What you need to know to make the most of Black Friday, cyber week shopping

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More time to take advantage of smaller discounts, big ticket item shortages, decent deals on tech and gaming, the slow return of in-store shopping and record-setting ecommerce sales are what to expect this Black Friday — or, more accurately, ‘Cyber Week.’

Big box retailers kicked things off Sunday with in-person and online sales available through Cyber Monday, Nov. 29.

Retail hours and sales periods

RETAILER

SALES PERIOD

THANKSGIVING WEEK SHOPPING HOURS (EST)

Target

Nov. 21 - 27

7 a.m. on Black Friday

Kohl's

Nov. 21 - 26

8 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 21, 5 a.m. on Black Friday

Walmart

Nov. 22 - 28

7 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 22, 5 a.m. on Black Friday, 7 p.m. on Cyber Monday

Sam's Club

Nov. 25 - 28

7 a.m. on Black Friday

Macy's

Nov. 23 - 27

6 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. on Black Friday

Ulta

Nov. 21 - 27

n/a

JCPenney

Nov. 26 - 28

5 a.m. on Black Friday

Costco

until Nov. 29

9 a.m. on Black Friday

The Home Depot

until Dec. 1

online at 6 a.m. on Black Friday, in-person varies by store

Gloucester Premium Outlets

Nov. 26

6 a.m. on Black Friday (may vary by store), holiday deals already available

Tanger Outlets (Atlantic City)

Nov. 26 - 28

6 a.m. on Black Friday

Jackson Premium Outlets

Nov. 26

6 a.m. on Black Friday (may vary by store), deals vary by store

Amazon

Nov. 25 - 27

early deals already available, 48-hour sale starts 3:01 a.m. on Thanksgiving

Black Friday/Cyber Week 2021 retail hours and sales periods
Black Friday/Cyber Week 2021 retail hours and sales periods

Amazon has had Early Black Friday Deals available since early October, and the ecommerce goliath will have a 48-hour sale starting 3:01 a.m. on Thanksgiving.

Deals are expected to range from 5% to 25% off, a decline from the historical average of 10% to 30%, according to Adobe Analytics. This could pose an issue for retailers as 58% off is the average discount necessary to entice Americans to shop on Black Friday, according to an October survey conducted by Finder.

Poll: What are your holiday shopping plans this year?

Tech, appliances and toys will see the biggest discounts, although all discounts will, on average, be less than in 2020, according to Adobe.

Supply chain issues

Taking advantage of those deals may be a challenge, though, as pandemic-related supply chain issues will make popular items like the Playstation 5 and Nintendo Switch OLED hard to find.

(Don’t worry, we’ve got tips on how to maximize your chances of getting a Playstation 5 in a bit.)

However, this does not mean shelves will be empty. Supply chain issues are making specific products difficult to come by, but they are not impacting all products across the board.

For example, you likely won’t have a hard time getting a coffee machine or air fryer — this year’s most wanted appliances per Google Shopping — but you might have a hard time finding the Emeril Lagasse 360 Power Air Fryer or the Nespresso VertuoPlus Deluxe Coffee and Espresso Machine.

(Walmart, Target and Kohl’s all have discounts on several coffee machine and air fryer models, by the way.)

No matter what, experts say it’s best to shop as early as possible.

“With the prospect of consumers seeking to shop early, inventories may be pulled down sooner and shortages may develop in the later weeks of the shopping season,” said Jack Kleinhenz, the National Retail Federation’s chief economist, in a late-October press release.

Return to retail or an ecommerce revolution?

Heading into the second pandemic holiday shopping season, the question on many people’s minds is whether consumers will return to in-person shopping or continue to shop online in unprecedented numbers. The answer is complicated.

More: Holiday shopping in-person this year? Here are some ways to lower COVID risk

While ecommerce is expected to increase by about 15%, it will only make up about a fifth of all holiday season sales, according to eMarketer. Brick-and-mortar sales will increase by nearly 8%, accounting for the rest of year-end sales. In other words, in-store shopping still reigns supreme but is only growing at about half the rate of its online counterpart.

