The game is available on Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3, PS4 and Nintendo 3DS.
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The game is available on Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3, PS4 and Nintendo 3DS.
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The holiday season is a time for spending. According to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Holiday Consumer Spending Survey, the average person will spend $804.42 on the holidays, of which the majority is on gifts for family, friends, and co-workers. The deals and discounts offered on Black Friday are the biggest draws to shopping on this day. According to the NRF survey, 74.7 percent of shoppers decide where to shop based upon the discounts. The temptation to save with these deals on Black Friday can lead to actually overspending. However, you can keep your spending in check so that you are not still paying off your debt come spring.
Calculate How Much you Can Spend
The incredible deals and savings offered on Black Friday do not mean you need to put yourself into debt to pay for them. One of the best ways to not overspend is to create a budget. According to a survey by Accenture, most people do set a budget for the holiday expenses. However, 46 percent surpass their budget. To avoid overspending your budget, take time to research and create your budget so that you will not be tempted by other items.
The first step is to calculate how much you can spend, total, on the holidays. This total amount will include any food for any family feasts or parties, gifts for everyone, decorations, travel costs, and any other potential expenses you do not normally have. It will also include any amount you plan to spend on yourself, such as taking advantage of the Black Friday 2014 deals on BFads to finally get that HDTV you have been eyeing. To calculate your available cash, budget your income and expenses for the month to see how much disposable income you have. If you plan to use a credit card, make sure you can pay it off quickly; otherwise, you might end up paying more on interest than you saved.
Decide How to Spend your Money
Now that you know your magical number that you can spend, it is time to decide how to spend it. Make a list of the items you want to buy, including gifts for friends, family members, co-workers, and yourself. Then, including expenses you believe you will have for traveling, parties, food, decorations, and other expenses. Create a rough estimate based upon what you spent last year and what you expect to pay this year. See if that rough estimate is within your budget. If it is not, go through and prioritize your list. Delete anything you do not need to buy. You can also see if there is a way to reduce your normal expenses to give you more money to spend on the holidays.
Find the Best Deals
Black Friday has some of the best deals on a variety of items, which is why it is such a popular shopping day. With your list of items to buy, look through all the ads to find the best Black Friday discounts or deals on the items. This will help you to decide where to purchase the times. The discounts may also let you add items to your shopping list, but do not be too tempted. According to Ellie Kay from an article on Bankrate.com, people can go broke by saving money by being too focused on the deals and discounts, not on how much they actually spend. Therefore, always focus on the bottom line. The more research you put into finding the best deals, the better chance you will have of sticking to your budget.
Even with all your research and calculations ahead of time, you are still at risk of being tempted and overreaching your budget when shopping on Black Friday. While you are searching for an item, you might find another item that seems like a great deal and throw it into your cart, or you might be bored waiting in line and find something to add to your cart. The stores have put these items in these locations just for that purpose. You do not want to fall into this trap, as this will destroy your budget. Therefore, be vigilant when shopping by following your list and game plan. If you feel you will be easily tempted, take a shopping buddy with you that will stop you from buying something.
You can stay on budget this holiday season, even when shopping the amazing deals on Black Friday filled with temptation. You just have to put in the time and effort ahead of time to calculate your budget and decide what you are allowed to purchase. Then, you need the willpower — or the help of a friend — to keep you on budget. If you stick to the deals on items you want and need, then you will avoid overspending and incurring more debt than you can handle.
Online sales grew at a torrid pace, rising 22% between Thursday and Cyber Monday, according to data firm comScore.
That does not include sales made using a mobile device such as a smart phone or a tablet.
Cyber Monday fell on December 2 in 2013.
The long Thanksgiving weekend sets the tone for the holiday season, when retailers get about 30% of their annual sales.
Total in-store sales between Thanksgiving Day on Thursday and Sunday rose 1% compared to the same period last year, while the number of visits to stores fell 4%, ShopperTrak said. ShopperTrak has forecast sales at stores will rise 2.4% for November and December together.
During “Black Weekend” 2013, shoppers spent an estimated $22.2 billion, compared to last year’s $22 billion, said ShopperTrak.
On Sunday, the National Retail Federation estimated Americans had spent 2.9% less over the weekend.
Shoppers appeared to be waiting a bit longer to do their Christmas shopping, perhaps holding out for deals. An Ipsos poll of almost 1,400 Americans over the weekend found 77% had done at least some of their holiday shopping by Black Friday, compared to 81% on the same day last year.
According to IBM data, sales through mobile devices rose 55%.
The biggest beneficiaries of the surge in online sales were marketplaces run by e-commerce leaders Amazon.com and eBay, according to data released by ChannelAdvisor, a provider of e-commerce software to retailers that tracks online sales.
Sales on Amazon‘s and eBay‘s marketplaces rose 30% on Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
They did well in part because of how well suited their sites are to use on mobile devices, said ChannelAdvisor CEO Scot Wingo.
Wal-Mart Stores said Monday was the all-time highest online sales day but declined to give a figure or a growth rate compared with last year.
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US consumers spent around $1.7 billion less over the holiday weekend, with the average shopper spending $407.02 from Thursday to Sunday.
That’s down from $423.55 in 2012.
Retailers blamed stagnant wages and economic uncertainty for keeping wallets shut, as they slashed prices to lure reluctant shoppers.
In total, the National Retail Federation estimates that US shoppers spent around $57.4 billion this year, down 2.7% from $59.1 billion last year.
