The second Black Friday of the pandemic has officially begun.
After weeks of early sales, Friday marks the official shopping holiday that Americans expect to bring great deals on an annual basis.
Like last year, during the pandemic, more retailers remained closed on Thanksgiving than in years past, opening early on Fridays.
Walmart, Best Buy, Kohl’s, Old Navy, JCPenney, and Dick’s Sporting Goods open at 5 a.m. Macy’s and Bed Bath & Beyond will follow at 6 a.m. before Target and GameStop open at 7 a.m. Hours may vary by location. (See the full list of Black Friday store hours here.)
More shoppers are expected to shop in-store on Friday than last year, which was considered the quietest Black Friday in 20 years.
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Walmart is one of the few stores to open Friday for shoppers with deals not previously offered in stores. Walmart’s sales began online Monday morning. At a Walmart in Coral Springs, Florida, more than 100 shoppers queue before the doors open.
There were lines at select stores across the country, and some customers were queuing in the cold. At a Kohl’s in Springfield, Illinois, about 30 people lined up as the store opened, as temperatures hovered around 18 degrees, according to the State-Journal Register, part of the USA TODAY Network.
For years, Thanksgiving and Black Friday have been the official kick-off of the Christmas shopping season and the time of year when shoppers focus on their holiday spending.
The pandemic put an end to what had begun to diminish the proliferation of online shopping years earlier: only in-store doorbusters.
Black Friday has been losing importance for years. Since 2011, stores have jump-started the Christmas shopping season by opening their doors on Thanksgiving to compete with Amazon and other increasing online threats. But the shift has only cannibalized Black Friday sales. The shopping fun was further diluted as stores started selling Black Friday sales for the entire week and later for the month.
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Shoppers will find higher prices, less discounts this Black Friday
According to Aurelien Duthoit, senior sector advisor at Allianz Research, shoppers are expected to pay an average of 5% to 17% more this year for toys, clothing, appliances, TVs and other purchases on Black Friday compared to last year.
TVs will see the highest price spikes on average, up 17% from a year ago, the research firm said. That’s because all available discounts are applied to goods that are already expensive.
Such frustrations could dampen record-breaking sales for the holiday season.
The National Retail Federation, the country’s largest retail group, forecasts holiday sales to rise 8.5% to 10.5% compared to the 2020 holiday season, when shoppers locked up during the onset of the pandemic released their spent money on pajamas and household items – mostly online. Holiday sales increased by 8.2% in 2020.
Target Announces Cyber Monday Sale
Hours into Black Friday, Target announced it will have a two-day “Cyber Deals” sale that will run on Sunday and Monday, which is Cyber Monday.
Target said its online sales “include deep discounts on the season’s must-have items, including furniture, bedding and bath, clothing and beauty.”
The retailer also announced its “Holiday Best” deals in-store and online through December 4.
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This story is being updated.
Contributions: Associated Press; Steven Spearie, State Journal Register
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