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Black Friday becomes Black Week this year

Black Friday becomes Black Week this year

Retailers have turned the one-day bonanza into a week’s worth of hot sales.

…There may be just one Black Friday — the day after Thanksgiving — but retailers are offering deals pretty much every day this week. “It’s become Black Friday Week,” says Deborah Mitchell, executive director for the Center of Brand and Product Management at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “Like Super Bowl Sunday, the main event is later in the week, but everyone is gearing up and excited now.” Not all the best discounts, however, are saved for the big day, and shoppers who stick to Black Friday may find they’ve missed out, she says. “Smart shoppers will be looking every day.”

The wider spread of sales throughout the week, both before and after Black Friday, has another advantage for shoppers. While stores typically suspend their price matching policies on Black Friday, most will meet a competitor’s advertised deal on other days this week. They may also offer a credit on an item recently purchased for the difference between the purchased price and new sale price, says Edgar Dworsky.

But there’s a catch, say retail experts. Many of the deals are blink-and-you’ll-miss-them opportunities which are available for a few hours, or until a limited supply runs out. Here’s what to look for each day now through Cyber Monday:

Tuesday

Many stores have already kicked off their Black Friday countdowns, offering one-day deals that come close to — or in some cases beat — their Friday prices, Mitchell says. Best Buy, for example, had a 55″ LG LED HDTV Monday for $898, a 31% discount and $100 cheaper than a planned Samsung door-buster for Black Friday of comparable quality. Amazon.com launched its Black Friday deals site Nov. 1, and has new offers each day this week. A number of stores, including Lowe’s and Home Depot, are promising that Black Friday prices are already in effect, Dworsky says.

Wednesday

Big pre-Black Friday sales, including those from Newegg.com and Target wrap up on Wednesday. Shoppers also may benefit from waiting until midnight, when many Thanksgiving online-only deals could go into effect, Dworsky says. Since most retailers have specified turkey-day deals, but haven’t offered details on availability, it may only be worth it if you’re already up late making the pies. “Last I checked, Nov. 24 still had 24 hours in it, so you could wait up for nothing,” he says.

Thursday

Shoppers stuffing the turkey at 6 a.m. may find their time waiting for the bird to roast well spent shopping. Kmart will be open from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m., and Best Buy plans to release a number of online-only sales that day. Gap Inc. plans to open 1,000 stores — including 800 Old Navy stores and a number of Gap and Banana Republic outlet stores — for limited hours on Thanksgiving. “We know from the receptiveness of Thanksgiving hours over the past two years that many consumers want the ability to jump-start their holiday shopping,” says Louise Callagy, a spokeswoman for Gap. She says Old Navy will offer 3D glasses for shoppers to spy hidden games, messages and extra discounts around the store.

On the later side, Toys R Us will open its doors for Black Friday at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving, followed an hour later by Walmart. But leaving in time to get in line may require cutting Thanksgiving celebrations short. Mitchell suggests double-checking the ads to see which in-store-only deals (if any) are worth ditching the family.

Black Friday

More deals are rolling in at midnight this year, with retailers including Kohl’s, Target, Best Buy and Macy’s pushing forward the usual 5 a.m. store openings. Online shoppers will find plenty of deals at that time, too, with online-only deals and some of the same door-busters that are available in stores, says Andrew Eisner, the director of content for Retrevo.com. Despite waning interest from consumers, Black Friday is still one of the best days of the year to get bargains, he says. Anticipated deals include a $200 42″ Sharp LCD HDTV at Best Buy, and a $350 HP laptop at Office Depot. But shoppers must also contend with very limited quantities of those deeply discounted items, as well as some misleading sales on older items that aren’t the latest technology, Eisner says. Many of the sale Blu-ray players, for example, require shoppers to buy an extra WiFi adaptor, while laptops tend to have older, slower processors.

Shoppers have added incentive to keep their mobile phone on hand this year. Stores including Bon Ton, Macy’s and JC Penney have said they plan to have more mobile coupons available. Toys R Us announced last week that it will offer shoppers who check in on Foursquare special “swarm” deals including $50 off the $170 Imaginarium City train table and 40% off the Incredible Edibles toy line.

