Not all stores are waiting for the Thanksgiving turkey to be eaten before starting their Christmas sales this year. Some retailers are wooing holiday shoppers with deals before the frozen bird is even thawed.
Toys R Us, for example, is beginning its “Black Friday” sales on Sunday — four days before Thanksgiving. Customers can shop online or in stores beginning Nov. 19 for items such as a $99.99 NERF N-Strike Elite Terrascout Remote Control Blaster (regularly $199.99).
Although most Toys R Us specials are available all week (while supplies last), a few items will be reserved for the official kickoff of the holiday retail season, which begins at 5 p.m. Thanksgiving at stores nationwide. The Thursday-only specials include a $59.99 Barbie Pink Passport 3-Story townhouse (normally $119.99).
The typical Fort Worth shopper is expected to spend $657 during the holiday season, according to WalletHub, which used factors such as median income and savings levels to make its estimates for nearly 600 U.S. cities. Nationally, shoppers will spend an average of $967, up 3.4 percent from last season.
Like dieters and exercisers, American shoppers who want to stick to a budget may need to take a partner with them when they hit the stores.
“The key here is to ensure that you take someone along who is good about holding you accountable for your spending,” Seth Ketron, assistant marketing professor at East Carolina University, told WalletHub.
Here’s a rundown on when retailers plan to kick off their holiday sales:
▪ Walmart Doors open at 6 p.m. Thursday. But online deals are available all day Thursday, so shoppers can make purchases while watching the Thanksgiving morning parades on television, with the smell of turkey wafting through the house.
▪ Target REDCard holders get access to Black Friday deals online beginning Wednesday. Stores open 6 p.m. Thursday.
▪ Belk This retailer apparently wants its employees to get at least a few hours of post-Thanksgiving sleep. Stores will be open 4 p.m. Thursday to 1 a.m. Friday, and then re-open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday.
▪ Kohl’s Online holiday deals are available starting Monday. The company’s website says “Black Friday is Nov. 24, 2017, but starts online November 20! Check back soon to see our biggest holiday deals!” Stores open 5 p.m. Thursday.
▪ Best Buy A “Doorbusters” sale begins at all stores at 5 p.m. Thursday.
▪ JCPenney Stores open at 2 p.m. Thursday, but shoppers can get the deals online starting Sunday.
▪ Cabela’s Stores open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday. But the real fun begins on Friday, when stores open at 5 a.m. — and those who line up in the predawn hours will receive “mystery envelopes” for freebies, such as guns, gift cards and outdoor products. (Gun winners will be subject to a background check, company officials say.)
▪ Macy’s Stores open at 5 p.m. Thursday, but online deals are available starting Wednesday.
▪ Nordstrom Deals available online starting Thursday, but stores not open until Friday.
▪ Tanger Outlets Fort Worth Stores open at 6 p.m. Thursday for a “Moonlight Madness & After Thanksgiving Sale.” Stores will be open all night, and will have extended weekend hours.
▪ Hulen Mall Reservations can be taken for photos with Santa (for children, adults and pets) beginning Monday. Also, a “Holiday PJ Night is scheduled for this Friday (Nov. 17) as well as Dec. 8. A message on the mall’s website reads: “Throw on your most festive jammies and come see Santa!.”