Every year millions of consumers flood the shopping malls on Black Friday the day after Thanksgiving Christmas sales and buy as many of their Christmas gifts on sale as possible. The point to this 5am madness is that there are special deals and sales only on that day and sometimes only on that morning of Black Friday that help you save money on your yearly Christmas gifts bill. This year in Chicago will probably have even more emphasis on cost savings, sales, deals and discounts since we are in the middle of a economic recession and everyone I know is cutting back on their holiday budget this year. With holiday spending budgets getting smaller and the same number of people to shop for gifts for, parents will be even more willing to get up early for Black Friday sales all over Chicagoland and save an extra 20% or 30% on the toys their kids want for Christmas. Cyber Sales on the Monday after Thanksgiving have also become more popular in the last few years leading CyberMonday to also be a big day for sales and black friday ads. (as well as Green Monday, the second Monday in December)
** If you are looking for the 2009 edition of this post, click here.
The Stores that participate in this Black Friday Sale tradition each year change and you never really know what the sales will be until the week before or maybe the last few days before Thanksgiving. Then there is a flurry of TV commercials, newspaper flyers and internet posts on a BlackFriday site on the internet. Why these retailers don’t run Google ads for the term Black Friday Sales and CyberMonday Sales, I have no idea. It would be much more efficient in search and content networks online.
Some great Sales going on for Black Friday and Cyber Monday:
WalMart is opening at 5AM in Chicago! They have a lot of flat screen HDTVs on sale but you have to go online to one of those dumb interactive flyers where you have to click to turn the page rather than just listing them in one long page. I hate interactive flyers online. The deals are in store only.
MicroCenter has 2 Laptops each for $299.00. A MSI Wind Netbook with an Intel® Atom Processor N270, Microsoft® Windows® XP Home Edition, a 120GB Serial ATA Hard Drive, a 1GB DDR2-667 RAM and a 2.6 lbs; 802.11b/g Wireless Network. (Price after $50 instant savings / REG. $349.99 / 857565 / IN-STORE ONLY) OR a Acer Aspire Notebook with a Intel® Dual-Core Processor, Microsoft® Windows® Vista® software, 160GB 5400RPM Serial ATA Hard Drive and a 802.11b/g/Draft-N Wi-Fi Certified Wireless Network. (Price after instant savings / 860361 IN-STORE ONLY) Pretty cool deals on some very functional laptops. The stores open at 8am on Friday. Be in line at 6am if you want these deals!
Dell also has laptops on Sale and they have a deal where some are $530 off. That still isn’t as cheap as Microcenter though.
BestBuy’s sales don’t look that great, maybe because their largest competitor Circuit City is going out of business and they don’t really have anyone to force them into offering really good deals anymore.
MACY’s has a special sale going now before Thanksgiving that includes free shipping online and an additional 15-20% off when you use the checkout coupon code “PERK” and buy more than $99 worth of stuff before tax. They say over 25,000 items are on sale too. MACY’s actually has a pretty cool website and a lot of your Christmas shopping can be done online very efficiently. They also have a second coupon discount code for free shipping “GOBBLE” that is good through Saturday Night. And a third for Monday only “ONEDAY” that is good for free shipping on orders over $75. They also have a special deal on buy one get one free women’s sweaters. And for Tuesday through the end of the week Macy’s has another free shipping code of “MERRY” running on the site. It seems that they change their marketing programs daily.
Fancy housewares retailer Crate and Barrel is even getting into the Black Friday – Cyber Monday sales this year offerin free standard shipping on all orders over $100 (excluding furniture). They also have started to mark down some items which they never used to do until they hit the outlet. I still think Crate and Barrel has great gifts for coworkers, family and friends if you need to impress.
And of all the times of year to make upgrades to the site Hallmark.com is not available this weekend. At least they recognize that people will be upset about this and go elsewhere for cards and creative stuff so they are offering a $2 off on $10 purchase cupon right now and they are offering a discount coupon code “SORRY25″ for when you come back to order your cards later from the site. I am not sure though if it will make much of a difference. First Hallmark looses it’s real estate in all the Jewel food stores in Chicago (to American Greetings) and now they can’t get their web retail distribution right either. Not a good sign for this company.
JCREW also has some sales online offering an additiional 30% off all markdowns today on Monday using the promocode EXTRA30 at checkout but only through Wednesday December 3rd. JCREW always has the best sweaters for work and in great colors. See if you can find something great there online if the site is back up. It was crashed when I checked. Maybe there was a really great deal?
The stores in Chicagoland that I have gone to or seen sale flyers for on Black Friday for sales have been: ToysRUS, Kohl’s Macy’s Department Stores, WalMart, Target, BestBuy and Carson’s. Amazon.com also has a lot on sale for that day only. That doesn’t mean there won’t be more stores around Chicago that will have special door-buster sales or early bird deals. When I find out what some of the sales are about, the times, locations and %off I will add that information to this early bird post. I come back and edit and add info to posts like this to help get the word out. Gift giving is an American tradition at this point and even if we give smaller cheaper gifts this season, we still mean the best things from the heart.
I do see a few trends continuing this year despite the credit crunch. I think video game systems will be hot and computers and electronics will continue to be popular too. Kids are just to dependent on them now for so much of their time and the systems have all evolved to do so much more than Duck Hunt. (Wii, XBox, PS3) Anything related to Rock Band, Guitar Hero and Wii is just going to sell off the shelves, so get them early or pay a lot more on ebay than you want.
I hope your Christmas season is bright this year and that we all will be able to make a happy holiday with family and friends with 1/2 the money it used to take in this sluggish world economy. I think focusing on good food and good times with family is more important than a pile of gifts anyway. Check back later to find out what is on sale near you in Chicago and get the best local deals to save money.