Saturday

Big-box stores will continue some of the same sales they offered on Friday, with a different round of door-busters. Given limited inventory this year, shoppers shouldn’t count on these items being in stock, says Dworsky. You may find deals on items that are less likely to sell out. Sears, for example, has a door-buster of 30% off Kenmore Elite appliances until 1 p.m. on Saturday as well as $200 off a broad range of Craftsman tool sets.

It may be worth browsing mom-and-pop shops, too. Many are participating in American Express’s “Small Business Saturday.” The card company is offering a $25 credit to shoppers who register their card and spend $25 at a small business that day. Plus, many stores are offering their own deals, including 20% off at McNally Jackson Books in New York and up to 25% off designer denim at AB Fits in San Francisco.

Sunday

Savvy shoppers should check out eBay in the early morning hours, says Tim Dubroy, a spokesman for eBay market data firm Terapeak. “We noticed a couple of years ago that sales are higher on the Sunday after Thanksgiving than on the Monday after,” he says. eBay sellers scanning Cyber Monday ads often price their items competitively. Last year, for example, a Dell Zino HD desktop sold for an average $340 on eBay on Sunday — $9 less than the Dell.com Cyber Monday price that several gadget blogs touted. Sellers also matched a $399 Amazon.com deal for a Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 digital camera. For the best deals, bid or buy before 2 p.m. Eastern, when prices rise as more shoppers head online, Dubroy suggests.

Monday

“There’s been so little talk of Cyber Monday this year that you have to wonder if it even exists,” Dworsky says. The National Retail Federation reports that 45% of retailers plan to offer a coupon or percentage-off sale, about 38% will have a limited-time promotion and 30% will offer free shipping on some orders. (In comparison, last year 49% had special offers, 41% offered one-day sales and 22% had free shipping on all purchases.) Still, it’s worth browsing the sales, if not necessarily waiting for them, he says. AT&T plans to offer several smartphones — including the HTC Inspire and the LG Thrill — for a penny when consumers sign a two-year contract, similar to a deal Amazon.com has scheduled for Black Friday weekend. Clothing chain Express offers 30% off all online purchases plus free shipping, which is 10% less than its Thanksgiving and Black Friday morning in-store offers.

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Five Thanksgiving myths debunked

Five Thanksgiving myths debunked

Turkey will probably not to blame for making you sleepy after big meals Thursday.

1. Turkey makes you sleepy

If you are falling asleep on the couch after Thanksgiving, do not blame the poor old turkey. While it is true that Turkey contains tryptophan – an amino acid that is a precursor to healing, serotonin welfare – there is not enough tryptophan in turkey to roast you tired. In fact, there are more tryptophan in cheese and chicken breast as it is in Turkey. The real reason you’re asleep? It is likely that the stress of the holidays, the hours spent in the kitchen, wine and spirits – and all the fat and calories you just consumed.

2. Fresh pumpkin is better than canned pumpkin

“Conserve” is not a bad word. Canned tuna and canned tomatoes have a place in the pantry of every chef. The same rule applies to the pumpkin. Canned pumpkin at the grocery store often produces a more reliable and consistent – especially in baking. If you insist on using fresh pumpkin (and, let’s be honest, tell your guests to enjoy the traditional flavors of Thanksgiving) be sure to use sugar pumpkins, the pumpkins you buy for carving at Halloween are watery , mealy and not very good for recipes. But I say live canned pumpkin – at least one day a year.

3. The biggest turkey, the best

When I was a kid, my mother took me to the supermarket a week before Thanksgiving and let me choose the turkey. I went for one with the biggest breasts. Laugh? Here’s the thing, those who have large breasts do not have much flavor. According to Rick Rodgers, cooking teacher and author of Thanksgiving 101, you must compare the size of the chest to the size of the rest of the bird. “Broad-breasted turkeys are new races that were created to produce a greater quantity of meat taste better -. No More the ratio of breast meat chicken whole, turkey is the most original and the oldest – will be shaped his taste, he said. My advice, go with a fresh turkey or heritage turkey crossing.