Sales on Black Friday itself were down, as retailers opened stores on Thanksgiving Thursday and offered more details earlier in the week to entice shoppers.
According to market research firm ShopperTrack, Black Friday foot traffic was down 11% and sales slumped by 13%.
Despite the gloomy start to holiday shopping season, the National Retail Federation said it still expected holiday sales to surpass last year’s spending.
One beacon of hope for nervous retailers is that US consumers have spent more on online shopping than ever before.
“We expect Cyber Monday to be bigger than ever,” said National Retail Federation’s Matthew Shay in a statement.
The day, launched in 2005 by online retail association Shop.org, became the biggest US online shopping day in 2011, according to comScore.
But it’s not just one day any more: in an effort to lure penny-pinched shoppers, Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, declared this entire week “Cyber Week” and said it would offer sales every hour throughout the period.
However, Wal-Mart, Target, and Best Buy have all lowered their holiday shopping forecasts, pointing to declining consumer confidence, high unemployment, and increasing price competition as hurting their bottom lines.
But if US consumers are unwilling to part with their dollars, international brands may take comfort in the increasingly global nature of Black Friday.
According to Borderfree, a company that helps build global online shopping sites for companies like Macy’s and J. Crew, US retailers saw online sales to international consumers rise 50% this Black Friday compared to last year.
Shoppers in Russia, South Korea, China, Germany and Sweden were the biggest spenders.
According to Borderfree, retailers can expect a “second peak” on Cyber Monday.
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Amazon will surely be offering deep discounts but are keeping mum so far on the items. Bookmark Amazon’s Cyber Monday page to keep checking back for details and be set for the big day.
Best Buy will be offering a wide variety of slashed prices and doorbusters on all the tech items you want most: laptops, mobile phones, digital camera, HDTVs, and more. To stay on top of the deals, sign up for Best Buy’s Deal of the Day email to be among the first to find out about Best Buy’s great Cyber Monday 2013 deals.
Target will be having an entire Cyber Week complete with daily doorbusters. While all the details haven’t been revealed, discounts on items like iPads, PS4, Xbox One, Blu-rays, and more will be on sale. To be one of the first to know about Target’s Cyber Week deals, make sure to sign up for Target’s special offers.
Wal-Mart is known for their insane Black Friday deals and while they have yet to reveal all their Cyber Monday deals, are bet is that they’re pretty sweet.
Sears typically offers an extra 5% to 15% off during its Cyber Monday sale. Sears will be offering a “Build-Your-Own” Play Station 4 Bundle for Shop Your Way Members. The sweet deal includes a console, controller, and a choice of four different games for $519.97. The purchase also comes with 10,000 points which is the equivalent of a $100 Sears/Kmart gift card.
Mike Napolitano, who videotaped the women, said on the fight: “It started out, one couple was fighting with another couple. They had words, the guys got into a fight and then the girls.”
“One couple, they were like a family and all, with a young child in a stroller.”
The video shows the two women punching each other and someone in the crowd yelling: “No, stop.”
After the two hit the ground, fighting, you can hear the crackle of what sounds like a stun gun and see fluorescent-colored sparks.
At that point, several people run up and pry the two women apart.
“Then security came over and I kinda left, you know, I was thinking, <<God forbid if somebody has a gun or something>>,” Mike Napolitano said.
Mall security confirmed that a fight did break out in the mall around 2:30 a.m.
The Franklin Mills Mall opened at midnight on Black Friday and remained open for 18 hours.
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In Chicago, police shot an alleged shoplifter; a robber shot a shopper in Las Vegas; and a California police officer was injured in a fight.
Black Friday, the day following the Thanksgiving holiday, is the biggest shopping day of the year in the US.
This year it began even earlier amid a trend for Thanksgiving openings.
Twelve national chains opened their doors on Thursday, advertising aggressive discounts.
Some 15,000 shoppers stormed the flagship Macy’s in New York City as it opened for the first time ever on Thanksgiving evening.
There were several incidents of retail-related disorder across the US:
Workers’ groups have protested that the trend towards Thursday opening means retail employees can no longer spend the day at home with their families, which is supposed to be the point of Thanksgiving Day.
Some retail analysts have begun to dub the holiday Black Thanksgiving, or Grey Thursday.
Workers held demonstrations on Friday outside Wal-Mart stores in the city of Ontario, California, and in Elgin, Illinois, demanding better pay and conditions.
There was anecdotal evidence that the Thursday openings have led to an easing off in consumer footfall on Black Friday itself, though the increased popularity of online shopping could be another factor.
By late Friday morning, the number of shoppers in many stores was more typical of a normal Saturday than the usual frenetic start to the holiday season.
Some 97 million Americans hit the shops on Black Friday, according to the National Retail Federation.
In 2012, Americans spent $11.2 billion on Black Friday.
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After buying a big screen TV, a Las Vegas shopper was shot at around 9:45 p.m. local time late Thursday as he tried to take his purchase home, Lt. David Gordon of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department told NBC News.
“As the victim was walking through his complex he was approached by a suspect who fired warning shots which caused the victim to release the television,” he said.
As the thief tried to load it into a vehicle the victim approached him to try and get it back, David Gordon added.
“The suspect fired two more shots and the victim was struck in the leg,” he said.
“He was not seriously injured.”
