CHESTNUT HILL, MA —Black Friday falls on Nov. 27 this year, and while many major retailers are scaling back their hours due to the pandemic, a majority still plan to be open for the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season.
Retailers are doing their best to curb crowds amid the pandemic while rolling out deals to Black Friday shoppers.
The Newton-Needham Chamber of Commerce is reminding people that shopping right now, especially at the local stores, can make a big impact on whether those shops stick around.
"We are urging people to shop as if the future of local businesses depended on it, because it does," said Greg Reibman, president of the chamber.
"This is such a critical make or break it for so many of our local retailers, if we don’t have a good holiday season we’re going to see a lot fewer of them around," he said.
This doesn’t mean you have to shop with them on Black Friday per se, he said, but certainly shop with them throughout the season.
Reibman said the clerks at many of the local shops will do anything they can to accommodate customers, so if someone is uncomfortable going inside a store, call the store, place the order and the clerk will be happy to bring it out to the car for you.
The Shops at Chestnut Hill:Thanksgiving: Closed Black Friday: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
The Street Chestnut Hill: Thanksgiving Closed. Friday 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Chestnut Hill Square: Anthropologie is opening an hour earlier 9 a.m. and Athleta will be opening at 8 a.m. Wegmans is closed on Thursday. Call restaurants for hours.
The Newton Nexus: Call stores for hours
300 Needham Street: Call stores for hours
Needham Street Village Shops: Call stores for hours
As you likely know by now, this year's shopping season won’t be like years past.
Many national retailers are offering alternatives to the traditional stand-in-line outside the store and hope you get inside and don't get crushed — such as extending availability of online "doorbuster" deals and offering curbside pickup and delivery — in order to keep shoppers and employees safe.
“We’ll still find steep discounts the day after Thanksgiving,” Sara Skirboll, a retail and shopping expert with RetailMeNot, told The Associated Press. “But for 2020, Black Friday is not the official kickoff to the holiday shopping season. It’s already underway, and so are the deals.”
In 2019, U.S. households spent an average of $511 on gifts during the winter holiday shopping season, according to Deloitte, a consultancy firm. This year, that number is projected to be about the same, with one notable uptick.
According to AP, the National Retail Federation projects more than 60 percent of consumers plan to purchase the majority of their holiday items online, compared with 56 percent last year.
If you are planning to shop in person, do your best to be prepared, Skirboll said.
“If you are someone who really enjoys strolling through store aisles and browsing to find the right gift, you may need to readjust your thinking,” Skirboll said. “If you must go out in public to shop, create a list before heading to the store, and get in and out as quickly as possible.”
Still planning to shop in person?
Here are this year’s Black Friday store hours, according to BlackFriday.com, though Patch encourages calling ahead to confirm exact hours with your specific location:
Academy Sports + Outdoors: Closed Thanksgiving; open 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. Black Friday.
Ace Hardware: Closed Thanksgiving; Black Friday hours vary by franchise.
Apple: Closed Thanksgiving; open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Black Friday.
Ann Taylor: Closed Thanksgiving; check mall for Black Friday hours.
Bed Bath & Beyond: Closed Thanksgiving; open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Black Friday.
Best Buy: Closed Thanksgiving; opens 5 a.m. Black Friday.
Big Lots: 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thanksgiving; open 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Black Friday.
Costco: Closed Thanksgiving; opens 9 a.m. Black Friday.
CVS: 24-hour locations open Thanksgiving; open regular hours Black Friday.
Dollar General: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thanksgiving; open regular hours Black Friday.
DSW: Closed Thanksgiving; open 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Black Friday.
GameStop: Closed Thanksgiving; opens 7 a.m. Black Friday.
Gap: Closed Thanksgiving; check mall hours for Black Friday.
Kohl’s: Closed Thanksgiving; opens 5 a.m. Black Friday.
Macy’s: Closed Thanksgiving; open 5 a.m. to midnight Black Friday.
Marshall’s: Closed Thanksgiving; opens 7 a.m. Black Friday.
Michael’s: Closed Thanksgiving; opens 7 a.m. Black Friday.
Nordstrom: Closed Thanksgiving; open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Black Friday
OfficeDepot and OfficeMax: Closed Thanksgiving; opens 9 a.m. Black Friday.
Old Navy: Closed Thanksgiving; opens 12 a.m. Black Friday.
Pottery Barn: Closed Thanksgiving; Black Friday hours vary.
Sam’s Club: Closed Thanksgiving; opens 7 a.m. Black Friday.
Sephora: Closed Thanksgiving; heck mall hours for Black Friday.
Staples: Closed Thanksgiving; opens 9 a.m. Black Friday.
Target: Closed Thanksgiving; open 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Black Friday.
Victoria’s Secret & PINK: Closed Thanksgiving; check mall hours for Black Friday.
Walmart: Closed Thanksgiving; opens 5 a.m. Black Friday
To avoid overspending on holiday gifts, experts recommend making a list, setting a budget and sticking to it. Also, know your shopping triggers. For example, many people can’t resist a sale. But not all bargains are created equal, and shoppers should be wary of the “buy more, save more” types of deals.
“You think you are getting a better value when you see $10 off $50 or $20 off $50, but it’s the same percent discount, so don’t let that discount claim make you spend more,” consumer savings expert Andrea Woroch told CNBC.
Not everyone is gun ho about a spending spree.
REI, which has a store in the Fenway area, plans to close on Black Friday for the sixth year in a row, and it's encouraging shoppers and employees to sign up for a 52-week action plan of "small steps" to curb carbon emissions and live more energy-efficient lives.
The Department of Conservation and Recreation is taking the cue and pointing out a few hikes folks can take.
"Go Green on Black Friday" hikes range from light to moderately strenuous levels of difficulty, and are best for families with children ages 10 and older, officials said in a release. Details about hike locations, difficulty, length, terrain, and tips regarding proper clothing are listed on DCR's website at www.mass.gov/dcr.