Top Stores to Scour for Black Friday Ads and Deals
Smart shoppers are smelling a super competitive price war this holiday shopping season (thanks to Walmart). The question is when will those Black Friday deals kick in this year? If we look at start times for Black Friday ads from last year, they ranged from Wednesday online kick-offs through Saturday-only door-busters (Sunday is now the official kick-off of Cyber Monday). Most ads featured Thanksgiving Day (night) as their Black Friday bonanza — to great public disdain — but with a record $1 billion in online sales (that’s four times the net worth of Lady Gaga). Some stores, like Macy’s, had separate ads for Thanksgiving deals. Online-only stores like Amazon, Newegg and eBay featured Black Friday deals for a full week, while several stores hosted Black Friday sneak-peeks or members-only access to select door-busters the weekend before the “main” event. Another handful of stores extended both Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. Chaos or opportunity?
Total “as advertised” Black Friday deals were up 19% last year (more than 44k versus more than 37k in 2013), and although we tend to get all “ga ga” over those big-ticket door-busters, the hidden gems of Black Friday lie in the budget deals. Last year there were more than 2,200 Black Friday deals for less than $5, more than 7,300 for less than $10 and more than 14,300 for less than $20. In fact, there were 1,763 deals price marked at $9.99 (half of those actually 50% off or more). While some trends point to folks shopping holiday sales earlier than ever before, most consumers are quick to point out that Black Friday “almost always” has the best deals on most things they buy year after year (FatWallet surveys).
FATWALLET.COM 2015 BLACK FRIDAY PREDICTIONS
Competition is a good thing and consumers know it. Expect a gut -busting spew of early Black Friday sales featuring decent pricing on select one-offs from Nov. 1-26. If you have spare time to monitor this noise (or have access to savvy deal hunters), there are savings to be had. But with the NRF holiday forecast of retail sales growth lower than last year, the “big” savings and selection should come during the “main” Black Friday events when all retailers and brands are forced to compete on the same stage.
Expect a record number of advertised Black Friday deals in Black Friday ads (more than 50,000), with a heavy dose of in-store gift cards to incentivize purchases and insinuate lower prices ($100 gift cards or more for big-ticket items), especially on Black Friday tablets deals and new iPhones. Due to online shopping growth, we’ll see more and better door-busters than ever before to spur foot traffic, but retailers want to capture shoppers everywhere, so expect more online, mobile and social media exclusive deals that in-store shoppers won’t be able to collect. Shoppers should also expect the best prices of the year on clothing and non-digital media (physical books, movies and music). And “bundle” up, folks, because we’ll see more items paired together than ever before, like streaming media players with TVs and computer/mobile combos to lower overall prices and get shoppers to buy both items…B1G1 redefined!
More than 50,000 Black Friday deals
More bundles and in-store gift card bonuses
More door-busters than ever before
Online, mobile and social media exclusives
Best prices of the year on apparel and non-digital media
For reference, here are the Top 3 Black Friday Ads from 2014:
- 1,365 total deals
- More than 100 doorbusters
- More than 520 deals $10 or less
- More than 740 deals $20 or less
- More than 140 clothing deals
- More than 160 movie deals
- More than 30 TV deals
- Best Deals from 2014: 50-inch 1080p TV for $218
and iPad Mini for $199
NOTE: Walmart offered an in-store only one-hour guarantee on select sold out items.
- 1,448 total deals
- More than 100 door-busters
- More than 354 deals $10 or less
- More than 508 deals $20 or less
- More than 90 appliance deals
- More than 250 movie deals
- More than 180 video game deals
- More than 70 TV deals
- Best Deals from 2014: 50-inch 1080p TV for $199, Samsung Galaxy S5 for $1, $100 off all iPads
NOTE: There were more than 600 deals in Best Buy Cyber Monday Ad
- 1,052 total deals
- More than 100 door-busters
- More than 211 deals $10 or less
- More than 397 deals $20 or less
- More than 80 clothing deals
- More than 90 movie deals
- More than 90 video game deals
- More than 420 toy deals
- Best Deals form 2014: 40-inch 180p TV for $119 and Beats Solo for $97
NOTE: Target offered an exclusive one-day pre-order of deals from their ad.
This series of 2015 Black Friday Predictions is a forecast of upcoming prices in the most popular holiday categories and a review of the top stores, brands, products and deals from the 2014 holiday shopping season. All data is drawn from 2014 sales and shopping activities from FatWallet’s Black Friday Ads, which featured 45,000 deals, 5,700 door-busters, 10,000 deals of less than $20 and more than retailer ad flyers (including Thanksgiving sales events and 2014 Cyber Monday deals). Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for expert insights and additional data.
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