Early Friday shoppers started arriving at a Chicago-area Kohl’s store just hours after a police officer shot the driver of a car that was dragging another officer responding to a call of alleged shoplifting which came in at around 10 p.m. local time.
Both the driver and the officer were taken to a hospital with minor injuries. Three people were arrested, police said.
At least three people got into a fight in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart in Rialto, California, because shoppers were cutting in line, Sgt. Nicholas Borchard told NBC. Two were taken into custody after the fight at around 7 p.m. local time, he added. A police officer suffered a minor unknown injury.
A man in Claypool Hill, West Virginia, was slashed to the bone with a knife after threatening another man with a gun in an argument over a Wal-Mart parking spot, Tazewell County Sheriff Brian Hieatt told WVVA. Both faced charges after the incident that happened at 6:30 p.m. the station reported.
Another shopper was charged with aggravated assault on a police officer after getting into an argument with a New Jersey Wal-Mart store manager about a television set. Officers arrived at the scene at 6:39 p.m. and once they had pacified the customer they also charged the shopper with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
Stores have braced themselves for the Black Friday rush despite a Consumer Reports poll this week that found 56% of Americans had no plans to shop at all this weekend.
Because Thanksgiving fell on November 28, the latest possible date, there are six fewer shopping days this holiday season than last. The most common reason – named by 70% of respondents – was a desire to avoid the crowds.
A Gallup poll this year found that 53% of Americans are very or somewhat likely to do their shopping online, the highest share since Gallup started asking the question in 1998.
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Most brands save their best online deals for the weekend after Thanksgiving, giving consumers a chance to buy coveted items at slashed prices just in time for the holidays.
Whether you are online shopper (and you love Cyber Monday) or love the thrill of digging through a bargain bin (and love Black Friday), we suggest preparing yourself for this momentous shopping extravaganza with these tips:
1. Create a budget
Before you create your list, you need a carefully planned budget. This will further help you avoid those impulse purchases.
2. Make a list and check it twice
Shopping a sale can be dangerous, as the idea of markdowns can have you purchasing items you don’t need. To avoid spending on frivolous items, make a list and don’t deviate from it.
3. Check return policies
The downside to buying on final sale or clearance usually means no returns. Or, the time period for returns is short, so know before you go.
4. Dress appropriately
There is no need to dress to impress on Black Friday. Everyone is there for one reason: to shop. Sneakers and leggings are appropriate attire for efficient shopping. Also, it makes time in the fitting room quick and easy.
5. Bring cash for Black Friday
The line at the register can seem neverending on Black Friday. Don’t be the one that holds it up because of a faulty credit card.
6. Check the lay of the land
It is best to know the territory. Time spent looking for the electronics section is time lost.
7. Drive-by shopping
Finding a parking space can be nightmare. And by the time you find a spot, the store would be practically half empty. Arrange for a ride there and home.
8. Shop with your home computer on Cyber Monday
If Cyber Monday is your day to splurge, make sure you do it in the comfort of your home with your own computer. For security reasons, you don’t want to be shopping on a public computer.
9. Shop with a credit card or Paypalon Cyber Monday
Scams are common online, so make sure you avoid the heartache that comes with bank fraud—read: don’t use debit cards. Most credit cards come with anti-fraud protection. Paypal is another secure way to shop online.
10. Get Cyber Monday coupons in advance
Most websites have promo codes a few days before, offering even more of a discount on select items.
Black Friday, the day following the Thanksgiving holiday, is the biggest shopping day of the year in the US.
Retailers offer special deals to tempt shoppers to spend.
Some stores, including the flagship Macy’s in New York, opened on Thursday evening – traditionally reserved for celebrating – for the first time ever.
Twelve national chains opened their doors on Thanksgiving Day.
Workers’ groups have protested that the trend towards Thanksgiving opening means retail employees can no longer spend the day with their own families.
Thanksgiving Day is always celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November.
Black Friday took over from the last Saturday before Christmas as the biggest shopping day of the year for US consumers in 2001.
