DealsBlack Friday sales kick off the holiday shopping season,...

Black Friday sales kick off the holiday shopping season, but expect to pay more this year


After weeks of early sales, Friday marks the official shopping holiday that Americans expect to bring great deals on an annual basis.
Like last year, more retailers stayed closed on Thanksgiving than in recent years amid the pandemic and opened early Friday.
At 5 a.m., Walmart, Best Buy, Kohl’s, Old Navy, JCPenney and Dick’s Sporting Goods opened their doors. Macy’s and Bed Bath & Beyond followed at 6 a.m. before Target and GameStop opened at 7 a.m. Hours can vary by location. (See the full list of Black Friday store hours here.)
More shoppers are expected to shop in stores Friday than last year, which was considered the quietest Black Friday in 20 years.
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Walmart is one of the only stores that offered shoppers  new deals, which were not available in stores before Friday. The retail giant’s sale started online Monday.
Despite the extended Black Friday sales, shoppers still lined up early at stores across the country.
At a Walmart in Coral Springs, Florida, more than 100 shoppers line up before doors opened.
There were lines at select stores across the country with some shoppers lining up in the cold.
In St. Matthews, Kentucky, near Louisville, 60 people lined up to shop Black Friday deals at Best Buy before the store’s opening with temperatures in the low-30s, the Louisville Courier-Journal, a USA TODAY Network member, reported.
In Anderson, South Carolina, shoppers lined up before Walmart opened – some arriving at 1:30 a.m. ahead of 5 a.m. doors opening – and some camped out for Target’s 7 a.m. opening. Cars filled parking lots for Kohl’s and Home Goods. Shoppers also visited J.C. Penny and lined up for Best Buy, according to Anderson Independent Mail, part of the USA TODAY Network.
And at a Kohl’s in Springfield, Illinois, about 30 people were in line when the store opened, as the temperature hovered around 18 degrees, according to the State-Journal Register, also part of the USA TODAY Network.
In Edmond, Oklahoma, shoppers lined up at Academy Sports + Outdoors hours ahead of opening to ensure they were able to snag deals on specific items such as a thermal sight, the Oklahoman, a USA TODAY Network paper, reported.
There were also some lines on Thanksgiving. While few stores were open for the holiday, many GameStop stores opened and were selling one of the most in-demand holiday gifts, PlayStation 5.
Many retailers including Walmart are selling PS5 and Xbox Series X online but GameStop had some consoles available as part of its Black Friday sale in stores.
At a GameStop in Coral Springs, Florida Thursday, a sign on the door said the location had 11 PS5 bundles available when the store opened at 5 p.m. The bundle sold for $789.95 for the console, a $100 GameStop gift card, PlayStation Plus 12-month membership and three games.
Nick Reed got to the store around 2 a.m. Thanksgiving morning and was first in the line. Reed, of Coral Springs, said he has been trying to get Sony’s latest console since last year.
“I could have gotten here at around 5 and still would have been the first one,” Reed said.
Alessio Sincore, of Tamarac, Florida, got to the GameStop at 6:30 a.m. Thursday after missing out on the PS5 during online sales at Best Buy and Walmart. He said it was his first time lining up for a Black Friday sale and he was expecting to see larger crowds like on TV.
For years, Thanksgiving and Black Friday have marked the official kickoff to the holiday shopping season and the time of year when shoppers get focused on holiday spending.
The pandemic finished off what the increase of online shopping started to slash years earlier: in-store-only doorbusters.
For years, Black Friday has been losing importance. Since 2011, stores jumpstarted the holiday shopping season by opening their doors on Thanksgiving to compete with Amazon and other rising online threats. But the shift merely cannibalized Black Friday sales. The shopping bonanza was further diluted when stores started marketing Black Friday sales for the full week and then later for the month.
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Shoppers are expected to pay on average between 5% to 17% more for toys, clothing, appliances, TVs and other purchases on Black Friday this year compared with last year, according to Aurelien Duthoit, senior sector advisor at Allianz Research.
TVs will see the highest price spikes on average, up 17% from a year ago, according to the research firm. That’s because whatever discounts available will be applied to goods that are already expensive.
Such frustrations could mute sales for the holiday season that are supposed to break records.
The National Retail Federation, the nation’s largest retail trade group, predicts holiday sales will increase between 8.5% and 10.5% compared with the 2020 holiday period when shoppers, locked down during the early part of the pandemic, spent their money on pajamas and home goods – mostly online. Holiday sales increased 8.2% in 2020.
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Hours into Black Friday, Target announced it will have a two-day “Cyber Deals” sale that will run online and in the store’s mobile app Sunday and Monday, which is Cyber Monday.
Target said the online sale includes “deep discounts on the season’s must-have items, including furniture, bedding and bath, apparel, and beauty.”
The retailer also announced its “Holiday Best” deals through Dec. 4 in-store and online.
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