The race is on! With retailers both large and small bracing for what's predicted to be a somewhat lackluster holiday shopping season in terms of sales, many are offering unprecedented deals on a wide range of goods and services to grab those crucial yet increasingly-elusive holiday dollars on Black Friday.PriceGrabber
, are ready with dedicated holiday pages and extensive shopping guides. But this year, Facebook is joining the fray with their recently unveiled Places feature, a service that tracks your location enabling retailers to deliver exclusive check-in deals via your SmartPhone or similar web-enabled device. Examples include Toys 'R Us that's giving subscribers 15 percent off a future purchase following a check-in and the retailer H&M, which will be giving 20 percent off purchases and an addition $1 per check-in to benefit UNICEF.
Willing to brave the crowds?
A recent survey conducted by the National Retail Federation found that the majority of us plan on doing 36 percent of our holiday shopping online this year, a figure that's up from 32 percent last year. But those numbers haven't dissuaded brick-and-mortar retailers from offering the ever-popular door buster deals in the wee hours of the morning on Black Friday.
So if you're looking for the best place to camp out (whether in person on the web), here's where you can expect to find the most competitive deals on retail's big day.
Featuring a "Christmas Price Guarantee
," Wal-Mart is offering to match any competitor's price throughout the holiday season. This has the potential to deliver huge savings as the price-match guarantee can be obtained at any point during the season. So if a competitor advertises a lower price, shoppers will be able to return to Wal-Mart and receive a refund on the price difference. Other Black Friday deals reportedly include: a 46-inch TV for $480 and a 24-inch HDTV for $159. All prices are limited to stock on hand.
Target is playing for keeps, setting up a dedicated Black Friday landing page that invites you to leave your e-mail address in exchange for exclusive Black Friday offers. Plus, they'll be opening their doors at the stroke of midnight on Black Friday (saving ambitious shoppers from sleeping in their parking lot). In addition, they're taking a run at Wal-Mart by offering to match Wal-Mart's price-matching initiative during the 2011 holiday shopping season. And finally, Target is focusing heavily on its environmentally-friendly NextWorth
trade-in program for electronics, an initiative that rewards shoppers with a Target gift card who recycle older cell phones, computers and other electronics.
Best Buy has announced that shoppers on their site will get unconditional free shipping on all purchases made from Nov. 1 through Dec. 27, 2011.
The king of Cyber Monday, Amazon.com is planning to provide seven days worth of unique deals, something they've dubbed "Deals Week
." Delivered via the many means through which Amazon reaches its loyal consumers, Deals Week promotions will be provided through e-mail, social media and be featured extensively on the site itself. Amazon's Black Friday deals cover the entire spectrum, ranging from a giant bag of Willy Wonka candy to a 32 GB flash drive.