Thanksgiving and Black Friday 2017: Your ultimate shopping survival guide

Sleep is overrated, especially in the run-up to Thanksgiving and Black Friday.There’s shopping to do.There are deals to snatch up with several stores launching Black Friday sales early online.If you don't want to leave your house to shop on Thanksgiving or Black Friday, set a lot of alarms to constantly check store websites for online deals. More: Black Friday headquarters: Your home for holiday shopping news, ads, store hours and more More: Freebie alert: Get free treats Thanksgiving and Black Friday More: The most amazing Black Friday deals you can get right now More: Black Friday arrives early in Naples area The good news: it's possible to get many of the best deals of the year online. The majority of sale items will be available both ways, in-store and online, with a few exceptions. I've found midnight to be a good time to shop online and then 3 a.m. for grabbing the limited quantity of online doorbusters.Regardless of where and when you shop, preparation is key to getting the best deals.Here are some of my best shopping tips, many of which hold true year-round:1. Be prepared. Make a list, scour the Thanksgiving Day ads and map out a game plan. Also figure out a budget, and pack a bag with the sales circulars, a portable phone battery charger and snacks, such as protein bars and drinks.2. Do your homework. Read reviews, know if the item you want is a good deal by comparing prices by doing a Google search or using a price comparison website or a smartphone app like ShopSavvy, which is available for Apple and Android.3.  Check prices online. Do this throughout the week, especially Wednesday and Thursday. Many store websites, such as and, will offer doorbusters online and some sales start even earlier, with starting Monday. Some sales are available early in-store, too.4. Earn cash Continue Reading

What you need to know for the Black Friday shopping frenzy

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. More: The best Black Friday deals you can get right now More: Hotels offer Black Friday, Cyber Monday sales More: Black Friday shoppers should visit car lots, not just malls 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 Continue Reading

Shopping guide: When stores open on Thanksgiving, Black Friday

Black Friday is around the corner and shoppers can already anticipate long lines and scavenging for parking.  This year, shops are opening as early as 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. For those committing to the sale, go with a game plan and be aware most malls close between midnight and 6 a.m. Here is a guide of mall and store hours for the two-day shopping frenzy. *Note department store hours vary. Mall Hours Fairlane Town Center: Open Thanksgiving 6 p.m. - midnight; open 6 a.m. – 10 p.m. Black Friday Westland Center: Closed on Thanksgiving; open 6 a.m. - 10 p.m. on Black Friday  Southland Center: Open 6 p.m. - midnight on Thanksgiving ; open 7 a.m. - 9 p.m. on Black Friday Macomb Mall: Closed on Thanksgiving; open 7 a.m. - 9 p.m. on Black Friday  Lakeside Mall:  Open 6 p.m. - midnight on Thanksgiving; open 6 a.m. - 10 p.m. on Black Friday  Twelve Oaks Mall: Open 6 p.m. - midnight on Thanksgiving;  open 7 a.m. - 9 p.m. on Black Friday  Oakland Mall: Closed on Thanksgiving; open 6 a.m.- 10 p.m. on Black Friday  Great Lakes Crossing: Open 6 a.m. - midnight on Thanksgiving; open 6 a.m. - 10 p.m. on Black Friday  Birch Run Outlets: Open 6 p.m. - midnight on Thanksgiving; open 6 a.m. - 10 p.m. on Black Friday Tanger Outlets: Open 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving - 10 p.m. on Black Friday Briarwood Mall: Open 6 p.m. - 1 a.m. on Thanksgiving;  open 6 a.m. - 9 p.m. on Black Friday  Somerset Collection: Closed on Thanksgiving; open 8 a.m. - 9 p.m. on Black Friday Partridge Creek: Closed on Thanksgiving; open 7 a.m. - 10 p.m. on Black Friday  Stores open on Thanksgiving Bass Pro Shops:  8 a.m. - 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving;  5 a.m. – 11 p.m. Black Friday Best Buy:  5 p.m. -1 a.m. on Thanksgiving; 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Black Friday Continue Reading

Here’s every major Black Friday and Cyber Monday ad

Retailers are just days away from bombarding shoppers with crazy in-store price cuts and absurd online deals to kick off the 2017 holiday shopping season.But with so many different promotions, and so much competition from your fellow shoppers, figuring out where to go and what to expect can be overwhelming. To aid you in your quest for savings, here's a complete list of links to the available Black Friday and Cyber Monday ads from all of the participating major retailers, as compiled and scanned by our friends at Plan ahead: Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday store hours for your shopping adventure Black Friday toy deals: Here's the best we found Links to deals from additional retailers can be found by going to their website.  Black Friday 2017Amazon: & Noble: & Body Works: Bath & Beyond: Buy: Lots:'s Wholesale Club:'s:'s: Claire's:'s Sporting Goods: Continue Reading