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-XBOX 360 Kinect Bundle for $190
-FISHER-PRICE Poppity-Pop Musical for $19
-LEGO City for $50
-BARBIE Glamour Jet (with 30+ accessories) for $35
-RAZOR Folding Kick Scooter for $19
TOYS “R” US
-DESPICABLE ME 2 Dancing Dave for $25
-SKYLANDERS SWAP Force Starter Pack for $37
-LEAPFROG LeapPad 2 Explorer for $40
-DISNEY Infinity Starter Pack for $37
-HOT WHEELS Single Car for 60¢
-LITTLE TIKES Cozy Coup for $35
-MARVEL Iron Man 3 Sonic Blasting Iron Man for $24
-CONNECT 4 Board Game for $5
-HELLO KITTY Camping Kit for $25
-ROCKIN’ RIDER Pony for $25
-MEGA BLOCKS First Builders Safari Set for 425
-JUMPING BEANS Tops for Infants and Newborns for $4
-60% off all SO Fashion Tops for Girls
-YOUR CHOICE Cuddle Pillows for $15
-GLOW PETS Tie-Dye Unicorn for $30
-SLEEP AND SLIDE Princess Fairytale Loft Bed for $200
-NAKAMICHI NK KIDZ Headphones for $10
-60% off fleece for the family
-HASBRO Furby Boom Figure for $59
-DISNEY Sophia, The First Dress-Up Trunk for $22
-HOT WHEELS Car Maker for $45
-IMAGINEXT DC Super Friends Batcave for $33
-HADBRO Play-Doh Disney Princess Design-a-Dress Boutique for $15
-T-100 Fleece Half-Zip for $12
-Snow Flurry Boots for $25
-Down Jackets for $25
BABIES “R” US
-All licensed t-shirts for $6
-All kids pillows for $12
-All character hide-away play tents for $10
-50% off all NFL blankets, huddlers and pillows
-All Babies “R” Us Sleepwear for $8
-50% off the entire store
-60% off Disney Boys’ 2T
-4T Navy 2-pc. Monsters Tricot Set
-60% off BONNIE JEAN Dresses
-RUFF HEWN Boys’ Jeans for $13
-GRANE Puffer Vests for $17
-CARTER’S Baby Microfleece for $11
-60% off the entire store
-60% off Xersion Apparel
-ARIZONA Girl Sweaters for $12
-60% Babies’ and Toddlers’ Holiday Dresses
-30-40% off Boys Team Apparel
-50% off JOE FRESH Boy’s Apparel
-WII U Deluxe Set for $300
-THE SIMS 3 Starter Pack for $20
-SONY COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT Little Big Plant for $20
-NINTENDO 3DS with Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time for $200
-RC M.I. Archer Indoor Helicopter for $30
-RADIOSHACK Twin Turbine RC Plane for $25
-COBRA 2-Way Radio with Weather Alerts for $25
-ZIBITS Mini RC Robot for $7
-AUVIO Color Head Phones for $10
-APPLE iPod Nano for $100
-Select DVDs for $2
-NINTENDO Wii U Console Deluxe Set with New Super Mario Bros. Game for $20
1. Start tracking store sales in advance. Follow your favorite retailers on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest before Black Friday. Not only will they reveal details about sales before they happen, many stores will also offer exclusive discounts on those sites. In the past, stores like RadioShack have offered savings to shoppers who “checked in” with the brand on Foursquare, a common smartphone app.
2. Shop online in the wee hours of Thanksgiving. Many sellers activate their online deals the day before -typically between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. ET on Thursday morning. So if you have your eye on a particular product or store, look early that morning to see if the savings are live yet. Any sale will usually hold through Friday. True, prices may go lower on Cyber Monday. But the odds of finding a good price are in your favor.
3. On Black Friday, start online. The prices on Friday can be awesome, but about 70% of Black Friday deals are also available online, and 78% of them come with a free shipping offer, according to research from DealNews.com. Check just after midnight on Friday morning for new deals that didn’t go live on Thursday. Bonus: If an online retailer doesn’t have a physical store in your state, you may not have to pay sales tax.
4. Go for electronics. If you have a Blu-ray player or smartphone in mind, Black Friday is the day to shop, both online and in-store, according to experts. In past years, Apple has discounted iPads, iPods and other tech by 10% to 15% on Black Friday. Television prices will be at their lowest, too. In general, the best deal will be on an off-brand flat-screen, which is often discounted more deeply than a brand like Samsung.
5. Wait for Cyber Monday to purchase clothing. If you want a new outfit, hold off until Cyber Monday. Soft goods like cosmetics, shoes and apparel carry bigger discounts that day because retailers don’t want to compete with Friday’s giant tech bargains (a $5 shirt may not impress you when it’s next to a $200 TV). Last year Eddie Bauer gave 40% off on Cyber Monday, versus 30% on Black Friday. Also look for great travel deals on Monday.
One shopper claims he started waiting in line on Monday evening (November 18) – 10 days before Black Friday.
He set up a tent complete with all the necessary luxuries for living the Black-Friday-line high life, including a bed, a microwave, a television and of course, a heater, because it’s really cold in Ohio around this time of year.
Another Black Friday shopper is waiting in the line as well, and both of them have friends and family who volunteer to take turns waiting in line and working different shifts so that they can go take showers, and you know, live their lives. They have Thanksgiving dinner in the tents with the whole family, but this is part of an 11-year tradition for this Black Friday shopper, who was even talked into continuing the tradition by his kids when he contemplated quitting a few years ago.
Best Buy hasn’t even officially published its Black Friday advertisements yet; those will likely arrive on Sunday (November 24), but thanks to websites dedicated to Black Friday shopping, folks can get a peek at leaked circulars for different stores, including Best Buy. One of the biggest deals is for the iPad Air, which will see a discount between $50-$70 off. The store will even have iPad 2 units selling for just $299, which is a $100 savings from the original $399 price tag.
Best Buy will open at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving evening (November 28), and they will hand out tickets for the doorbuster items two-hours before the store opens.
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1. Sam’s Club & Wal-Mart: Vizio 70-inch Smart LED TV: $998 (normally $1,600-$1,800). A 70-inch Smart LED TV from Vizio for $600-$800 off. This is the hallmark of what Black Friday sales are supposed to be all about, and with this deal you have two stores to choose from.
2. Wal-Mart: Vizio 60-inch, 120Hz HDTV: $688 The flat-screen set normally goes for $899 or $999 online or at retail. Perhaps not the biggest bargain out there, but still a nice discount.
3. Wal-Mart: Funai 32-inch 720p LED HDTV: $98 Funai may not be a name brand, but most television display experts say the picture quality on a 32-inch model varies little from brand to brand. At $98, this is a great deal for anyone looking for an extra HDTV for a kids’ room or guest room for example.
