- 43" Element LED TV, Special Purchase $169.99
- Free $150 Target Gift Card when you buy an iPad Air 2
- Xbox One Bundle, $299.99 with Gears of War digital game download ($39.99 Value) and a free $60 Target Gift Card, Reg. $349.99
- Free $100 Target Gift Card with purchase of any Apple Watch
- Beats Solo 2 Headphones, $96.99, Reg. $199.99
- Nikon CoolPix L340 digital camera, $99.99, Reg. $229.99
- 40% off all apparel and accessories for women, men, kids and baby
- Buy one, get one 50 percent off select toys, including Star Wars, Hot Wheels, Thomas & Friends and more
- 50 percent off top holiday home dcor, including all frames and jar candles
In addition any customer who spends $75 or more on Friday, Nov. 27, will receive a 20% discount to use toward a future purchase on any day between Dec. 4 and Dec. 13. Stores will remain open until 11 p.m. or midnight on Black Friday and many locations will offer increased hours during the holiday season.
Best Buy has big plans tooThe electronics retailer actually jumped the competition this year by offering Black Friday-like savings from early November on. That does not mean Best Buy plans to ignore the big day.
Nearly 1,000 Best Buy stores in 47 states will open at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving with "doorbuster" deals. Nearly all stores will remain open until 1 a.m. local time on Friday, Nov. 27, and reopen for a second round of "doorbuster" deals at 8 a.m. The deals include:
Thanksgiving evening 5 p.m. "doorbusters:"
- Toshiba 49-inch LED 1080p HDTV for $149.99 (Best Buy exclusive) -- savings of $280
- Samsung 60-inch LED 4K Ultra HD Smart TV for $799.99 (Best Buy exclusive) -- savings of $700
- Up to $125 off iPad Air 2
- $80 Best Buy gift card and free 64GB memory card with the purchase of GoPro Hero4 Silver
- $250 Best Buy gift card with any Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 edge or S6 edge+ smartphone with installment billing purchase or lease and activation
Black Friday 8 a.m. "doorbusters:"
- $499.99 Samsung 40-inch LED 1080p HDTV, Xbox One gaming console and The LEGO Movie video game package -- savings of $230
- $120 off 11.6-inch MacBook Air
Best Buy will also have extended hours throughout the weekend opening Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. In addition, many "doorbusters" and almost every item in the Black Friday ad will be available for sale on BestBuy.com throughout Thanksgiving Day, with additional deals available all weekend long. The company is offering free shipping throughout the holiday season with no minimum order required and convenient in-store pickup options.
Wal-Mart is playing it differentlyIn past years Wal-Mart has been one of the symbols of Black Friday excess. Picture too many people squeezing through too small a door and customers pushing ahead to grab limited quantity sale items. The company took steps to stop that last year by offering rain checks and guaranteeing people certain deals even after stock ran out, but this year the company is pledging an overall better shopping experience.
"I know that shopping can make the holidays anything but simple and enjoyable," said COO Judith McKenna in a blog post. "It's become a chaotic, frustrating, complicated game of figuring out how to get what you want at the best price. And for many people it's just not fun anymore. That's why we're making holiday shopping easier for you every day."
She went on to explain that the company has made investments this year designed to improve the customer experience:
The company has also invested heavily in its mobile experience because the company expects 75% of its holiday traffic to Walmart.com to come from phones or tablets.
That does not mean that the company won't be offering Black Friday deals. It just is focusing more on experience than the individual items, at least for now. In some ways the company is actually working off the belief that consumers know it will have some impressive deals on the big day.
"I want customers to be in awe when they see what we have to offer as they walk into our stores or click around our site...We're delivering the prices customers expect, but we've taken it up a notch," said McKenna in a press release.
Wal-Mart will open at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving with extended hours during the weekend.
The article Here's What Wal-Mart, Target, and Best Buy Are Doing on Black Friday originally appeared on Fool.com.
Daniel Kline has no position in any stocks mentioned. He wants a cheap, big TV. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends GoPro. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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