MAJOR RETAIL: Black Friday Recap and 2013 Predictions

Best of Black Friday Deals 2013Are you ready for some BLACK FRIDAY 2013?


Retailers raised the bar on the number of advertised Black Friday deals (up 60%) and official ad scans in 2012 (27,209+ deals and 112 ads compared to Black Friday 2011 with 17,059 deals and 92 ads). They brought shoppers an abundance of budget deals with almost 30% of all deals under $20 and 15% under $10. There were more than 2,000 doorbusters and a whopping 7,000+ clothing/shoes deals. Due to an early Thanksgiving, pretty much all Black Friday ads were public domain by Nov. 15 and several retailers jumped the gun starting Black Friday deals the Wednesday before (even the weekend before for VIPs). With a late Thanksgiving this year, “early” should bring “volatile” advertising.

So, which stores brought their “A” game? Do they stack up to current store sales and store deals?

Walmart brought a lot of attention to their Black Friday advertised items with 100% more deals than in 2011 and more then half under $20. They offered shoppers 40+ Wii/PS3/X360 top video game titles for $25.00 and 30+ for $15.00. And they were the most competitive retailer to Toy R Us on toys and games with a $45 price point on the popular Furby (lowest anywhere). They’re price matching and lay-away programs were second to none and featured special early deals on electronics all through November.
– See Full WalMart Ad.
Best Buy was the most competitive store for doorbusters that were electronics and their price-matching program for matching any price online bode well for brick and mortar sales. They offered 14 deals on HDTVs under $500 including $180 on a Toshiba 40″ LCD (as reviewed in our HDTV Deals recap) and featured several laptop deals under $300, only rivaled by Newegg.
– See Full Best Buy Ad.
Target was very focused on toys and budget deals with nearly 60% of advertised items being toys, video games or DVDs and 40% of all items were under $20. One very notable deal that made anything Black Friday “shine” at Target: Free $10 Target Gift Card w/ purchase of $50 or More in Apparel, Accessories, and Home.
– See Full Target Ad.
Sears had some of the more impressive Black Friday “like” deals we’ve become accustomed to and 2 of the best we’ve ever seen with a Toshiba 50″ LED 1080p TV and a Panasonic 50″ Viera Plasma HDTV for $299…can we say “gone in 60 seconds? Sears also had a Sears Outlet Ad, Home Appliance Ad and”>Hometown Store Ad making them well represented online.
– See Full Sears Ad.
One of the most popular Black Friday deals came from Macy’s with $10 Off Purchase of $25 or More offer. They also made the majority of their advertised deals affordable with 2/3 under $20 and almost 30% under $10. They had decent price reductions on many items in a wide variety of categories. Add on the special discount ($10 for $25) with a purchase of a few items and you were getting true Black Friday “like” deals.
– See Full Macy’s Ad.
The single most popular Black Friday deal (at least on Fatwallet, next to this viral deal for a HTC One V Android Smartphone Prepaid for $50 from Virgin Mobile) was Kohl’s 15% off Your Entire Order + $15 Kohl’s Cash for Every $50 Spent. With that said, Kohl’s advertised over 750 individual sale items and category discounts, almost twice us much as 2011 and more than 50% of them were clothing deals/or discounts. Add the $15 Kohl’s cash and you were knee deep in Black Friday paradise. Basically, they brought their “A” game!
– See Full Kohl’s Ad.
Kmart topped they’re 900 deals in 2011 with more than 1,000 and almost half of them were under $20. Like Walmart and target, they were very toy/games focused and also offered 100 sporting good deals. Surprisingly, they were also very competitive with electronics deals, including this spectacular deal on a RCA 42″ Plasma HDTV for $199 and the coveted Skylanders Giants Starter Pack for under $50.
– See Full Kmart Ad.
After all but ingnoring Black Friday online in 2011 (at least for the pre-ads that leak and basically self promote thanks to sites that offer tools like FatWallet’s Black Friday Deal Finder, Lowe’s shined above all hardware stores with 300+ total deals. They Kicked it all off with a Pre- Black Friday Sale on Nov. 9 with some impressive early sales on applainces and tools. For the real Black riday, Lowe’s had more than more than 80+ home appliance deals and were strong (next to Sears) in tools, as well, including this DeWalt 18-Volt 1/2-in Cordless Drill/Driver Kit at almost half price at $99.
– See Full Lowe’s Ad.
Amazon didn’t need to advertise and basically started Black Friday deals on November 1-18 with their annual Countdown to Black Friday Deals WEEK (daily Gold Box deals with multiple Lightning Deals throughout each day). We’d be cautious to call these Black Friday “like” prices, but some of them were decent if you couldn’t, which is what Amazon was banking on…AND, with FatWallet offereing exclusive cash back on Amazon deals, you could get them cheaper then anywhere else! On Nov 19-23, Amazon started Black Friday Deals WEEK which basically ramped up the offering from the previous weeks. From our viewpoint, the HDTV (especially Smart TV) deals were very competitive with what other stores started to roll out on Thanksgiving Day online.
– See Amazon’s Black Friday Main Page.
On Nov 2, Newegg started advertising a Black November Sale on their site (and through email subs), which was basically a kickoff of “early BF-like” priced items featured every day through Nov. 18, which sounds similar to Amazon’s “countdown” event, only these deals are targeted at computer techies. Then on Nov 19-21, Newegg held a 72 Hour Pre-Black Friday Frenzy that bumped up the deals in a number of more average consumer related categories. They followed this with true Black Friday deals on Thanksgiving, offering competitve prices on laptops, TVs and all kinds of gadgets and electronics accessories. Newegg is a great place to start looking for this kind of stuff, user-friendly and less “ad-centric” than most other sites. The FatWallet Hot Deals forum will vet out the really awesome deals from Newegg minute-by-minute during the holidays.
– See Newegg .

MAJOR RETAIL Predictions for 2013 Holiday

These are the big dogs when it comes to Black Friday deals and low prices, but don’t under estimate online sales and deals from BJ’s Warehouse, Fry’s, and brands (brands, like Aeropastale and Levi’s will just offer everything store-wide at 50% off). Expect even stronger competition in niche category stores like Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, Adorama and the like this year as well. With early predictions for a slower buying holiday season, the competition will be fierce and we expect Thanksgiving Day, even the week leading up to Black Friday to be noisy, and hopefully worth it! The early-bird (both store and shopper) may just get the worm this year.

SERIES Master List: “Best of Black Friday 2012”

FatWallet’s in-depth series reveals the top products and deals from last year…some you’ll wish you didn’t miss! Featuring expert deal reviews, shopping tips and predictions for 2013, series content is based on sales and shopping activity recorded from FatWallet’s Black Friday Deal Finder (and mobile app) in 2012 which featured 27,000+ deals and doorbusters, 100+ Black Friday ads, and the hot Thanksgiving Day Deals, as well as Cyber Monday Deals from last year.

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