4. Best Buy: LG 55-inch, 120Hz LED TV: $499 (normally $1,000). This flat-screen TV sale is one of six doorbusters that the retailer has announced thus far. A 55-inch TV for about half the price is a true bargain.
5. H.H. Gregg: Sony 55-Inch 4K LED TV: $2,999 This price is $500 off the suggested list price from Sony, which recently slashed it $1,000 from $4,499. So bottom line is basically H.H. Gregg is selling the 4K set for $1,500 less than what it costs just a few months ago. (If you don’t want to wait until Black Friday, Amazon is currently selling the 4K TV set for $2,998.)
6. H.H. Gregg: Seiki 55-inch LED HDTV: $399 Seiki is also not a name brand, but when do you ever see a 55-inch HDTV for just $399? This set normally retails for about $300 more online and in-store.
7. Wal-Mart: Apple iPad Mini 16GB: $299 (with $100 gift card). The price is basically the same as you would find before Black Friday, but the $100 gift card arguably makes this a 33 percent discount. Note: Target is offering a similar deal at the same price, but their gift card is only $75.
8. Meijer’s: Apple iPad Air: $379 (with $100 off next Meijer shopping trip). The new Apple tablet will not only sell at roughly $120 less than the normal price, but you get $100 off your next shopping trip at Meijer’s. Awesome package.
9. Sam’s Club: Apple iPhone 5c w/2 yr. Contract: 96 cents. 96 cents is not a misprint. Great deal for a new iPhone, however limited supplies means you’ll have to get there early.
10. Sam’s Club: LG Blu-ray Player: $38 This high-def disc player is not compatible with a Smart TV device, but at $38, this is a great deal for Blu-ray enthusiasts.
The Black Friday deals can change from day to day as retailers leak more of their circulars. Check out BFads.net for the latest up to the minute news on holiday sales this year.
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This year there are several exciting development as far as Black Friday shopping is concerned. The most important development is the fact that the retailers are opening their doors a lot earlier than previous years. The first to announce early opening on Thanksgiving for Black Friday was none other than Wal-Mart. It was followed by almost every other top retailer in the country within no time.
Great offers are going to be available on every product including smartphone, tablet, laptop, camera, furniture, toys, clothes and almost every other product. You are going to get best deals during Black Friday and this include latest and top end smartphones like iPhone 5S from Cupertino based Apple and Korean based tech giant Samsung’s flagship handset Galaxy S4. And the best thing is the fact that the deals and offers are going to be really exciting.
When it comes to electronic items, you need to look no further than the top electronic products vendor, Best Buy. Like every year in the past Best Buy has taken the lead in offering great deals. This Black Friday electronic items are going to be in great demand and retailing companies are not going to disappoint the holiday shoppers. Not just the offers are going to become more enticing, they are becoming bigger and bigger. And the best thing about the Black Friday shopping is the fact that this time they are coming very early too.
Best Buy has brought every top product under Black Friday deal list. The retailing giant seems to have brought almost every great product to the table as far as Black Friday this year is concerned. If you want to go for gizmos including tablets, smartphones then there is no better place than Best Buy. It is offering 8GB Barnes & Noble Nook HD Snow tablet for $80, down from $129, an 8GB Nabi 7-inch kid’s tablet for $130, down from $180 and 16GB Apple iPad Air tablet with Wi-Fi and $100 gift card for $480. Samsung Galaxy S4 is available for as little as $40 and 16GB Apple iPhone 5s comes for $180 with contract. So as far as electronic items’ offers are concerned, there is no one offering deals like Best Buy.
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In addition, Walmart.com will begin offering Black Friday sales on a limited number of items Thursday morning.
“We’re always looking at what’s going on in the competitive environment,” said Duncan Mac Naughton, executive vice president, chief merchandising and marketing officer for Walmart U.S.
Wal-Mart will bring back its one-hour guarantee during events at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving, followed by an 8 a.m. event on Black Friday. If customers are in a designated line within an hour of one of these sales’ kickoffs, they are guaranteed to receive an item at a certain price either that night or before Christmas.
The program is expanding to 21 products this season from three last year, ranging from a Vizio 60-inch LED HDTV for $688, to a one-carat diamond and sterling silver pendant and earring set for $98. The stores will integrate wristbands so shoppers can browse the store while waiting for the events to begin.
Wal-Mart is also ramping up its social media and online components, advertising “manager’s specials” – when managers will lower prices for an entire category – on its local Facebook pages, and curating deal maps on its website to be viewed while in-store.
Officials there and at the National Retail Federation offer these tips:
• Read store ads carefully. Is the store offering sale items at a limited quantity? Can you get a rain check if it’s an out-of-stock sale item?
• Use the Internet to compare prices, not just the Black Friday ads but also retailers’ regular websites.
• Take the ad with you when you go shopping to make sure you find the precise item at the price advertised. It’s often a good idea to go to the store now to see if the items you want have the quality and features you desire.
• Check to see if your favorite retailer offers an option to buy online and pick up in store. That will allow you to skip the frenzy and head to the customer service counter.
• Focus on bottom-line prices, not discounts. Discount claims may not reflect real savings if the seller inflated the original price of an item.
• Know retailers’ return and exchange policies. Some have a specified number of days in which to return items. Others will give the recipient credit for their after-holiday clearance price without a gift receipt, and some won’t let you return an item bought online to a physical store.
