Black Friday is getting its mojo back.
The day after Thanksgiving, long considered the kickoff to the holiday shopping season, has in recent years lost a lot of its luster as the best time of the year to find the biggest bargains and deepest deals.
Blame Christmas creep, with many major retailers offering holiday season sales days and sometimes weeks before Black Friday to get the jump on the competition.
Not to mention the more recent trend of brick-and-mortar stores opening their doors on Thanksgiving while the dinner leftovers are still warm.
That will change this week, retail experts told The News, as a growing number of chains are choosing to stay closed on Thanksgiving and save their biggest doorbuster deals for the wee hours of Friday morning.
Those that do open on Turkey Day will still serve up some tasty bargains on Black Friday, said Benjamin Glaser, features editor for comparison shopping site dealnews.com.
“Deals are being spread out and they’re earlier this year, but we’re definitely seeing that Thanksgiving and especially Black Friday deals will be incredible and the best of the year,” Glaser said.
A recent survey from online deals marketplace RetailMeNot showed consumers this year started searching for holiday sales as early as Labor Day. But Black Friday remains the No. 1 shopping day of the season (ahead of Cyber Monday), as stores offer their best money-saving deals.
“For this Black Friday, stores are trying to return the excitement to the actual day and make it special again because it got so lost,” said retail expert Kathy Welch, the executive vice president of Forest City Ratner who oversees the company’s shopping centers, including Atlantic Terminal Mall in Brooklyn and Ridge Hill Mall in Yonkers.
“But at the same time, the reality is that customers are shopping way earlier than they used to and are looking for bargains right away,” Welch said.
Brick-and-mortar stores will have to contend with the online force that is Amazon, which began touting its Black Friday deals a week early this year.
The move could pay off big-time for the e-commerce giant — a Reuters poll last week showed that 51% of shoppers plan to do most of their online shopping on Amazon, which is offering 10 “Deals of the Day,” along with “lightning” deals every few minutes, through Black Friday.
Shoppers who prefer buying over the Internet will also benefit from an increase this year in the number of stores that have announced they’ll be closed on Thanksgiving Day. To compensate, many are offering Web-only deep discounts before reopening for Black Friday.
The move, by such major chains as Staples, Costco, P.C. Richards, T.J. Maxx and GameStop, was spurred in part by the backlash the past two years against stores opening earlier than ever on the holiday, ruining the day for both families and employees made to work extra hours.
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