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Making the most of Black Friday, online and in-stores

Black Friday Sales
Posted at 8:30 AM, Nov 25, 2021

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WXYZ) — As thousands around metro Detroit get ready for the Turkey Trot and America's Thanksgiving Parade down Woodward, many are already thinking about tomorrow too.

For the second year, most major retailers are closed on Thanksgiving and will re-open early for Black Friday, though many Black Friday deals kicked off earlier this month.

Kohl's started it's super deals earlier this month for both in-store and online shoppers. Among them, the Amazon Echo Dot smart speaker with Alexa for under thirty dollars.

Etsy's Black Friday deals promise up to 60 percent off, while Walmart started touting early it's cyber deals which include 25 percent off Apple Airpods.

According to the National Retail Federation, nearly 2 million more Americans than last year are expected to shop from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday.

“We’ve kind of made the switch especially with the pandemic, to online shopping," said Ed Murray of Southfield.

And he's not alone. This year, experts with Consumer Reports say most must-have deals found in stores will also be available online, and suggest online shopping this Black Friday is likely the way to go.

But, that doesn't mean there won't be some one-off deals worth making the trip in-person for.

“Retailers are more and more matching the in-store prices online. So there’s not as much reason to shop," said senior electronics editor at Consumer Reports, Jim Willcox.

However Willcox also noted that it really depends on the experience you're looking for too. For decades, Black Friday was as much about waking up early, sometimes even camping out overnight with friends or family, as it was about snagging a deal on a new TV.

But the Black Friday we all remember from our youth has changed in a big way.

Deals are dropping earlier and earlier, sometimes even in October, and price match guarantees mean that shopping in-store is less and less necessary. Deals are also changing in real-time, Willcox said.

“Retailers can react to each other’s deals. So just because you didn’t see a great deal at 10 o’clock in the morning doesn’t mean at noon there’s not going to be another one, because most of the major retailers are tracking what the other retailers are doing," he told Action News.

One way to shop smart online is to get a browser extension; for example, CamelCamelCamel or Honey; they can show you price histories, alerts, and coupons for online deals.

“I’m a people person. And I like to see people," said Michael Swan, a metro Detroit shopper. He said he plans on shopping in-person this year.

For Katie Liu of Farmington Hills, access to the vaccine has made in-store shopping for Black Friday this year seem a little safer.

“Now that our family’s full vaccinated we just feel totally fine going out and shopping in the stores again," she sad.

Here are hours for some major retailers on Black Friday:

  • Kohl's opens at 5 a.m.
  • Target opens at 7 a.m.
  • Walmart opens at 5 a.m.
  • Old Navy opens at 5 a.m.
  • Macy's opens at 6 a.m.
  • Best Buy opens at 5 a.m.

It's electronics that Willcox said shoppers may notice some changes this year for both in-store and online deals.

“For the first time in years we saw TV prices jump up earlier this year," he said.

One of the deals he suggests looking into, if you're in the market for a new TV, is the LG 65 inch Oled Smart TVs, which can be found at Sam's Club, Costco, and other retailers.

“It’s $1,800. A lot of times that doesn’t seem like a great deal but a couple of weeks ago it was $2200 so it’s $400 cheaper," he said. "And we saw a TCL TV at Walmart, 55 inches for $228. So it’s really all over the map.” 

If you're shopping in-store, Smartphone Apps like Buyvia, Shopkick, Shopsavvy, and Shopular allow you to scan barcodes or QR codes to price compare in real-time.