To lure more customers into their stores this holiday shopping season, several big-box retailers are opening on Thanksgiving Day in addition to extending their Black Friday hours. U.S. News spoke with some shopping experts to find out how consumers can score the best deals this year and make the most of the longer store hours.
First, familiarize yourself with the stores' policies and have the items you want to purchase in mind when you arrive, says Daniel de Grandpre, editor-in-chief of DealNews.com, which lists exclusive Black Friday specials. If there is only a small discount on the item you want, decide whether dealing with the winding lines and the in-store stampedes are worth the minor savings. He also says to find out whether stores have a restricted number of "doorbusters" and then decide whether you want to undergo the hassle to get those limited items. The early bird gets the special treatment this year, de Grandpre says, as some stores, like Best Buy, reward early risers with vouchers guaranteeing specific items customers want before the stores open.
[Check out the Ultimate Insider Black Friday Guide.]
Also, use the Web to plan out your purchases, says de Grandpre. He recommends that before hitting the stores, customers comparison-shop online at sites like PriceGrabber.com or Shopping.com to find out where the best prices are. Laura Conrad, president of PriceGrabber.com, says to be on the lookout for more add-ons and two-for-one specials this year, such as getting a free Bluetooth with a cellphone purchase or a free wall-mount with a TV purchase.
Now that you have these insider tips, check out these big-name retailers' hours for Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday this year:
Open Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday:
- Wal-Mart: Most stores will be open 24 hours on Thanksgiving and Black Friday.
- Kmart: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving, 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Black Friday.
- The Gap: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Black Friday.
- Banana Republic: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Black Friday.
- Old Navy: noon to 7 p.m. on Thanksgiving, 3 a.m. to 12 a.m. on Black Friday.
- Toys "R" Us: 12 a.m. on Thanksgiving night to 10 p.m. on Black Friday.
- Bath & Body Works: 100 stores are open from 12 a.m. on Thanksgiving night to 11 p.m. on Black Friday. The remaining stores are open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Black Friday.
- Victoria's Secret: 10 stores are open from 12 a.m. on Thanksgiving night to 10 p.m. on Black Friday. The remaining stores are open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Black Friday.
Open Black Friday only:
- Sears: 4 a.m. to 10 p.m.
- J. C. Penney: 4 a.m. to 11 p.m. Doorbuster specials last from 4 a.m. to 1 p.m. Special instant-money coupons—available online at jcp.com and in the sales circular—can be used Friday from 3 to 11 p.m.
- Kohl's: 4 a.m. to midnight. Doorbuster specials last from 4 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Best Buy: 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.
- Macy's: 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. Doorbuster specials last from 5 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Target: 5 a.m. until extended closing times, which vary by store location.
- Lowe's: 6 a.m. until regular closing times, which vary by store location. Black Friday specials are valid through Monday, November 30.
- Staples: 6 a.m. until regular closing times, which vary by store location.
- Home Depot: 6 a.m. until regular closing times, which vary by store location.