The holiday shopping season represents the bulk of many merchants’ yearly sales, so luring shoppers early is important, retail analysts say. Dozens of Black Friday websites entice shoppers with early releases of ads.
Retailers count on shoppers poring over their newspaper inserts. Papers’ Thanksgiving Day editions often are the largest of the year.
“This is the one time of year when consumers have the opportunity to see all this sales stuff in advance,” said Brad Wilson, who has a website called BradsDeals.com.
“It gives people three or four weeks to strategize about what they are going to buy.”
Online sneak-peak ads for Black Friday come out earlier every year, he said.
“Consumers love the game of it all,” Brad Wilson said.
“They want to find the best deals. And they want to be able to get to the right stores at the right time.”
Shoppers caught up in the adrenaline rush of getting the best Black Friday deals – like last year’s $97 flat screen television – will be in for even better deals this year, Brad Wilson is predicting.
“The bargains have gotten better every year for a while,” he said.
Some of the websites that already have started posting Black Friday ads:
Wal-Mart is already making a number of so-called “Black Friday” deals on electronics available through its website. Included in the early digital discounts are sharp savings on seven tablet computers and TVs, as well as holiday pricing for 300 other items, The Associated Press notes.
The early deals come as Wal-Mart looks to get a leg up on rivals in what is expected to be a highly competitive holiday shopping season. At least one big-screen TV will be marked down by 36% in one of the seven top deals. In another deal, a tablet will see a 51% discount.
This year’s early discounts follow 100 deals offered on the day after Halloween last year, though those offers were confined to home products.
A Wal-Mart executive indicated that the decision to offer the seven electronics deals was made last month. He noted that a challenging economy was pressuring consumers to start looking for deals as soon as possible.
Retailers are feeling uncertain about the upcoming shopping season, with some cutting back on the number of seasonal workers they hire.
Industry experts say that the pressure of a tight economy will force retailers to eventually abandon Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales in the rush to attract customers earlier in the season.
Research firm Comscore said consumers would have spent $1.5 billion on so-called Cyber Monday, up 20% from last year.
Online-sales tracker IBM Benchmark put the internet shopping rise even higher – up nearly 27% compared with the Monday after Thanksgiving last year.
Smartphone and tablet computer sales rose 10.2%, said IBM Benchmark.
“Online’s piece of the holiday pie is growing every day, and all the key dates are growing with it,” Forrester Research analyst Sucharita Mulpuru told Associated Press news agency.
“The web is becoming a more significant part of the traditional brick-and-mortar holiday shopping season.”
Online sales also jumped sharply on so-called Black Friday, which is the day after Thanksgiving.
Comscore said internet shopping rose by a quarter last Friday to break the $1 billion mark for the first time, while it was up by a third on Thanksgiving itself.
There was also a jump in consumer spending this Thanksgiving weekend compared with last year, retailers say.
A record 247 million people visited stores and websites between Thursday and Sunday, spending a total of $59.1 billion, 13% more than last year, the National Retail Federation (NRF) said.
The average shopper spent $423 over the weekend, up from $398 last year.
Despite the jump in sales over the weekend, there are concerns that the rise in spending over the festive period as a whole will be weaker this year.
The NRF has forecast a 4.1% increase in retail sales during November and December, less than the 5.6% jump recorded last year.
Aldo: 30% off all sale items
Armani Exchange: 35% off everything, plus free shipping.
Diane von Furstenberg: 30% off all sale items with the discount code HOLIDAYSALE, plus free ground shipping.
Express: 40% off everything on Cyber Monday, plus free shipping.
French Connection: 30% off orders over $150, plus free shipping.
Guess: Discounts of up to 50%.
J.Crew Factory: 40% off everything. Use the discount code GIVEANDGET on checkout.
Madewell: With the discount code TREAT, you’ll get 25% off your entire purchase.
Piperlime: 20% off the entire site between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Shopbop: With the discount code BIGEVENT12, you’ll get 20% off spends of over $250, 25% off sends of over $500, 30% off if you spend over $1,000 and 35% off on orders over $1,500.
Revolve: Sale items have markdowns of up to 95% off for the whole weekend. The site is also offering free shipping.
Vince Camuto: 30% off everything. Use the discount code HOLIDAY on checkout.
Yoox: 40% off selected fall collections, plus a further 15% off with the discount code YOOXTHANKS on checkout.
But web shoppers beware: For the first time, residents in California, Texas and Pennsylvania will be automatically charged state sales tax at the checkout on Amazon and other online stores.
And next year, they will be joined by shoppers in Virginia and New Jersey, and by January 2014, those in Nevada, Indiana and Tennessee.
What comes as bad news for shoppers comes as good news for Amazon’s competitors, who have expressed their relief at finally “leveling the playing field” with the e-commerce giant, which earned a staggering $17.45 billion in the holiday quarter last year.
Other stores have claimed that Amazon’s success is partly due to the fact it can undercut them by avoiding sales tax, which is as high as 9% in some states.
The changes are coming into play after individual states have passed legislation on online sales tax after Congress has failed to pass a national law. Chains including Wal-Mart and Target have been lobbying the bills, Politico reported.
“Now for a sizeable chunk of the U.S. population, Amazon is playing by the same rules as the rest of the retailers,” Jason Brewer, a spokesman for the Retail Industry Leaders Association, told the site.
