Audio story by Nick Swain – WUFT-FM
Shoppers will be camping out earlier and stores’ doors will be opening earlier for the traditional post-Thanksgiving shopping season, with many stores offering Black Friday specials early this week.
Target stores will have Black Friday, pre-Thanksgiving and “Beat the Rush” sales, according to local flyers on its website. The Associated Press reports Target will open at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving, joining other big box stores opening earlier in the evening on Thanksgiving Day.
More shoppers than ever will be clicking a mouse to add to Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping carts this week. According to topcashback.com, 71 percent of Americans think the best Black Friday deals are found online.
Even social media sites are getting in on the action, with stores posting coupons on websites like Facebook and independent mobile apps, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Stores will use their social networks to update shoppers on deals and store hours, says Carey Rossi, editor in chief of consumersearch.com. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., for example, unveiled its Black Friday deals on Walmart.com, its Facebook wall and mobile app. Those who sign up to get email, download the app or “Like” its Facebook page will be among the first to get early access to special Black Friday store items to buy online and via the mobile app. …
For the first time, Macy’s, through a partnership with eBay, has a Black Friday app that will let customers browse and shop for specials specific to the local store. Customers now can view Black Friday specials on their mobile devices and create personal shopping lists they can edit and share.
The Times also compiled a list of major stores’ Black Friday hours.
Some retailers are taking innovative approaches to inviting holiday shoppers, USA Today reports.
Starting Black Friday through Christmas Eve, Penney’s employees will be handing out more than 80 million small, holiday-theme circular buttons to customers. Each has a code on the back that, when entered on J.C. Penney’s website, reveals whether a customer has won prizes such as a trip to Disneyland, tickets to Ellen Degeneres’ show or J.C. Penney merchandise or gift cards.
CNN reports Black Friday may be the best time for people to buy cars, too.
The average new car discount on Nov. 27 is projected to be 7.5%. The average discount the day before and after is expected to be just over 6%. On a typical day throughout the year, car shoppers usually pay about 4.7% less than the sticker price.
Truecar.com projected particularly large Black Friday discounts on certain models. For instance, consumers should be able to pay about 28% off sticker price for a 2009 Suzuki SX4 compact car, 26% off for a 2009 Nissan Titan or Ford F-150 pick-up or 20% off a 2009 Hyundai Sonata sedan.