Black Friday Sales in NYC Now Start on Thursday: Best Deals and the Scoop on Small Business Saturday
The big Black Friday news for 2013? Thursday is the new Friday. That's right: You no longer have to get up in the middle of the night to take advantage of incredible deals. Almost all of the big-name chains in NYC are starting their sales on Thanksgiving Thursday, some as early as 5pm!
While the earlier openings may mean less missed sleep, they promise to attract even more shoppers. So be prepared to stand on longer lines and dash through more crowded throngs of fellow bargain hunters while wielding your shopping cart like a weapon. For those who love low prices (and honestly, who doesn't?), Black Friday (or should we rename it Thrifty Thursday?) is almost as exciting as Thanksgiving itself.
Don't wait until you're stuffing yourself with turkey to start getting ready. Planning ahead means even more great deals in your basket by the time the sun sets. We've got the scoop on where, when and how to make the most of Black Friday/Thrifty Thursday in New York City, as well as details on another shopping event that's really dear to our buying local hearts: Small Business Saturday.
Black Friday Shopping Tips
Don't wait on line with the hordes in the wee hours to score great deals Many retailers start their sales on Thanksgiving or run them all weekend long, so you can find bargains late on Thursday or early on Saturday and Sunday instead of having to camp out in the middle of the night.
Focus your efforts on major retailers and electronics stores Although we always want to encourage our readers to shop locally, the fact is that small boutiques are less likely to have blowout sales.
Try to shop alone You'll have an easier time navigating the crowds and lines. So leave everyone at home—kids, spouse, out-of-town visitors, all of 'em.
While we've including hours when we can, individual stores' schedules may vary, so it's a good idea to check with the specific retailers you want to hit before heading out. This year Toys "R" US will open at 5pm on Thanksgiving, with Walmart and Best Buy following an hour later at 6pm (for the latter, deal tickets will be handed out two hours before opening). Meanwhile, Macy's and Target will welcome shoppers on Thursday at 8pm.
There's even a website dedicated to the biggest shopping day of the year, TheBlackFriday.com, where you can get updates on store hours and preview some of the available deals.
Black Friday Deals Worth Checking Out
Amazon's Black Friday Deals Week starts at midnight on Sunday, November 24. Big ticket items include HDTVs, laptops, watches and cameras. However, these change frequently (there's even a Missed Deals section to taunt you), so Amazon recommends signing up for its daily deal email to stay on top of everything.
Toys "R" Us is opening most of its locations (including Times Square) at 5pm on Thanksgiving and going straight through to 11pm on Black Friday. Customers can sign up to receive updates about exclusive Black Friday promotions and holiday deals, or check out everything available on the toy giant's website.
Macy’s opens at 8pm on Thanksgiving. Expect discounts and rebates galore in all departments, including clothing, jewelry, beauty products, bed, bath and kitchen. You can get a preview of all of the deals on the website.
Target is opening earlier than ever before on Thanksgiving at 8pm. Shop in person or look for special prices (a Nintendo 3DS Game System for $149.99; a Samsung 40 inch HDTV for $297.99) online. Again, you can take a peek at the bargains on the website and also sign up for Cyber Week email deals.
Walmart rolls out deals on toys, home goods and apparel at 6pm on Thanksgiving with a one-hour in-stock guarantee on some of the season's hottest items. Highlights include $35 for the Barbie Big Box Playset and $288 for a 50-inch LED TV. You can preview the ad on the website.
Old Navy opens at 7pm on Thursday and is offering a flat 50% off everything in its stores. Plus, the first 500 customers to walk through the doors of any North American location will be automatically entered to win $1 million as part of its Overnight Millionaire Sweepstakes (at which point, who needs Black Friday sales?).
Staples opens at 8pm on Thanksgiving and closes at midnight before reopening at 6am on Friday. But its sales will be going on for an entire week leading up to Black Friday through Cyber Monday. In addition, its Trade In & Trade Up Technology Event gives you cash toward the purchase of a new product. Through Saturday, November 23, bring in an old laptop and buy a new one valued at $699.99 or more and get $100 off your purchase.
The Queens Center in Elmhurst will be celebrating Midnight Madness/Black Friday by opening stores like Macy's, Express, Victoria's Secret and Payless at 8pm on Thanksgiving. Between midnight and 4am on Black Friday, there will also be live music and gift card giveaways from the likes of the Children's Place, bebe, JCPenny and more.
The Scoop on Small Business Saturday
While Black Friday is a decades-old tradition, Small Business Saturday sponsored by American Express, is only in its fourth year. On Saturday, November 30, consumers are encouraged to shop at small, independently-owned stores to help spur the local economy. Since our NYC Shopping Local Gift Guide is filled with our favorite locally owned toy stores, places to make presents and other neighborhood spots, we're particularly fond of the Small Business Saturday initiative. Like the event's Facebook page for up-to-date info or search for participating local businesses online. Unlike Black Friday, these small shops aren't necessarily offering any deep discounts. However, not only is this a wonderful way to support the businesses in your community, American Express card holders can earn a $10 statement credit by registering the card online. (I admit, I found this disappointing since last year you could earn up to $50 back.) The number of registrations is limited. See the complete terms, here.