The race is on.
Last week, Macy’s was the first major retailer to announce it would open for business at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, two hours earlier than last year.
Locally, Sugarloaf Mills made a similar announcement. The outlet mall will open from 6 p.m.-1 a.m. on Nov. 27, Thanksgiving Day, and from 6 a.m.-10 p.m. on Black Friday. It’s just a matter of time before other retailers fall in line.
The holiday creep continues. While pleas to keep shopping out of the Thanksgiving Day mix are likely to surface, as they have for the past few years, the reality is, traditions are changing. Some families head to the movies after Thanksgiving Day dinner. Some go to vacation destinations for the weekend. Others have simply decided that Thursday night is a good time to shop.
Anyone looking for the best deals would do well to accept the changing landscape. Years of historical trend data from shopping websites suggests that some of the best holiday shopping is now done before Black Friday (even if it’s just a day before).
A recent survey from RetailMeNot revealed that 25 percent of respondents plan to have their holiday shopping completely finished before Black Friday.
This is part of the reason some of the best sales happen early. If consumers are shopping earlier, retailers are going to chase their dollars by offering incentives to encourage them to spend more.
The experts at Ben’s Bargains now refer to the shopping season as “Black November” since all month long you can pretty much find what used to be Black Friday-caliber deals. This year, specifically, they predict tablets — as in Google Nexus, Amazon Kindle Fire HDX and Samsung Galaxy Tab — will hit rock bottom prices in early November because there is such strong competition.
Apple devotees should consider buying now, according to DealNews. With the release of updated iPads later this month, the best deals from resellers on previous generation models come just before and just after the new models are announced. That announcement came this past Thursday.
Electronics aren’t the only categories with early deals. Apparel, such as outerwear and sportswear, is also likely to be deeply discounted in early to mid-November, according to Ben’s Bargains.
Still, the five-day shopping period beginning on Thanksgiving Day will still offer plenty of shopping opportunities, says Trae Bodge, senior lifestyle editor of The Real Deal by RetailMeNot.
Shoppers looking to save the most money at that time should be on the lookout for staggered deals and doorbusters, guaranteed product availability and price matching offers designed to help retailers beat their competition.
There will also be special perks for loyalty program members, and some stores will offer services such as in-store pickup for online shoppers, which naturally, they hope will entice you to … shop early.