“Buy online, pickup in-store" and curbside options surged in popularity last year amid pandemic health and safety concerns. Although pandemic restrictions have been relaxed, early data suggest this may have spurned on a trend. “Click-and-collect" sales are expected to grow by more than 10% this year, according to Statista.

The best times to shop

Balancing the need to stay COVID safe while snagging savings won’t be easy, but we’ve got tips to help you do both.

Shopping online is the best way to avoid long lines and COVID — and many of the best deals are digital-only — but if you must shop in-person, it’s best to go on weekday evenings, according to Google Maps Trends data. Shopping centers are the least busy on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. and the busiest on Saturdays at 1 p.m.

During Cyber Week, the best days to shop vary depending on what deals you’re looking to score, according to Adobe.

  • Thanksgiving (Nov. 25): toys

  • Black Friday (Nov. 26): furniture and bedding, tools and home improvement

  • Saturday (Nov. 27): electronics and appliances

  • Sunday (Nov. 28): sporting goods and apparel

  • Cyber Monday (Nov. 29): televisions

  • Wednesday (Dec. 1): computers

Hot products

Video games, fidget toys, instant pots, air fryers, dollhouses and wireless headphones are some of this year’s top gifts, according to Adobe Analytics. Coffee makers, LEGO sets, Pokémon cards, perfume, blenders, exercise bikes and commuter scooters are also in high demand, according to Google Shopping’s Holiday 100.

The Playstation 5 is still on the top of a lot of wish lists after its limited supply release in 2020. To the dismay of many, it will likely stay on wish lists through next year as well. As first reported by Bloomberg, the global computer chip shortage is likely to persist into 2023, impacting the production of everything from video games to cars.

As such, the sought-after system — and its competitors the Xbox Series X and S and the new Nintendo Switch OLED model — is already in short supply heading into Cyber Week. Walmart, GameStop and Best Buy all announced they will have a limited number of consoles available Thanksgiving week.

To maximize your chances of finding a console, check Twitter accounts that post restock updates, such as @mattswider, @videogamedeals and @SwitchStockNews and check CNET’s Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X restock trackers.

Below you’ll find a list of some other popular gifts from Google Shopping’s Holiday 100.

Gaming

  • Playstation 5

  • Xbox Series X

  • Nintendo Switch OLED

  • Oculus Quest 2 Advanced All-in-One Virtual Reality Headset

  • NBA 2K22

  • FIFA 22

  • Metroid Dread

  • Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales (PS5 exclusive)

