If you continue to scratch while marking the best Black Friday deals online, have a rest Thanksgiving.
It’s time to start thinking about Plan B by waking up early Friday to go shopping.
With some exceptions, retailers keep stores closed on Thanksgiving Day and many open from 5 a.m. Friday. (See the full list of Black Friday store hours here.)
While last year was considered the quietest Black Friday in decades, more shoppers are expected to show up in stores on Friday.
According to the National Retail Federation annual survey, 64% are expected to shop in stores on Friday, up from 51% last year.
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Online shopping also continues to grow and stores are promoting curbside and in-store pickup. According to Adobe analytics, consumers spent $ 72.2 billion online from November 1 to Tuesday, representing nearly 20% growth from 2020 and showing that many consumers started shopping early.
“If an item is on sale during Black Friday and the price is right, buy it. Think of Cyber Monday as a second chance to pick up items that are sold out during Black Friday sales,” McGrath said. “Because retailers usually repeat their offers, you’re limiting yourself if you wait until Cyber Monday.”
Still, you need to approach Black Friday with a plan and a simple toolkit, especially for in-store purchases.
Black Friday 2021 Toolkit
If you’re shopping in-store this Black Friday or anytime during the holiday season, here are a few things to bring with you. Some items vary depending on where you shop.
Smartphone: Mobile devices are the key to saving coupons for rewards programs. You can also take advantage of contactless payment options, search for prices, and find where the item you are looking for is located in the store.
Phone charger: Shopping in stores while ordering online, sending photos of your Black Friday finds, and monitoring social media can cause your phone to burn out. Be prepared by bringing a portable charger or power bank.
In-store announcements:Optional. If you have physical vacation ads, bring them in and fold the pages to whatever you want.
Snacks and drinks: Stay hydrated the entire time you walk. Having a protein bar is helpful to continue.
Received: Keep all receipts. This will facilitate returns and some receipts are required for discounts. (Bonus tip: Remember to mail the rebates, then use the rebate cards or cash the checks before they expire.)
Patience: Prepare for disappointment and find other gift ideas ahead of time.
Black Friday during COVID
It’s the second Black Friday of the pandemic and a lot has changed with the vaccines now available. Here are some things to bring to stay safe, some of which are necessary depending on where you are shopping.
Mask: Back for the second year, it’s a face covering. Some stores won’t let you in without it.
Vaccination card: Some cities or states will require proof of the COVID-19 vaccine before entering businesses. here is how to add it to your smartphone, if you prefer to use a digital copy.
Hand sanitizer: Stores will provide the COVID essentials, but it doesn’t hurt to carry yours.
Social distance:Not something to bring with you, of course, but keep in mind that we are still in a pandemic. Especially during the lines and at the checkout, remember to stay as far away from your fellow buyers and store workers as possible. If you’re shopping with family or friends, consider splitting up to limit the number of people around other shoppers.
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More offers:Check out other Black Friday offers at www.usatoday.com/black-friday.
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