Brace yourself for the trifecta of shopping.
Grouped together, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday make for the busiest shopping week of the entire year. They’re critical to retailers who count on fourth-quarter sales could account for up to 40% of the yearly total.
Local and national retail watchers are optimistic. The average American will spend $967 on holiday gifts this year, according to the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. The survey showed 69% of Americans — an estimated 164 million people — are planning to shop or considering shopping during Thanksgiving weekend. The numbers include Cyber Monday in addition to Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Sunday.
Black Friday as we know it is now a page in history. No longer is it one-day event as it has stretched over Thursday and Friday with the sales staggered throughout the two days.
Each day caters to a different segment of shoppers. Thanksgiving evening and Black Friday draw the masses who are seeking deals. Saturday attracts socially conscious consumers who want to support local retailers. Monday draws people who prefer to avoid the crowds but still want a bargain.
Black Friday will pull out all the stops. It got its name from retailers who saw it as the day they could finally leave the red ink behind turn a profit for the year – going in the black.
If you're not into the bustle of malls and big-box stores, Small Business Saturday is the perfect day to shop.
Shoppers who prefer to let their fingers do the shopping will look to Cyber Monday. The day was created by marketing gurus to create hype for online sales. In 2005, in a push to get people to buy more online, marketers created the term Cyber Monday, with e-retailers noting that their traffic jumped the workday after Thanksgiving. That was also 12 years ago when many households didn't have high-speed internet and resorted to shopping online at work after the sale weekend.
What are store hours on Thanksgiving and Black Friday?
•Macy's: Opening at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving and stay open until 2 a.m. Then they will reopen at 6 a.m. on Black Friday.
•Bass Pro Shops: Stores will be open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thanksgiving and will reopen 5 a.m. Black Friday.
•Belk: Most stores will be open 4 p.m. Thanksgiving to 1 a.m. Friday; stores will reopen 6 a.m. Black Friday.
•Best Buy: Most stores will be open 5 p.m. Thanksgiving to 1 a.m. Friday; stores will reopen 8 a.m. Black Friday.
•Big Lots: 7 a.m. to midnight Thanksgiving Day; stores reopen 6 a.m. Black Friday.
•Dick's Sporting Goods: Open 6 p.m. Thanksgiving through 2 a.m. Friday; stores then reopen at 5 a.m. Black Friday, according to a news release.
•Macy's: The department store will open at 5 p.m. Thanksgiving, the same time as last year.
•J.C. Penney: Most stores will open 2 p.m. Thanksgiving, an hour earlier than last year.
•Kmart: Most stores will be open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thanksgiving and reopen 6 a.m. Black Friday.
•Kohl's: Stores will open at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving, an hour earlier than last year.
•Office Depot and OfficeMax. Stores also will be closed on Thanksgiving. Stores will open at 7:45 a.m. on Black Friday.
•Old Navy: Most stores will open at 3 p.m. Thanksgiving and stay open until 1 a.m. Friday; stores will then reopen 5 a.m. Black Friday and stay open through 10 p.m.
•Sears: Most stores will be open 6 p.m. Thanksgiving to midnight and then reopen 5 a.m. Black Friday.
•Target: Stores will open 6 p.m. to midnight Thanksgiving and then reopen 6 a.m. Friday.
•Toys R Us: Stores will open 5 p.m. Thanksgiving and the sale continues through 11 p.m. Black Friday at most locations, company officials told USA TODAY.
•Walmart: Most stores will be open Thanksgiving but the in-store sale starts at 6 p.m.
What stores offer free shipping?
During the holiday shopping season, it's not unusual for stores to offer free shipping with lower thresholds or no minimum purchase.
•Target: It’ll offer free shipping on all orders, a benefit Target credit cardholders get year-round. Target’s holiday plans also include more exclusive brands, a new mobile wallet and GiftNow, a tool to help buy gifts for finicky relatives.
•Best Buy: The nation’s largest consumer electronics chain is offering free shipping now until Dec. 25 and is waiving its usual $35 minimum.