“There are going to be fewer people who shop online solely for the sales tax benefit.”
But Amazon maintains that it expects this holiday season to be its most successful yet.
“As analysts have noted, we offer customers the best prices with or without sales tax,” said Scott Stanzel, an Amazon spokesman.
“We collect sales tax or its equivalent in more than half of the areas where we do business and we are pleased to say we are thriving in those geographies because Amazon offers low prices, vast selection and fast delivery.”
Yet some retailers said they are already noticing a difference in states were Amazon is collecting sales tax.
Best Buy has seen a four to six per cent increase in sales in California, Texas and Pennsylvania compared to the rest of the chain, Amy Von Walter, a spokesperson at Best Buy, told Politico.
“These are encouraging data points,” she said.
“It lends itself to the idea that a level playing field is good for business.”
Online sales during Cyber Monday last year reached $1.25 billion, up 22% from the previous year, according to ComScore. This year, the data firm expects $1.5 billion in sales that day.
Despite changes to sales tax, research has shown that more people are shunning the mania of Black Friday to shop from their homes on Cyber Monday.
A survey by shopping comparison site PriceGrabber.com revealed that almost half of all Thanksgiving weekend shoppers will shop online on Monday – and more than half of these said they would shop more online than at shops on Black Friday.
Of the 5,000 people surveyed, 41% of people said they would shop on Cyber Monday – up from the 37% in 2011, and 33% in 2010, Fox News reported.
Eighty-four per cent of Cyber Monday shoppers said they wanted to take advantage of one-day deals, discounts and free-shipping offers.
A third of shoppers said they would be shopping on Monday after scouting for deals over the weekend.
But although the interest in online shopping is growing, the total sales will still not come close to those in shops on Black Friday. Stores are expected to take as much as $11.4 billion.
Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving, was created in 2005 as an online alternative to Black Friday.
This year, as Black Friday begins earlier than ever – with retail giants nudging their opening times into Thanksgiving – e-commerce departments are doing the same.
Walmart emailed customers this week to reveal that its Cyber Monday sale will start this Saturday and last until Sunday, December 2, 2012 for deals on toys, electronics and video games.
Target, Best Buy and Amazon also announced they would have tech deals starting on Black Friday.
Amazon is also offering special Sunday deals – so that bargain hunters don’t have to click from their work computers come Monday – on golf equipment, clothing, lamps, books, clothes and cameras.
The biggest consumer spending day of the year isn’t what it used to be; with retailers now opening earlier than ever, day-long lines, and watchful policemen, so shoppers have revised their strategies for the ultimate trip in bargain hunting.
Taking friends to divide and conquer, camping out for days prior, using sign language to communicate across the store, lying about fake sales, and hiding merchandise before the sale even starts are just some of the strategies that extreme bargain hunters are employing.
One 21-year-old college senior admitted to tricking other customers into thinking they could get a better deal elsewhere so that she can cut the queue.
Amanda Willis, who was in an hour-long line at J Crew told Today.com that she secretly made her phone ring, before yelling into it: “Are you kidding? Yankee Candle is giving away those big candles for free for the next 10 minutes?!”
Most of the people in front of her fled the store at Jersey Shore Premium Outlets to run over to the candle store. Amanda Willis then made her purchases in under 15 minutes.
By way of explanation for her ruse, she said: “I’m on a schedule.”
Meanwhile Louise Sattler, 53, admitted to being manipulatively nice to other shoppers in her Los Angeles area.
She said people are then much more willing to help you, if you need your place in the line held while you go to the bathroom, or by letting your child step into the line with you.
Louise Sattler’s family is fluent in sign language which they use to coordinate with each other inside loud stores, because “it’s faster than texting”.
In Salt Lake City, Utah, Chace Cannon, 26, waited outside all night in six degree temperature so he could purchase a-40 inch Westinghouse HDTV for $299, usually $600.
He explained that he and his friends put eight televisions in their shopping carts, and on the way to the checkout, a swarm of latecomers tried to take the boxes. The team raced to a corner and protected their shopping carts until reinforcement friends and family arrived.
And now that Black Friday is quickly getting supplanted by Grey Thursday with retailers like Best Buy, Walmart and Sears opening their doors yesterday at 8 pm and Target at 9 p.m. means that the rush to get in first has intensified further.
Melissa Rush from Florida said she is “hooked” on the “adrenaline high of getting all these great sales”.
The 24-year-old’s aim today was to buy a present for each of her 30 different family members, without spending more than $300 total.
Using a spreadsheet on her phone that she synced from her computer, a bevy of coupons, price matching, and manufacturer’s rebates, she says it is all about meticulous research.
She says it is most important to look at the catalogues from the week before, as well as Amazon.com, to make sure the Black Friday “deals” are actual savings – and to make sure you go with at least one other person who can get into the checkout line as soon as you enter the store.
She admitted: “At first people thought I was crazy. Then they saw the receipt.”
And Holden Hanson, who won’t take any chances in missing out of his must-have products on Black Friday, said he goes to Walmart on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving to hide the items on his list so other shoppers won’t find them.
The more sinister elements of Black Friday shopping are still prevalent however.
After a Wal-Mart worker was trampled to death in 2008 by uncontrolled crowds, some shoppers such as David Galloway from South Carolina, said his Thanksgiving will be spent with family and watching the great American tradition of football.
He told The Huffington Post: “I think greed is winning out over family but I think [stores] will get enough of a backlash to make some change next year.”
