Haven’t started shopping for the holidays yet? Join the crowd. Nearly six in 10 Americans—an estimated 137.4 million people—plan to (or are considering) shopping during Thanksgiving weekend, according to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey.
Which day is best for deals? Deal News editors say Thanksgiving Day offers the best overall savings this season. Although some stores—including Costco, Home Depot, TJ Maxx, REI and GameStop—are closing on Thanksgiving, retailers like Kohl’s, JCPenney, Macy’s, Walmart and Target will be open and offering storewide sales. Depending on what you’re looking for, however, you may find equivalent or better deals on different days.
1. Black Friday
Expect to find discounts on big-ticket items like electronics, mattresses, appliances and furniture the day after Thanksgiving. You can also score particularly good deals (relative to current prices) for video games that day, according to Wallethub. For overall savings, it cites Macy’s, Stage and JCPenney as the best stores for Black Friday, offering an average discount of at least 62.8 percent.
And you don’t need to brave the crowds to take advantage of those savings. Many stores are offering the same discounts online.
2. Cyber Monday
The Monday after Thanksgiving is starting to edge out Black Friday in terms of popularity and convenience, with over $3 billion in sales last year.
Matt Granite, who runs the site Matt’s Daily Deals, says you can score particularly great deals on clothing at stores like Banana Republic and Old Navy. Deal News notes that brands like Kate Spade, UGG and Crocs often save their best discounts for Monday, as do retailers like Target and Land’s End. (Last Cyber Monday, for example, Target offered a rare sitewide coupon, cutting 15 percent across the store and offering free shipping on all orders.)
Retailers often offer additional deals through their social channels, too, so it’s worth checking before you shop online. Last year, for example, Kate Spade touted discounts up to 75 percent off that could be stacked with other offers.
3. Green Monday
For procrastinators, there’s Green Monday, which falls on the second Monday in December and is typically the second biggest day for online shopping. Many deals are announced in December, but Best Buy is already promising sharp discounts on WiFi-enabled speakers and cameras, home theater systems and appliances.
Many retailers offer general discounts, too. Last year, for example, Macy’s offered an additional 20 percent off much of its merchandise, plus free shipping and returns for those who spent $25 or more. Granite says gift card promotions, particularly at local establishments like restaurants, hair salons and spas, are also readily available between Green Monday and Christmas. (Wallethub rated Target, Netflix, Wal-Mart and Amazon as the best gift cards this year, based on popularity, average discounts, resale value and retailer appeal.)
If you miss these days, don’t despair. Amazon, the world’s largest retailer, recently announced that it will offer new deals as often as every five minutes through December 22.