Black Friday Approaches: Shoppers Strategize
The snowfall, the storefront decorations... Black Friday is nearly here! The biggest sale day of the year in the US, this is the official kickoff for the holiday shopping season.
Here in Canada, some stores are hosting competing sales in order to lure locals away from cross-border shopping for those Black Friday deals, since over 90% of Canadians live within a two-hour drive of the US border.
Given this year’s economic climate, with retailers desperate to increase sales and shoppers looking for even steeper discounts, Black Friday 2008 is hoped by both parties to be, in the words of Nigel Tufnel of Spinal Tap, “none more black.”
The term Cyber Monday refers to the Monday immediately following Black Friday, the ceremonial kick-off of the holiday online shopping season in the United States between Thanksgiving Day and Christmas.  Whereas Black Friday is associated with traditional brick-and-mortar stores, “Cyber Monday” symbolizes a busy day for online retailers.
More so than in years past, stores have to offer some serious deals in order to woo cash-strapped shoppers. Of course, shoppers know this, and will plan their excursions with painstaking (and, in my opinion, perplexing) precision.
This year, there has already been much chatter about $99 GPS units for sale at Target, $200 Blu-ray DVD players at Circuit City, $250 netbooks at Amazon and, as always, ever larger and more affordable flat-panel televisions, like the $900 42-inch 1080p LCD models for sale at Best Buy.
The thing to remember is this: Such amazingly priced products will probably be hard to find. They serve as the bait to get you through the door. A given store may have only five or a dozen items at such a deal, and the frozen few at the head of the line will be sure to snap them up.
Entire Web sites, like Bfads.net, Black-Friday.net and FatWallet.com, are set up to collect intelligence on reduced prices, organize it into easy-to-compare lists and post it for all to see. These sites also have well-populated forums where veterans of Black Fridays past can discuss this year’s deals and strategies for dealing with them.
So tell us... are you going to hit the stores (on foot or on mouseback) this post-Thanksgiving weekend?