The first giant scrums started at a Walmart where families battled with each other to get their hands on a pair of $5 headphones, while paramedics rushed to help a Dick’s store cashier who passed out.
With sales on Black Friday expected to soar by 3.8% this year to a staggering $11.4 billion, thousands of shoppers queued around blocks before stores opened. As many as 11,000 lined around Macy’s flagship store in New York City’s Herald Square before it threw open its doors.
In one Walmart, the fights were underway within minutes of opening – as captured on a video posted to YouTube by a father who brought his two children along to the sales.
The youngsters are filmed sitting in a shopping trolley as the person with the camera asks them if they’re “here for the craziness” adding that they are about to watch people fight over a $5 deal for a pair of headphones.
A large crowd are standing in a circle around the box of headphones waiting for the go-ahead from the Walmart staff.
The cameraman, posting on YouTube as David Quigley, struggles to keep his camera steady as the deal drops and the crowd goes wild, throwing themselves over the box.
Men, women and children are seen mercilessly elbowing each other as they shove to grab a pair.
Violence also escalated at a San Antonio mall after a shopper allegedly pulled a gun on another man who had tried to cut to the front of the line at a Sears, the San Antonio Express-News reported.
The man had rushed into the store when it opened Thursday night to get to the front of a line and started arguing with people as he tried cutting in front of them.
A man who was punched in the face during the scuffle pulled a gun and shoppers scattered. But the man had a gun permit and has not been charged with a crime.
There was also drama elsewhere. One shopper from Juneau, Alaska tweeted a picture of a woman being carried from a Dick’s store on a stretcher as crowds focused on the shelves.
“Cashier passed out at Dick’s,” Stevie Hendrix tweeted.
“Black Friday was too much… No one cared, it was kind of sad, they just wanted their stuff.”
In Woodland Mall in Kentwood, Michigan, two teenagers were arrested after a brawl broke out between 15 men outside a JC Penney at 1.30 a.m. Witnesses said pepper spray was used.
At a Walmart in Altamonte Springs, Florida, 28-year-old Samantha Chavez was arrested after being disruptive in the traffic line, and allegedly bullying the officer directing vehicles.
Once inside the store, she allegedly threw merchandise on the floor.
Witnesses, who caught the arrest on video, claimed she only made a scene after losing her sister in the store and becoming scared, CFNews13 reported.
Police also responded to reports of shooting at 1 a.m. in Westroads Mall in Omaha, Nebraska, where nine people were killed five years ago.
Authorities later learned that while a fight had broken out, witnesses had heard trash cans being knocked over, rather than gunshots. There were no arrests.
An hour later at nearby Oak View Mall, police got into a scuffle with a shoplifter who allegedly tried to spray mace at store security guards.
Another video from Black Friday shows hundreds of girls and women storming the entrance of a Victoria’s Secret Pink store at Oak Park Mall, Kansas as it opened at midnight.
And in Springfield, Massachusetts, Anthony Perry, 34, was arrested after he allegedly left his girlfriend’s two-year-old in his car so he could by a 51 inch television from Kmart.
Security notified police about the boy sleeping in the Nissan Venza, broke into the vehicle and took him to hospital for a check-up.
Police found Perry at his home in Springfield with his new television, but do not know how he got there without his car. He claimed the youngster was in the store with him and became lost but will be charged for reckless endangerment of a child.
The shopping frenzy got off to its earliest ever start as the nation’s customers put down their turkey and headed straight to the malls, with some stores opening as early as 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving.
Shops typically open in the small hours of the morning on the day after the national holiday – named Black Friday because it is traditionally when they turn a profit for the year.
But openings have crept earlier and earlier over the past few years and this year, stores such as Target and Toys R Us opened on Thanksgiving evening, while retailers from Macy’s to Best Buy opened their doors at midnight on Black Friday.
Despite the YouTube videos, many shoppers claimed the crowds were largely peaceful, avoiding the riots seen in previous years.
Many stores had an unusually heavy police presence, and there were some reports of scuffles between customers in packed-out shopping aisles.
And amid the shopping frenzy, two customers – a husband and a wife – were hit by a car in the parking lot of a Walmart on the edge of Seattle on Thursday evening, with the wife being airlifted to hospital after the accident which saw her pinned under the vehicle.
Stores from Target to Toys R Us opened their doors on Thanksgiving evening, hoping Americans will be willing to shop soon after they finish their pumpkin pie.
Target opened its doors at 9 p.m. on the holiday, three hours earlier than last year. Sears, which didn’t open on Thanksgiving last year, opened at 8 p.m. on Thursday through 10 p.m. on Black Friday.
Toys R Us opened at 8 p.m., an hour earlier than last year. And others such as Macy’s are opening at midnight on Black Friday.
When Macy’s flagship Herald Square store in New York opened its doors at midnight, about 11,000 shoppers showed up.
Overall, about 17% of shoppers plan to take advantage of Thanksgiving hours, according to a International Council of Shopping Centers-Goldman Sachs survey of 1,000 consumers.
It is estimated that sales on Black Friday will be up 3.8% on last year, to a total of $11.4 billion.
Michael Prothero, 19, and Kenny Fullenlove, 20, were even willing to miss Thanksgiving dinner altogether for deals. They started camping out on Monday night outside a Best Buy store in Toledo, Ohio, which was slated to open at midnight.