Right after the day of the stuffed turkey comes the biggest day of shopping for the year.
Commonly known as Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving in the U.S. is considered one of the biggest retail days of the year. Most shops in the country start as early as 5 AM and stay open till late, offering massive discounts. The day is equivalent to Boxing Day that is observed in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and a few other countries the day after Christmas.
Gadgets still top the list among the most sought after category of goods.
Cameras, e-readers and music devices top the list that catalog hundreds of products, including Barbie Dolls, movies, toys and kitchen appliances.
Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) is offering various computers, laptops and e-readers at a massive discount. The Nintendo DS Lite is priced at $89, according to one ad on the website. Sony Readers are being offered at $99.
Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) leaked Black Friday deals on Kindle, stating the previous generation of Kindle is expected to be available at $89, from 9 AM Pacific Time, in limited numbers.
Toys 'R' Us plans to open its shutters at 10 PM on Thanksgiving, while Wal-Mart plans to open at midnight. Other stores such as Target and Best Buy will open beyond 4 AM on Friday. Many of the shoppers are enthusiastic enough about the deals that they would camp at the gates to get the first shot on the best deals, most of which are of limited stock.
However, not everyone is keen about having such an adventure.
This holiday season, I wouldn't be standing in long queues. Looking to buy online, says Anup, a resident on New Orleans, who is looking to buy a DSLR camera and and Xbox.
Many of these deals are also available online - a slightly less complicated option, given that many of the best deals have an extremely short time limit.
Most people are looking to upgrade their electronics this holiday season. With Christmas just about a month away, it could also be a good time to get much of the gift shopping out of the way.
The iPhone is already offering apps that will help shoppers find the best deals of the lot - everything from leaked ads, to comparisons between prices, the best deals and the best places.
And many people are analyzing the best deals and prices even before they hit the stores.
I am planning to go to an outlet mall this Black Friday. Want to go to Levis outlet to check out the 517 jeans and shirts. Then to the Reebok store to check out running shoes and then to Aeropostale for a good-looking hoodie, says one California resident.
The rest, on the electronic end, could be bought online on Cyber Monday, he stated.
Cyber Monday is fast overtaking the Black Friday sales. The term was originally coined by Shop.org in 2005 and has since caught on to become almost as popular as Black Friday.
According to comScore.com, sales on Cyber Monday in 2009 reached $887 million, up 5 percent from the previous year and matching the heaviest online spending day of record, Dec 9, 2008.
The number of online buyers grew 6 percent to 8.7 million, though the average dollars spent per buyer declined 2 percent, the report stated. The decline could be due to bad economic conditions.
Trade pundits are watching the sales closely this year to see how much the consumer confidence has grown. High rates of unemployment, disflation and other factors have kept U.S. economic growth sluggish during 2010. A good report of sales during Black Friday and Cyber Monday could help turn the sentiment.