4. The stuffing is the same as dressing

Dressing and stuffing are similar, but not the same thing. The difference lies in how they are prepared. The joke is, of course, stuffed inside the bird, while dressing is usually cooked in a baking dish. I always preferred to dress as it has more surface area exposed to the oven, which means you get more crisp, crunchy bits. The filling is wet and soggy, in my opinion. But there is another reason you should stop stuffing your bird. Plus my friend Alton Brown for an explanation. “Many things could go there (the cavity of the bird) … in fact, one thing must not: .. Stuffing stuffing is evil farce adds mass, it slows down the cooking is bad because that the more. bird cooks the drier it will be. And since the cavity is an ideal haven for the bacteria salmonella, you must be absolutely certain that the cavity is heated to 165 ° F, which means to cook least part of the bird. … is wrong, “he said. Uh, looks like the joke is not a good idea.

5. Pop-up thermometers in plastic work

It is easy (and I’ll be quick): Pop-up thermometers are not reliable. Not only do they pierce the skin and leave tasty juices escape, but they can also malfunction, leaving you with an under-or overcooked bird. Moreover, most are made to appear at 180 ° F – so your bird is toast. Use a probe thermometer instead.

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Cost of Thanksgiving turkey hits a record

Cost of Thanksgiving turkey hits a record

You’ll probably pay 20% more than last year, due to rising costs for raising the birds.

Americans will be paying more for their Thanksgiving turkeys this month after rising feed costs led to reduced output in the U.S. Wholesale, frozen turkeys jumped to $1.09 a pound on average yesterday, the highest price ever and up 28 percent from a year earlier, according to Russell Whitman, the vice president of the poultry division at commodity researcher Urner Barry in Toms River, New Jersey.

At the end of September, stockpiles of turkey meat slid 23 percent from a year earlier, government data show. Production will decline 1.3 percent this year to 5.514 billion pounds (2.5 million metric tons), the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Nov. 9. Before today, the price of corn, which makes up about 70 percent of turkey feed, was up 47 percent in the past year.

“The fundamental reason why you’re seeing record-high turkey prices is the fact we’re seeing record-high costs of raising turkeys,” said Tom Elam, president of FarmEcon LLC, an agriculture and food-industry consultant in Carmel, Indiana. “When both stocks are down and production is down, then you get a double hit on the amount available to be consumed.”

Retailers in the U.S. sold whole frozen turkeys for an average of $1.57 a pound in September, up 7.7 percent from a year earlier and the highest level since at least 1980, the Labor Department said on Oct. 15.

Higher Retail Price

While those government statistics don’t capture the holiday discounting by grocers this month, retail prices probably will be up 20 percent from Thanksgiving last year, said FarmEcon’s Elam.

The birds are traditionally the main course for meals on Thanksgiving, an annual holiday that Americans will celebrate on Nov. 25 this year. Stores usually cut prices to spur sales on accompanying items for the holiday dinner including cranberry sauce, green beans or stuffing mix, Elam said. Retail prices, even with specials, will be higher this year, he said.

Last year, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer, cut prices on turkeys, selling whole 12-pound (5.4 kilogram) turkeys for 40 cents a pound. That level of pricing probably won’t be around this year, Elam said.

Bentonville, Arkansas-based Wal-Mart won’t disclose its turkey pricing until Nov. 17, Melissa Hill, a company spokeswoman, said in an e-mail.

Some retailers probably are going to lose money because customers still expect discounts, Whitman said.

“Retailers stand the very real possibility of losing more money than last year due to high wholesale prices,” Whitman said. “The consumer has really come to expect low-price turkeys even during the most popular time of year for it.”

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Pre-Halloween sales at Black Friday prices

Pre-Halloween sales at Black Friday prices

Thanksgiving is weeks away, but some retailers are dropping prices to entice shoppers.

We’re five weeks away from Black Friday and already major retailers are dropping prices to entice early shoppers into the stores and onto their websites. Amazon has been discounting prices for months and, as a result, its third-quarter sales surged 39 percent. We combed the websites and sale circulars of some major appliance and equipment retailers and found prices cut on some top performers. Some stores are throwing in free delivery and haulaway deals to sweeten the deal.

If you’re a subscriber to ConsumerReports.org, remember that you can access our Ratings and other shopping advice free through your mobile phone. Consumer Reports also just introduced its Mobile Shopper. With this application, available on iTunes for $9.99, shoppers can scan a barcode and access product and pricing information as well as Ratings for CR’s most popular products.

Related Link: Poster shopping at Art Canyon

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