Health, Beauty and Fragrance

  • Dr. Barbara Sturm Face Cream

  • L'Oreal BB Magic Skin Beautifier

  • Ulta Beauty Box

  • Baccarat Rouge 540 Eau De Parfum Maison Francis Kurkdjian

  • Ariana Grande Cloud Eau De Parfum Spray

Appliances

  • Breville The Barista Express

  • Nespresso VertuoPlus

  • Instant Pot Duo Mini 3qt

  • Mr. Coffee Iced Coffee Maker

  • Vitamix Immersion Blender

  • Emeril Lagasse 360 Power Air Fryer

Toys

  • Gabby's Dollhouse Purrfect Dollhouse Playset

  • Pokémon Celebrations Deluxe Pin Collection

  • PAW Patrol Lifesize Movie Tower

  • Brats 20 Yearz Special Edition Cameron

  • Barbie Dreamhouse Dollhouse

  • Marvel Spidey and His Amazing Friends Web Squad Figure Collection

Other

  • Peloton Stationary Exercise Bike

  • Gotrax GXL V2 Commuting Electric Scooter 8.5" Air Filled Tires

PRODUCT

CATEGORY

Nintendo Switch OLED

gaming

Playstation 5

gaming

Xbox Series X

gaming

NBA 2k22

gaming

FIFA 22

gaming

Metroid Dread

gaming

Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales

gaming

Dr. Barbara Sturm Face Cream

beauty

Clinique Almost Lipstick Mini Duo

beauty

L'Oreal BB Magic Skin Beautifier

beauty

Ulta Beauty Box

beauty

Baccarat Rouge 540 Eau De Parfum Maison Francis Kurkdjian

fragrance

Ariana Grande Cloud Eau De Parfum Spray

fragrance

Nespresso VertuoPlus

cooking

Instant Pot Duo Mini 3qt

cooking

Mr. Coffee Iced Coffee Maker

cooking

Vitamix Immersion Blender

cooking

Emeril Lagasse 360 Power Air Fryer

cooking

Peloton Stationary Exercise Bike

fitness

Gotrax GXL V2 Commuting Electric Scooter 8.5" Air Filled Tires

productivity

Gabby's Dollhouse Purrfect Dollhouse Playset

toys

Pokemon Celebrations Deluxe Pin Collection

toys

PAW Patrol Lifesize Movie Tower

toys

Brats 20 Yearz Special Edition Cameron

toys

Barbie Dreamhouse Dollhouse

toys

LEGO sets

toys

What’s open on Thanksgiving?

Very few places will be open on Thanksgiving itself. Many are following the precedent they set last year of closing on Turkey Day and encouraging shoppers to take advantage of online-exclusive deals.

In fact, closing on Thanksgiving has become a way for some retailers to drum up goodwill with consumers.

"Guests loved our new approach (to close on Thanksgiving) so much that we’ve already decided to carry (it) forward," read a Target news release from the beginning of this year.

Stores expected to be open on Thanksgiving include CVS, Walgreens, Dollar General, Family Dollar and Wawa. Individual store hours may vary by location, so call ahead just in case.

Key takeaways

While the pandemic may have disrupted traditional Black Friday sales, it accelerated an evolution of year-end sales that was already taking place: longer sales periods with smaller discounts, a move toward online shopping and away from post-Thanksgiving dinner doorbusters.

Options like curbside pickup have stayed popular despite eased COVID restrictions, but pandemic-related supply chain issues are expected to impact the availability of specific products for years to come.

The best discounts will be on tech, appliances and toys, but discounts across all categories will be less than in previous years.

Expect simultaneous online and in-store sales, with some consistent across both channels and a few notable exceptions exclusive to one or the other.

