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Holiday Shopping

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With incredible sales all throughout winter, it might as well be screaming shopping season! Kicking off the holiday sale blitz, this year, Black Friday opened its doors extra early to attract eager shoppers looking to snatch doorbuster deals. In brevity, Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving when stores in the United States hold their blowout sales. With the competition between big markets, such as Target, Kohl’s and Wal-Mart, getting tougher each year, many are encouraging families to drop their forks early as they open their doors on Thanksgiving Day. Though many argued against their opening on the national holiday, it did not discourage participation from shoppers looking to check off gifts from their Christmas lists. From reports done by CNN, about 10% of the weekend’s shoppers were out of their houses and in stores on Thanksgiving Day!

Traveling in groups and running around frantically with checklist in hand, the Black Friday craze gets crazier every year. Beating last years’ record of $52 billion, this year’s total spendings increased up by 13%, that’s $59 billion! While overall spendings did increase, retailers in the Tri-State area experienced a 27% drop in sales due to the destruction brought by Hurricane Sandy. Attempting to lure in any customers they can, stores in that area dropped their prices even further; adding discount on top of discount. And while retailers are sympathetic towards the victims of Superstorm Sandy, they worry about the effect it will have on their Christmas sales.

Another factor that decreased this year was the violence in stores on Black Friday and Thanksgiving Day! Unfortunately, though two lives were lost at a Wal-Mart in Florida, during a dispute over parking, many stores took serious notice to safety after the numerous tragedies of last year. Making specific plans to manage their antsy crowds, large stores such as Target and Best Buy even went on to hire additional workers to help out during Black Friday. Small stores, such as Urban Outfitters, also took caution by allowing only a certain amount of shoppers at a time. Setting up barricades and keeping police officers on scene, it is alleviating to know that retailers are doing their best to eliminate all kinds of disorder and violence during the Black Friday madness.

Look below for five quick tips that will help you get the best deals of the season!

1. Make a list of what you’re shopping for and how much you are willing to spend on each item. In the midst of blow out sales, it is easy to get sidetracked and become a victim of impulse buy. Remember, just because an item is on sale does not mean you need to buy it!

2. Spend some time online/window shopping beforehand. Having general knowledge of how much an item sells for will allow you to catch a good sale when you see one. If you don’t look around, you won’t know if you’re actually saving any money at all.

3. Prepare yourself physically. Dress comfortably, eat a sturdy meal before heading out the door, pack snacks and get your beauty sleep the day before. Especially on days like Black Friday, the last thing you want is to be tired or hungry while waiting on line or running around looking for sales.

4. Use technology! Offering the latest available coupons from an array of stores, visit websites like coupon.com or retailmenot.com throughout the year to save with every purchase. You can also sign-up for emails at the stores website to receive exclusive sales and savings before they are released to the public. Another cool way of saving is to use your smartphone! Download apps, such as Groupon, to get the latest on every deal available.

5. For extra preparation, if you have spare time, visit stores before their holiday event and try on sizes/ styles so you definitely know what you want. Then, on the actual shopping day, you don’t need to waste time waiting on huge lines at the fitting rooms. Another plus is that if the store happens to run out of your size, which happens more often than not, you can always order the item online and be confident that the size will fit.



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