The second Black Friday of the pandemic is officially underway.
After weeks of early sales, Friday marks the official shopping holiday that Americans expect to offer great deals on an annual basis.
Like last year, more retailers closed on Thanksgiving than in recent years in the midst of the pandemic and opened early Friday.
At 5 a.m., Walmart, Best Buy, Kohl’s, Old Navy, JCPenney and Dick’s Sporting Goods opened their doors. Macy’s and Bed Bath & Beyond followed at. 06.00 before Target and GameStop opened at. 07.00. Hours may vary by location. (See the full list of Black Friday store hours here.)
More shoppers are expected to shop in stores on Friday than last year, which was considered the quietest Black Friday in 20 years.
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Walmart is one of the only stores to offer customers new deals, which were not available in stores until Friday. The retail giant’s sale started online on Monday.
Shoppers lined up in front of store openings
Despite expanded Black Friday sales, customers continued to line up early in stores across the country.
At a Walmart in Coral Springs, Florida, more than 100 customers line up before the doors open.
There were queues in selected shops across the country, with some shoppers queuing in the cold.
In St. Matthews, Kentucky, near Louisville, 60 people lined up to buy Black Friday deals at Best Buy before the store opened with temperatures in the 1930s, the Louisville Courier-Journal, a member of the United States TODAY Network, reported.
In Anderson, South Carolina, shoppers lined up before Walmart opened – some arriving at 01.30 before the doors opened at 05.00 – and some camped for Target’s opening at. 7.00. Cars filled parking lots for Kohl’s and Home Goods. Shoppers also visited JC Penny and lined up for Best Buy, according to Anderson Independent Mail, part of the USA TODAY Network.
And at a Kohl’s in Springfield, Illinois, about 30 people were queuing when the store opened, as temperatures fluctuated around 18 degrees, according to the State-Journal Register, also part of the United States TODAY Network.
In Edmond, Oklahoma, shoppers lined up at Academy Sports + Outdoors hours before the opening to make sure they were able to get deals on specific items such as a thermal sight, Oklahoman, a newspaper from the USA TODAY Network, reported.
GameStop Black Friday Deals: PS5 Packages
There were also some lines on Thanksgiving. While few stores were open for the holidays, many GameStop stores opened and sold one of the most sought-after Christmas gifts, the PlayStation 5.
Many retailers including Walmart sell PS5 and Xbox Series X online, but GameStop had some consoles available as part of the Black Friday in-store sales.
At a GameStop in Coral Springs, Florida on Thursday, a sign on the door said the place had 11 PS5 packages available when the store opened at 6 p.m. 17.00. The package sold for $ 789.95 for the console, a $ 100 GameStop gift card, PlayStation Plus 12-month membership and three games.
Nick Reed arrived at the store around 2 a.m. Thanksgiving morning and was first in line. Reed, from Coral Springs, said he has been trying to get Sony’s latest console since last year.
“I could have come here around 5 and still be the first,” Reed said.
Alessio Sincore, from Tamarac, Florida, arrived at GameStop at 6:30 a.m. Thursday after missing the PS5 during online sales at Best Buy and Walmart. He said it was the first time he had lined up for a Black Friday sale, and that he expected to see larger audiences like on TV.
Black Friday has changed over the years
For years, Thanksgiving and Black Friday have marked the official start of the Christmas shopping season and the time of year when shoppers focus on holiday spending.
The pandemic ended what the increase in online shopping began to slow down years earlier: doorbusters only in the store.
For years, Black Friday has lost its significance. Since 2011, stores have started the Christmas shopping season by opening their doors on Thanksgiving to compete with Amazon and other growing online threats. But the shift only cannibalized Black Friday sales. The shopping bonanza was further diluted as stores began marketing Black Friday sales for the entire week and then later for the month.
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Shoppers will find higher prices this Black Friday, fewer discounts
Shoppers are expected to pay on average between 5% and 17% more for toys, clothes, appliances, TVs and other purchases on Black Friday this year compared to last year, according to Aurelien Duthoit, senior sector consultant at Allianz Research.
TVs will see the highest prices on average, up 17% from a year ago, according to the analysis company. This is because all available discounts will be applied to items that are already expensive.
Such frustrations can dampen sales for the holidays that are meant to break records.
The National Retail Federation, the country’s largest retail group, predicts holiday sales will increase between 8.5% and 10.5% compared to the holiday period in 2020 when shoppers, locked in during the early part of the pandemic, spent their money on pajamas and home goods – mostly online . Holiday sales increased by 8.2% in 2020.
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Target announces Cyber Monday sale
Hours into Black Friday, Target announced that it will have a two-day “Cyber Deals” sale that will run online and in the store’s mobile app on Sunday and Monday, which is Cyber Monday.
Target said online sales include “deep discounts on seasonal items you must have, including furniture, bedding and baths, clothing and beauty.”
The retailer also announced its “Holiday Best” deals through December 4 in-store and online.
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Best days to shop through Cyber Monday
According to Adobe Analytics, Black Friday has the biggest discounts on furniture, bedding, tools and home improvement items. Other offers to see this weekend:
- Saturday, which is Small Business Saturday, is a good day for discounts on electronics and appliances.
- Sunday for clothes and sports equipment
- Cyber Monday is expected to offer the biggest price drops on TVs.
This story will be updated.
Contributing: Associated Press; Steven Spearie, State-Journal Register; Oklahoman; Anderson Independent Mail; Louisville Courier-Journal.
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