Deals to lookout for

SALE PRICE/DISCOUNT

ORIGINAL PRICE

CATEGORY

NOTES

WALMART

Apple Watch Series 3 GPS 28mm

$109.00

$199.00

tech

cheaper than Target's $169.99

Apple Watch Series 3 GPS 42mm

$139.00

$229.00

tech

Xbox Series S

-

$299.00

gaming

Xbox Series X

-

$499.00

gaming

online only on Nov. 22

Playstation 5

-

$499.00

gaming

online only on Nov. 22

Nintendo Switch w/ Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

-

$299.00

gaming

Black Friday-exclusive product

Select Nintendo games on sale

$35.00

-

gaming

games for other systems also on sale

Playstation Plus 12mo Membership

$39.99

$59.99

gaming

AirPods Pro

$159.00

$197.00

tech

Google Nest Hub 2nd Gen

$49.98

$99.98

tech

VIZIO 70" Class 4K SmartCast TV

$548.00

-

tech

Black Friday-exclusive product

Samsung 2.1 Bluetooth Soundbar

$99.00

-

tech

Black Friday-exclusive product

Roku LE Streaming Media Player

$15.00

-

tech

Black Friday-exclusive product

PowerXL 6.5-Qt 6-in-1 Grill & Air Fryer

$69.00

-

cooking

Black Friday-exclusive product

Gourmia Iced Coffee Maker

$15.00

-

cooking

Black Friday-exclusive product

Hot Wheels Mega Garage

$29.00

-

toys

Black Friday-exclusive product

Hover-1 I-200 Hoverboard

$99.00

-

toys

Black Friday-exclusive product

TARGET

Nintendo Switch w/ Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

-

$299.00

gaming

Black Friday-exclusive product

select LEGO sets

40% off

-

toys

40% off

holiday beauty gift sets

30% off

-

beauty

30% off

KitchenAid Professional 5qt Stand Mixer

$219.99

$429.99

cooking

Element 65" 4K UHD Roku TV

$299.99

$649.99

tech

PowerXL 10qt Dual Basket Air Fryer

$99.99

$199.99

cooking

Oculus Quest 2 Advanced Virtual Reality Headset 128GB

-

$299.00

gaming

free $50 gift card

cold-weather outerwear & accessories

30% off

-

clothes

30% off

Samsung 65" Smart 4K Crystal HDR UHD TV

$569.99

$649.99

tech

LG 75" Class 4K UHD Smart LED HDR TV

$849.99

$969.99

tech

Fitbit Charge 5 Activity Tracker

$129.95

$179.95

tech

Fujifilm Mini 11 Holiday Bundle

$59.99

$79.99

tech

select gaming subscriptions

20% off

-

gaming

Game Pass, Playstation Plus

22+ games

$39.99

-

gaming

75+ games

$19.99

-

gaming

50+ games

$29.99

-

gaming

70+ games

$14.99

-

gaming

Nintendo Switch OLED 64GB

-

$349.99

gaming

Disney Frozen toys

BOGO 50% off

-

toys

Select LOL Surprise! toys

up to 50% off

-

toys

PAW Patrol Rocky's Reuse It truck

$11.99

$19.99

toys

BOGO 50% off mix & match

-

-

toys

Play-Doh, Perfectly Cute, Chuckle & Roar, Beyblade Burst Rise, FAO Shwarz, Just B. You, Melissa & Doug, Our Generation, Marvel, WWE, Imaginext

Pokemon Trading Card Game trading tin

$9.99

$19.99

toys

Cra-Z-Art Nickelodeon Slime Mega Mix Extravaganza

$14.99

$29.99

toys

Bluey My Size stuffed plush

$24.99

$49.99

toys

Ryan's World 20-pk Micro Figure Mighty Mega Pack

$19.99

$39.99

toys

Board Games and Puzzles

50% off

-

toys

Skyline 5-pc luggage set

$69.99

$114.99

travel

buy 2, get 1 free movies, books & music

-

-

entertainment

Mr. Coffee Iced Coffee Maker with 22-oz reusable tumbler and coffee filter

$24.99

$34.99

cooking

Nespresso VertuoPlus Deluxe Coffee and Espresso Machine

$142.49

$189.99

cooking

Boots

50% off

-

clothes

THE HOME DEPOT

free 2-day delivery on online tools & tool storage

Pre-Lit Festive Pine Artificial Christmas tree

$99.00

-

decor

RYOBI ONE+ 18V Lithium-Ion Cordless 6-Tool Combo Kit with 2 batteries, charger, and bag

$199.00

$299.00

tools

select Traeger grills

$100 off

-

cooking

until 11/29

1.25 qt live Poinsettia

$1.98

$4.98

decor

free 2-day delivery on online tools & tool storage

-

-

KOHL'S

30% off select LEGO sets

Ninja Foodi 6-in-1 10-qt XL 2-Basket Air Fryer with DualZone Technology

$169.99

$249.99

cooking

free $30 Kohls Cash

select toys

$24.99

$26.49-49.99

toys

BOGO 50% off mix & match

-

-

toys

Nerf, Monster Jam, Barbie, Baby Alive, Kinetic Sand, Play-Doh, VTech, Ryan's World, Blue's Clues

PowerXL 7-qt Vortex air fryer

$76.49

$169.99

cooking

free $15 Kohls Cash

Keurig K-Duo single-serve and carafe coffee maker

$84.99*

$229.99

cooking

with 15% off coupon

JCPENNEY

fine jewelry

up to 75% off

-

jewelry

Disney toys & clothing

up to 40% off

-

toys, clothing

$15 bonus reward for $50 spent

-

-

-

holiday dinnerware

60% off

-

cooking

MACY'S

Instant Pot Duo Plus 6qt

$59.95

-

cooking

Urban Decay Naked3 eyeshadow palette

50% off

-

beauty

women's boots and shoes

40-50% off

SAM'S CLUB

Delish by Dash Compact Stand Mixer

$44.98

$59.98

cooking

BJ'S WHOLESALE

LG 65" 4K UHD Smart TV

$579.99

$649.99

tech

ULTA

makeup, fragrances, hot hair tools, and other beauty products

50% off

Aedy Miller covers education and the economy for the Burlington County Times, Courier-Post, and The Daily Journal. They are a multimedia journalist from Central Jersey and a recent graduate of the George Washington University.

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This article originally appeared on Cherry Hill Courier-Post: Black Friday, Cyber Week 2021: deals, shortages, retail hours

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