Black Friday car shopping: A great time to buy

Black Friday has become one of the single best days of the year to buy a car. According to Edmunds research, 15 percent of total November car sales take place on Black Friday weekend.Big-box retailers get most of the Black Friday attention. But just like them, car dealerships may be open longer, offer enticing perks and advertise some serious discounts, all in hopes of stealing your attention from other retail competition.But with Black Friday deals come Black Friday crowds, which can turn a process that has never been especially speedy into a painstakingly slow affair.To make sure you get the most of your time and money, here’s a Black Friday car-buying strategy. On-the-ground workThough Black Friday is great for buying, it isn’t the best time to try to gather information or comparison shop at the dealership. There probably will be little time for detailed questions, in-depth negotiations or lengthy vehicle demonstrations at dealerships that day. With an above-average number of shoppers on the lot, you can expect salespeople and managers to be stretched thin.The smarter move is to take test drives and seek trade-in appraisals before Black Friday. If you’re planning to finance your purchase, this also would be a good time to get preapproved by your bank or the dealership, so you can avoid any potential interest rate surprises. The slow days leading up to Thanksgiving present a great opportunity to visit dealerships to get the legwork done.If you do your research early, you’ll be free to simply close your deal on the big day. MORE: Buying a car: 4 great steps to save money MORE: No-haggle car buying: What you need to know MORE: Shore car dealers turn to haggle-free app Early price shoppingOnce you’ve decided on the right car, start price shopping in the days leading up to Black Friday. Don’t forget to look for rebates and incentives. This research will help you understand what your Continue Reading

What stores open on Thanksgiving day? Walmart, Target among those open before Black Friday

While Black Friday may be known for deals, some stores are starting the frenzied shopping early by opening their doors on Thanksgiving Day. Big-box stores like Best Buy, Wal-Mart, and Big Lots are opening their doors to the masses on Thanksgiving, according to's annual list of when stores open on Thanksgiving.Over the past few years, some stores and malls have made the decision to close on the holiday.'s online survey of 523 American adults, conducted in September, found 57% disliked the idea of stores opening on Thanksgiving and just 16% thought of Thanksgiving openings favorably. Let the naysayers be damned, these stores are opening anyway. Here's the list:   Bass Pro Shops – 8 a.m. to 6 p.m Bealls Florida – 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Belk – Thanksgiving 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Black Friday Bergner’s – Thanksgiving 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Black Friday Best Buy – Thanksgiving 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Black Friday Big Lots -7 a.m. to midnight Bon-Ton – Thanksgiving 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Black Friday Boscov’s – Thanksgiving 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. Black Friday Boston Store – Thanksgiving 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Black Friday Cabela’s – 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Carson’s – Thanksgiving 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Black Friday CVS Pharmacy (hours not yet announced) Dick’s Sporting Goods – Thanksgiving 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. Black Friday Dollar General – 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Dunham’s Sports – Thanksgiving 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Black Friday Elder-Beerman – Thanksgiving 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Black Friday Five Below – Thanksgiving 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. Black Friday Fred’s Pharmacy – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. GameStop (hours not yet announced) Herberger’s – Thanksgiving 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Black Friday JCPenney – Thanksgiving 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Black Friday Kohl’s – Thanksgiving 5 p.m. to 1 p.m. CT Black Friday Continue Reading

Black Friday: Best retail locations to shop, state-by-state

Black Friday, the traditional start to the holiday shopping season, has lost its frenetic edge as holiday sales promotions creep into Thanksgiving, and some stores plan to open on Thanksgiving Day.Retailers such as Amazon and Target are offering deals even earlier than Black Friday. Also, Cyber Monday, the Monday after the first holiday sales weekend, has become a prime shopping day, as online shopping has surged at the expense of brick-and-mortar retailers.Even so, Black Friday should still be the busiest shopping day of the Thanksgiving Day weekend, according to the National Retail Federation. The retailer association expects 115 million people to shop that day, according to a survey released on Tuesday. That estimate is still well above the 78 million who plan to shop on Cyber Monday.While the shift to online shopping has disrupted the retail industry, many retailers still rely on foot traffic. In the U.S., an estimated 3.8 million retail establishments support around 42 million jobs. To generate big sales and keep people employed, stores pitch on Black Friday so-called doorbuster deals and other offers not available during the rest of the year.Alabama Best mall to shop at: Riverchase Galleria Location: Birmingham Available stores: 160 Retail jobs by state: 590,620Hoover, a suburb right outside of Birmingham, is home to Riverchase Galleria, the largest enclosed shopping center in the state with about 160 retailers.Other than malls, shoppers might want to visit Andalusia. The small town features a Christmas in Candyland celebration and local shopping.Alaska Best mall to shop at: Dimond Center Location: Anchorage Available stores: 89 Retail jobs by state: 91,051The Dimond Center in Anchorage offers 89 stores to shop at, not including food and entertainment. After Black Friday shopping, visitors can go watch a movie, bowl, or ice skate at the mall, whose flagship store is Best Buy.Alaska has no sales tax and among the lowest gasoline levies in the nation. Continue Reading

Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday store hours for your shopping adventure

