NEW YORK (AP) — With Black Friday having stretched into a November full of deals, stores will be stepping it up as holiday shopping begins in earnest.
It's been a tough year for many retailers. Several well-known chains have filed for bankruptcy protection and thousands of stores have closed. Amazon is going into the holiday season with its largest ever store presence, and plans to offer deals online every day from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday. Stores are trying to step up their game online and in person to attract customers who are moving back and forth from store to phone shopping.
But with unemployment low and the economy in solid shape, stores are hoping customers are in a mood to shop. About 69 percent of Americans, or 164 million people, intend to shop at some point during the five-day period from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday, according to a survey released by the National Retail Federation trade group. It expects Black Friday to remain the busiest day with about 115 million people planning to shop then.
"People expect promotions all week," said Rod Sides, vice chairman of Deloitte LLP. As holiday shopping gets underway in earnest, he said, "people will come with a purpose and a plan. The Black Friday deals will go fast."
Overall, the NRF expects sales in November and December to at least match the 3.6 percent growth of a year ago, to a range of $678.75 billion to $682 billion. It estimates that online spending and other non-store sales will rise 11 percent to 15 percent. Sides will be watching is how malls fare for the opening of the season, as shoppers increasingly go online or to discounters. "We don't think the malls will be nearly as busy," he said.
Here's a look at what some big stores have planned for Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Most retailers including Walmart start making the majority of doorbuster deals available online at 12:01 a.m. on Thanksgiving. The hours refer to local times.
Thanksgiving: Sales start at 6 p.m.
Black Friday: Most supercenters are open 24/7.
Deals: LG 49-inch Class 4K Smart TV for $328 and an Element 39-inch Class Smart TV for $125. Samsung 65-inch Class Curved 4K Smart TV for $998.
Thanksgiving: Open from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Black Friday: Opens at 6 a.m. and closes at 10 p.m., 11 p.m. or midnight, depending on the store.
Deals: A 55" Westinghouse UHD TV for $249.99. Shoppers who spend $50 in stores or on Target.com Friday will get a coupon for 20 percent off for purchases made between Nov. 28 and Dec. 10.
Thanksgiving: Most stores open at 5 p.m. and close at 2 a.m.
Black Friday: Open at 6 a.m.
Deals: $29.99 diamond earrings with any purchase of $50 or more. Seventy-five percent off select sport coats and overcoats. Fifty percent off select holiday tops and sweaters.
Thanksgiving/Black Friday: Opening at 2 p.m. on Thanksgiving and staying open until 10 p.m. the following day.
Deals: Diamond earrings for $25, boots for $19.99.
Thanksgiving/Black Friday: Opening at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving through midnight on Black Friday.
Deals: 50 percent off of select toys from Hot Wheels to Play-Doh, $69.99 diamond bracelet, FitBit Blaze Smart Fitness watch for $149.99.
Thanksgiving: 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Black Friday: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Deals: 60-inch Sony 4K TV for $599.99 and a Samsung 11.6 inch laptop for $119.
TOYS R US:
Thanksgiving and Black Friday: Opening at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving and staying open for 30 hours.
Deals: 40 percent off Lego construction sets, $59.99 Barbie Pink three-story townhouse.
Thanksgiving/Black Friday: Most stores will be open from 6 p.m. to midnight and open at 5 a.m. on Black Friday.
Deals: Up to 40 percent off on appliances, 50 percent off Craftsman 32-piece mechanic's tool set.