North Texans may get some great deals on Black Friday, but one retail expert says if you hold out until later in the shopping season the discounts could get even deeper.
Plano-based retail expert Dwight Hill warns shoppers to be extra savvy this season for the following two reasons: Firstly, Thanksgiving falls late. There are six fewer shopping days before Christmas this year.
“This is the shortest shopping season since 2002,” Hill said.
Secondly, fewer shoppers are expected to shop during the Black Friday weekend. According to a National Retail Federation Survey, an estimated 140 million shoppers will be out -- but that total is 7 million fewer than last year.
“Those two things together will create a boon for the customer as retailers are going to be pulling out all that stops,” said Hill.
That’s why Hill, founder of The Retail Advisory, believes the best deals may appear late in the season.
“This will be an unprecedented season for promotions,” Hill predicts.
Big box retailers, like Walmart, are banking on the hope that consumers will fill the stores on Black Friday.
“We have over 20 items that are one hour guarantee. Those items will be guaranteed to be in store during the event or you can purchase a one-hour guarantee card and have the items shipped to your store before Christmas,” said Mike Hart, a Walmart market manager. Among it's offerings, an iPad mini for $299, plus a $100 Walmart gift card. Other hot items are likely to be a 60-inch Vizio HDTV for $688 and LG Blu-ray player for $38.
So if you can’t resist Black Friday’s temptations, Hill advises that you do your research before your shop to scour out the best deals. Finally, hold onto your receipt and know the store’s return and adjustment policies. If the price drops as Christmas nears, ask for an adjustment to what you paid.
“If you see that deal mirrored or cut, go tell to them they're not going to lose you as a customer,” said Hill.
Hill believes that another factor adding to retailer strain is the fact this year consumers are planning to spend less. According to the National Retail Federation, the average shopper will spend $738 on gifts, décor and cards. That’s down $14 from last year. Hill said every penny counts as retailers vie for a piece of your holiday budget.