Let's take a moment away from doorbuster commercials, the onslaught of retailer e-mails, needy relatives, and—oh yeah—cooking to imagine how this Black Friday is really going to go. We've given you all the tools you need for a successful Black Friday—er, Thursday—and still, you ask: is it going to be good? Busy? Worth it?
Depends. Yes. Maybe.
I do think shoppers will line up for the crazy deals on TVs and laptops, mainly because big players such as Best Buy and Target really are offering some crazy good deals. (I love how Deal News analyzes the Black Friday circulars).
The best deals—i.e. the ones that justify getting off the couch on a national holiday—will be on toys, movies, games, and electronics. Rule of thumb this year: the bigger the television screen, the better the deal. If it's Apple products you're after, analysts suggest shopping anywhere other than the Apple store. Target, for example, is offering $100 to $140 gift cards with the purchase of select iPads. But beyond those willing to risk frost bite for a shiny new object, I think the traffic will be more of a steady flow than the crazy stampedes of a few years ago. Old Navy will have 50 percent off sweatpants whether you arrive at 4 p.m. (yes, 4 p.m. at select locations) or 8 p.m.
If you feel compelled to shop—and come on, it is fun and festive—but want to avoid big crowds, think boutique. Many independent retailers are offering deals and refreshments both Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.
Remember that right after that no-name Sunday comes Cyber Monday. Industry-wide predictions this year suggest the deals will be even better than on Black Friday. Because retailers don't have to worry about shelf space the way they do in stores, many discounted items will be stocked in greater supply.
Visit our Holiday Headquarters for the Twin Cities' most comprehensive guide to Thanksgiving weekend shopping, from big box to boutique. And don't leave your Thanksgiving host with all the dishes.
What will you be shopping for? Brag, complain, ask, advise—we're all in this together. That's what the holiday is all about. Right?