Perhaps the most overlooked step in taking advantage of the best Black Friday deals is knowing when the stores open.Clearly, knowing the deals is most important. But in order to maximize those deals, store hours can be crucial when jumping from store to store or sending out your minions to do your Black Friday bidding.Our friends at have done all the dirty work and compiled a list of national store hours for several of the major stores. #OptOutside: Black Friday 'experience' offered by Indiana State Parks Black Friday toy deals: Here's the best we found More Black Friday: Best TV deals available Keep in mind that some store hours may vary by location, so you may want to follow up with a call when mapping out your Black Friday battle plans.Hours listed are opening times, unless otherwise stated:Bass Pro Shops – 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.Bergner’s – 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday.Best Buy – 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday.Big Lots – 7 a.m. to midnight.Cabela’s – 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.Carson’s – 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday.CVS Pharmacy – Varies by location. Dick’s Sporting Goods –  6 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday.Dollar General – 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.Dollar Tree – Varies by location.Dunham's Sports – 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Elder-Beerman – 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday.Five Below – 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday.GameStop – Hours not yet announced.JCPenney – 2 to 10 p.m. FridayKmart – 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving with doorbusters until 2 p.m. on Black Friday. Some stores to close at midnight or 2 a.m. and reopen at 6 a.m. Friday.Kohl’s – 5 p.m. through 1 p.m. Friday.Macy’s – 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday. Some stores close at 2 a.m. before reopening at 6 a.m. Friday. Doorbusters are through 1 p.m. Friday.Meijer – 6 a.m.Michaels – 6 p.m. to midnight. Opens at 5 p.m. for rewards members. New Continue Reading

Fort Collins retailers seek Black Friday bump

A new energy exists at Foothills Mall this year leading into Black Friday and the busiest shopping weekend of the year.With a few more stores open for business, including H&M, the enclosed mall will open at 6 a.m. on Black Friday, an hour earlier than last year. Employees are bracing for large crowds.“We are totally excited,” said Megan Lipe, a manager at Buckle, one of the few stores that remained open at Foothills through the then-ailing Fort Collins shopping center’s dark times and its $313 million reconstruction.FORT COLLINS: A gift guide to the Foothills Mall Last year, at the height of construction, Buckle ramped up staffing for Black Friday, but sent workers home when crowds stayed away, Lipe said. This year, she expects a different picture. Nearly 1,000 people attended a holiday opening last week and now know the mall is up and running.“It will be a huge advantage,” she said. Buckle’s employees are “expected to come in with smiling faces and help a ton of people.”The addition of H&M and Nordstrom Rack has already benefited other Foothills stores. “We’ve definitely seen an increase in business since H&M and Nordstrom Rack opened,” Lipe said. “It’s been a big success for us as well. We’re glad they’re here.”Macy’s, the largest anchor at Foothills, will open on Thanksgiving, joining a host of big box stores throughout Fort Collins that hope to lure shoppers in before the holiday feast has had a chance to settle.Kmart, Big Lots and Radio Shack will open between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. Thanksgiving morning. J.C. Penney will open at 3 p.m. and stay open through Black Friday. Best Buy and Toys ‘R’ Us will join the fray at 5 p.m., followed by Macy’s, Kohl’s Office Depot, Target and Sports Authority and Walmart, which kick off sales at 6 p.m.HOLIDAY OPENING: Santa Claus, crowds fill Foothills Mall for holiday kickoffSome stores Continue Reading

Black Friday headquarters: Your home for holiday shopping news, ads, store hours and more

Black Friday shopping has arrived.Like in recent years, many retailers are starting the major holiday shopping weekend on Thanksgiving or earlier.Some will keep their brick-and-mortar stores closed on Turkey Day but major national retailers are following a similar track as last year. More: Freebie alert: Get free treats Thanksgiving and Black Friday Often Black Friday ads are posted or leaked on websites including, and before they are officially released.Academy Sports (leaked Nov. 9 on Moore (leaked on Nov. 13)Bass Pro Shops (leaked on Nov. 10)Bealls (leaked on Nov. 9)Bed Bath & Beyond (leaked on Nov. 14)Belk (official ad)Best Buy (official ad released Nov. 8)Big Lots (leaked on's Wholesale Club (the retailer posted a preview of its savings event, which runs Nov. 17-27 with Black Friday doorbusters, four-day deals and 11-day deals.)Costco (official holiday book, Black Friday ad starts on page 26)Dick's Sporting Goods (leaked Nov. 8 on Below (leaked on (leaked on Nov. 16)Harbor Freight (posted Oct. 2)Home Depot (leaked on Nov. 9)J.C. Penney (official ad released Nov. 1)Jo-Ann Fabrics (leaked on Nov. 16)Kmart (official ad released Nov. 7)Kohl's (officially released Nov. 1; leaked Oct. 26 on and other sites)Lowe's (leaked Nov. 11 on and's (official ad released Nov. 8)Michaels (leaked on Nov. 9) (official ad released Nov. 10)Office Depot (official ad released Nov. 8)Petco (leaked on (official ad)Sam's Club (official ad released Nov. 14 on Sam's Club app; also posted on Black Friday websites Nov. 14)Sears (official Continue Reading