The kids had barely removed their Halloween costumes and scarfed down the last of the candy corns before CE retaildom released a barrage of Black Friday fodder last week.
Through a combination of “leaked” ads and doorbuster teasers, we can discern that 4K UHD TVs — arguably the pinnacle of home technology for consumers — will be the lead traffic drivers come Black Friday.
But why wait? Many if not most retailers have once again stretched the occasion into a month-long promotional event featuring all manner of flash sales and earlybird discounts, although a growing number are taking a breather on Thanksgiving.
Here’s a rundown of what top retailers are doing:
The world’s largest e-tailer (and No. 2 CE seller) started the holiday clock by bringing back its Black Friday Deals Store. The dedicated section features more than 7,000 pages of discounted items, updated as often as every five minutes, and up to 20 doorbuster-like Deals of the Day. The store runs through Dec. 22.
Amazon kicked off its Black Friday countdown with a 55-inch curved 1080p OLED TV by LG for $1,000 (33 percent off), which served as the lead item. Other launch-day discounts included $20 off the e-tailer’s Kindle Voyage, Paperwhite, Kids bundles and new Kindle e-readers. In addition, Amazon is bringing back its curated holiday gift guides.
The Christmas season began on Nov. 5 for the No. 1 CE chain with a special four-hour event in virtually all of its stores to demo and sell a short list of hot tech products for the holidays. The items were from Best Buy’s annual Top Tech list of 20 “must-have” CE devices, which this year includes Google Home, Rand McNally’s OverDryve connected car system, PlayStation VR and Oculus Rift.
The retailer also brought back its free-shipping holiday offer for another season, effective now through Dec. 24 at BestBuy.com, and launched a raft of seasonal commercials under the theme of “Holiday Gifting Made Easy.” The 15 TV, digital and social spots include appearances by Don Rickles and Bobby Flay, all showing traditional holiday scenes gone a little awry.
BJ’s Wholesale Club
The No. 3 warehouse club is posting its Black Friday Savings Event circular today (Nov. 7), featuring 34 pages of discounted goods. Sale prices go into effect Nov. 18 and run through Nov. 28 while supplies last.
Like rival Sam’s Club, TVs top the BJ’s promotions, and together with mounts and other video accessories fill the first five pages of the book.
The lead cover-page item is a 65-inch Samsung 4K UHD TV (model UN- 65KU6290), which will sell for $900, representing a $500 savings. Samsung also dominates page 2 with no less than 10 4K models.
In addition, a host of Black Friday-only doorbusters include a 50-inch Sharp 1080P TV for $250 and a 39-inch ProScan 720P model for $140.
BJ’s will be closed on Thanksgiving, but will open its doors at 7 a.m. the following morning.
The largest online-only tech specialty retailer has unveiled its month-long Black November sales event, now in its eighth year, which provides a steady cadence of discounts across its entire product portfolio.
The game plan calls for a kick-off sale week Nov. 1-7; a gaming sale Nov. 8-14; a pre-Black Friday sale Nov. 15-21; the actual Black Friday Week sale Nov. 21-26; and a four-day Cyber Monday event Nov. 27-30.
In addition, Newegg will offer dozens of early Black Friday deals on Nov. 18, and will hold an extended sale featuring fresh discounts and other promotions Nov. 29- 30.
The No. 2 office-supply chain kicked off its Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions nearly four weeks early on Oct. 30, and will hold staggered in-store and online sales throughout the month.
It all comes to a head Black Friday week (Nov. 20-26), when top sales items will include a Dell Inspiron 13.3-inch two-in-one with Intel Core i5 processor for $529 (regularly $699), and an HP Officejet Pro 6968 printer for $90 (regularly $149).
Office Depot also declared that “Every Monday is Cyber Monday” this fall, and will accordingly offer online-only deals on Nov. 7, Nov. 14 and Nov. 21 from 4 a.m. to 3:59 a.m.
Shopping advice site BFads.net has posted what it said is Sam’s Club’s Black Friday circular, and highlighted “some killer TV deals” within the 12-page, tech-heavy ad, including a 75-inch Samsung 4K Ultra HD TV (model UN- 75JU641DFXZA) for $1,990, and a 65-inch Hisense 4K Ultra HD TV (model 65CU6200) for $598.
Most items will be available in limited quantities at the warehouse clubs starting at 7 a.m. on Black Friday (Nov. 25), and those also offered online or as online exclusives can be ordered a day earlier on Thanksgiving (Nov. 24), when all Sam’s Club stores will be closed.
Online purchases ship for free, and Black Friday pricing will be in effect while supplies last through the following Sunday, Nov. 27, the circular says.
Staples has also divulged some of its Black Friday deals. Teased items include an HP Laptop with Intel Core i5 processor for $390, a savings of $250, and Canon’s Pixma MG3620 printer for $30, a savings of $50.
Sale items will be available online on Thanksgiving Day, when Staples locations will be closed, and in stores when the chain reopens on Black Friday (Nov. 25) at 6 a.m.
In the meantime, customers can get a sneak peek of the promotions starting Nov. 6 exclusively through the retailer’s mobile app, and dozens more deals will be revealed two weeks prior to Black Friday at Staples.com/blackfridayad.
Target lifted the curtain a bit on its holiday plans. As expected, the chain will offer free shipping this season, but it’s extending the deal all the way through Jan. 1, 2017, which is a week longer than last year.
Beginning mid-November, Target will offer consumers $10 off a $50 purchase on a different product category each week; this promotion will jump to $25 off a $100 purchase in December. It is also bringing back its 10 Days of Deals promotion, which features a different offer each day.
Price matching will be offered on any purchase made Nov. 1 through Dec. 24, with the exception of items purchased Thanksgiving through “Cyber Week.”
Walmart also offered a peek at its holiday playbook, which will include a $125 Roku TV throughout the selling season.
The retail giant said it intends to tame the holiday mayhem this year by bolstering its ranks of checkout-line employees and increasing the number of items eligible for in-store pickup.
The chain’s yellow-vested, candy-toting “holiday helpers,” deployed starting Nov. 4, will help manage traffic during the checkout process and hunt down items for shoppers, the company said.
To get things started, Walmart has mounted a selection of “Early Bird Online Specials,” a hodge-podge of pre-holiday deals broken out into 15 sections including electronics, home, toys, video games, photo and “pick up today.”