Maybe it should be called “Black November,” because Black Friday deals this year started earlier than ever.
Countless retailers have been offering pre-sales for the shopping event of the holiday season all month, but some of the best discounts are scheduled for a week before Black Friday, Nov. 29.
But why so early? It’s no mystery: Retailers’ strategy this year is “the early bird gets the worm” -- that is, whoever gets consumers to with them first will win their dollars and catch them before they go to competitors. The late Thanksgiving is a factor too.
On Tuesday, Walmart announced a “pre-Black Friday” Friday sale that begins at 8 a.m. in stores and online. The retail giant will offer discounts on toys and electronics such as LeapPad 2 and Xbox One video games. The Bentonville, Ark.-based company said its tactic is to entice customers with sales before they shop at the likes of Target, Best Buy and Toys “R” Us.
"Black Friday is our Super Bowl and we plan to win," Walmart’s executive vice president, chief merchandising and marketing officer Duncan Mac Naughton said in a statement. “With six fewer days from Thanksgiving to Christmas [this year vs. last], the retail environment is more competitive than ever. Every opportunity to get a great deal – whether this weekend, on Thanksgiving Day or Black Friday weekend – matters for our customers. When it comes to price, we’re going to deliver for them.”
The press release also highlighted some of the best deals in Walmart’s pre-Black Friday sale event, including a LeapPad 2 for $39.99, single Hot Wheels cars for 60 cents each, an LG 50-inch HDTV for $448 and select video games for PS4 and Xbox One for $49.
Walmart will also be one of many stores open on Thanksgiving Day, beginning at 6 p.m., but Mac Naughton said the pre-sale is meant to offer flexibility to its shoppers.
“Customers will ultimately decide when they want to shop. We have great options and great deals for them whenever, or however, they choose to shop Walmart,” he said.
Of course, Walmart is not the only one chain that has adopted this “knock out the competition” strategy. Sears and The Disney Store have announced deals of 50 percent off or more, which begin on Friday, Nov. 22. While Disney has not released details on its “Magical Week Deals” sales, Sears has a full list of its sale items, which go live at 7 p.m. CT on Friday and end at midnight on Saturday, for members including shoes, power tools, TVs, appliances and more. But if you’re not a member, fret not because you can join instantly for free at Sears.com.
Sears Holdings also owns Kmart, where more pre-Black Friday sales will be offered. Monster High toys will be buy one, get one for 50 percent off and an RCA 42-inch LED TV will be $299.99 marked down from $499.99. Kmart’s presale begins Sunday, Nov. 24, at midnight and ends at 11:59 p.m. CST.
The Illinois-based corporation, also looking to beat competitors, said it's catering to customers who are itching to shop before Thanksgiving or Black Friday.
"Sears Holdings made the decision to offer early deals and doorbusters based in part on feedback from our Shop Your Way members, who sought more-flexible holiday shopping times and expressed eagerness to shop doorbuster deals," executive vice president Imran Jooma told USA Today.
While these retailers are beginning their sales a week early, some stores have been offering sales all month – and last until Thanksgiving. Appliance and electronics giant h.h.gregg has been hosting a sale which began Nov. 7 and lasts until Nov. 23 with 35 percent off major appliances priced at $399.99 and up and 25 percent off electronics $299 and up. Customers can also get an extra 5 percent off using their h.h.gregg credit card on products of $497 and up. Its main competitor, Best Buy, will offer savings on appliances through Saturday as well as $125 off on MacBook Air.
As it does every year, Amazon.com has also offered deals as early as Nov. 1, with additional deals added weekly in the lead-up to Black Friday. There are too many bargains to name, so head on over to the Black Friday Countdown page here.
Below are some of the best pre-sales and deals IBTimes rounded up online for shoppers eager to spend some dough before Thanksgiving or Black Friday, with information on when they begin.
Walmart: Pre-Black Friday Online-Only Specials (Now until Black Friday, Nov. 29)
Sears: Black Friday Doorbusters (Friday, Nov. 22 at 7 p.m. CT until Saturday, Nov. 23 at midnight).
Kmart: Triple Doorbuster Sale (Sunday, Nov. 24 at midnight until 11:59 p.m. CST)
Disney: Magical Week Deals (Friday, Nov. 22 at midnight)
h.h.gregg: Pre-Black Friday Specials (Nov. 7 until Nov. 23)
Best Buy: Pre-sale (Now until Saturday, Nov. 23)
Kohl’s: Two-Day Sale (Now until Wednesday)
JCPenney: Sale using code “FALLAIR” (Now until Wednesday, Nov. 27)
Want more Black Friday coverage? Follow Nadine DeNinno on Twitter @nadinedeninno or check out IBTimes’ holiday shopping coverage below.