Black Friday remains big on electronics
BY KYLE ARNOLD World Staff Writer
Saturday, November 17, 2012
11/17/12 at 5:13 AM
Major retailers are moving up their post-Thanksgiving opening times, and door-buster deals will focus on typical favorites such as flat-panel TVs and laptops at the lowest prices ever seen.
Big-ticket electronics once again are being used to draw customers into stores for the unofficial start to the Christmas shopping season, and good deals for those items await a few lucky - or determined - shoppers.
Early birds will also be able to find big sales on apparel and toys, although such merchandise usually doesn't draw as much attention as electronics.
Among the biggest deals is Sears offering a 32-inch television for $97, by far the lowest price ever seen for a TV that size, said Lindsay Sakraida, features director for sales-tracking website Dealnews.com
"I think a lot of people are accustomed to waiting until Black Friday to buy televisions, and retailers are responding to that," she said. "Of course the best deals are usually on items from third-tier manufacturers, but even some really good televisions are going for very cheap."
Wal-Mart and Target have similar-size TVs for around $150, and Best Buy is offering a 40-inch Toshiba television for $180 - a bargain for a top-tier brand, Sakraida said.
Anyone hoping for an amazing deal on a high-end item will probably need to wait in line for hours because most retailers carry only a handful of the most sought-after door-buster merchandise.
Tablet computers will likely be one of the hottest categories of the Black Friday shopping season, although big sales on such products are rare since retailers make little profit on them. However, many retailers are offering gift cards of $20 to $60 on tablet purchases to set themselves apart from competitors, Sakraida said.
Rodney Watson, manager of Best Buy at Tulsa Hills shopping center, said Apple's new iPad Mini is drawing a lot of attention from shoppers, as are lines of tablets and laptops with the new Microsoft 8 operating system.
"There's a good supply and selection of tablets and ultrabooks laptops" Watson said. "And video games and mobile phones are always popular."
Big demand is forecast for the next-generation Nintendo Wii U video game console, which launches Sunday. Supplies of the Wii U are expected to be slim, so there may be a limited quantity come Black Friday.
But a handful of popular new video games promises to keep interest in the category high this year, Watson said.
Older video games systems such as the Sony Playstation 3 and the Microsoft Xbox 360 are also being bundled by retailers, with the products going for as little as $220 and $200, respectively.
Clothing is expected to be a big seller again this year, especially trendy items such as boots and winter coats, said Michael Chisolm, merchandise executive leader for the J.C. Penney Co. store at Woodland Hills Mall.
"The hot commodity is going to be women's outerwear, and we have all sorts of assortments and different colors," Chisholm said. "The different colors appeal to younger buyers, especially pea coats, which are a hot trend in the fashion department."
J.C. Penney is opening Friday at 6 a.m., an hour later than last year and in defiance of the Thursday night shopping trend. The retailer is giving away sweepstakes buttons that can be redeemed online for a chance at vacations and merchandise.
Many stores are also launching mobile apps and text messaging programs for Black Friday that can inform shoppers about last-minute sales. But Sakraida said such technology did not catch on with shoppers in recent years, possibly because they don't want to be bothered with extensive downloading.
4 p.m. Thanksgiving
Toys R Us
Dick's Sporting Goods
5 a.m. Friday
Bed, Bath & Beyond
Harbor Freight Tools
Blockbuster Black Friday deals
Best Buy: 40-inch Toshiba LCD TV for $180
Walmart: 32-inch Emerson LCD TV for $148
Target: 32-inch Apex LCD TV for $147
Sears: 32-inch HDTV for $97
Walmart: Compaq 2GB RAM laptop for $179
Best Buy: Lenovo 2GB RAMaptop for $188
Office Depot: HP 6GB RAM laptop for $380
Old Navy: $15 men's jeans
Aeropostale: $20 men's puffer jacket
Sam's Club: Samsung Galaxy S III Android Phone: 97 cents with new 2-year contract
Radio Shack: Sony Playstation 3 bundle for $220
Original Print Headline: TVs still the big draw
Kyle Arnold 918-581-8380
Irene Ezzat-Ahmadi works at Macy's in Woodland Hills Mall this week. MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa World
Christmas decorations are up at Macy's in Woodland Hills Mall. MIKE SIMONS /Tulsa World