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Posts Tagged ‘Black Friday’

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Black Friday Debrief

Friday, November 25th, 2011

I’ve been up all night and I have a DVD and two pairs of pajamas to show for it. I spent most of Black Friday eve and overnight broadcasting from MyTalk107.1 and the calls from shoppers never stopped–even at 3 a.m. Here’s what we know:

1. Yes, people will shop on Thanksgiving. Mall of America reports 15,000 shoppers showed up for its midnight opening. By 10 a.m., 81,000-that’s right–had walked through the doors, almost halfway to last year’s total of 200,000 Black Friday shoppers, a record MOA expects to break today. Target had 1,500 in line when the Bloomington, Minn. store opened at midnight. In California, a Target line topped 6,000. Retail analysts are already predicted midnight may be the new normal for Black Friday openings.

2. TVs are big. In size, and Black Friday popularity. The prices we’re seeing today are rock bottom, and experts don’t expect them to go much lower, even as the Super Bowl approaches. So if you can still find a deal on a LCD screen, take it.

3. Wal-Mart needs to regroup. Truly, the only negative shopping reports we heard from the front lines were from Wal-Mart. Shoppers did not have to wait outside, since the store was open all Thanksgiving, but that may have actually led to more problems. The “doorbuster” items, which went on sale at 10 p.m. and another round at midnight, were on shrink-wrapped palates in the aisles. So customers gathered around them, leading to pile ups, traffic jams and walking hazards in the crowd. We talked to many shoppers who left empty handed.

4. Speak up. Yes, it’s a crazy day, but that hasn’t stopped some super shoppers from asking for price matches, and often, they get them. My favorite pay off story came from a caller who was annoyed by a “Buy One Get One” offer. He expected if he bought one, he’d get one. Right? Turns out, it was buy one, get one 50 percent off. When he complained at Menards, they gave him the second item for free.

5. Black Friday this year is truly about hitting the stores. Retailers are saving their best online deals for Cyber Monday.

6. Shopping is the American way. Shopping for themselves, shopping with friends, shopping just to be part of event. We entered an alternative universe where people gladly spent the night out, in crowds, spending money, waiting in lines and not even complaining about it.

More Boutique Sales-Black Friday and Beyond

Thursday, November 24th, 2011

The sale announcements keep pouring in. We couldn’t fit them all on our Boutique Black Friday sale list, so here are even more deals from specialty retailers:

Sun & Ski Clothing Outfitters is hosting a Black Friday trunk show featuring Heidi Comfort Bags. (See one of the fab furry bags in the Mpls.St.Paul Magazine December gift guide!). 701 E. Lake St., Wayzata, 952-873-7282
Maha! is offering 50 percent off all activewear on Black Friday. 631 E. Lake St., Wayzata, 952-873-7001

Cooks of Crocus Hill will be 20 percent off storewide on Black Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. 877 Grand Ave., St. Paul and 3925 W. 50th St., Edina, 952-285-1903
martinpatrick3 is keeping us warm with 20 percent off cold weather accessories on Friday, open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. 212 Third Ave. N., Mpls., 612-746-5329
Melly is offering 25 percent off all sweaters–including cashmere–Friday and Saturday. Galleria, 952-929-9252

Grethen House is offering 30 percent off on Black Friday. Ann Lambrecht jewelry is 30 percent off all weekend long. 4930 France Ave. S., Edina, 952-926-8725

gh2 is offering 25 percent off on Black Friday and Saturday. 318 E. Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-378-0509

Pumpz & Co. is having a stock up sale: buy one pair at 30 percent off and get 50 percent off the second pair. Select styles only. Friday-Sunday. Galleria, 952-926-2252
Brightwater Clothing & Gear is offering 25 percent off Patagonia ultra-light down shirts and jackets. Friday-Sunday. 256 Water Street, Excelsior, 952-474-0256

Corset is taking Black Friday off. The store will re-open for Small Business Saturday with 20 percent off all accessories and complimentary gift wrapping. 715 Mainstreet, Hopkins, 952-224-2495

Allee Metro Chic will give you a $25 gift card when you spend $100. Saturday only. Limit five per customer. 493 Selby Ave., St. Paul, 651-414-0274
C’est Chic Boutique is offering 20 percent off all capes and coats. Plus drawings and refreshments while you shop on Small Business Saturday. 200 Third Ave. N., Mpls., 612-339-1600

Black Friday Store Openings

Monday, November 21st, 2011
Midnight is the new 4 a.m. this year, but there’s plenty of shopping happening before midnight on Black Friday…and after. Here are some key openings to know as you plan your route. And yes, you should have a plan.
9 p.m.
  • Toys ‘R Us opens
  • First wave of openings at Albertville Premium Outlets
  • Best Buy starts screening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 in parking lots of select stores, including Eden Prairie, Maple Grove and Richfield stores
10 pm.
  • Wal-Mart starts its Black Friday deals
  • It’s the new 4 a.m.! Store openings including Target, Best Buy, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Herberger’s and more than 100 retailers at Mall of America. Click here to see the MOA deals.
4 a.m.
  • Southdale Center and Maplewood Mall open* (select stores opening earlier)
  • Sears opens
5 a.m.
  • Rosedale Center, Eden Prairie Center, Burnsville Center open*
6 a.m.
  • Ridgedale Center opens*
7 a.m.
  • Marshalls, T.J. Maxx, Saks Off 5th, Woodbury Lakes open*
*select stores opening earlier

Black Friday Midnight Madness

Friday, October 28th, 2011

In the constant quest to get shoppers excited and make the evening news, both Target and Mall of America announced today their plans to open at midnight on Black Friday. It actually seems more civilized than 3 or 4 a.m. I’d rather stay up late than crawl out of bed in the middle of the night to shop.

Black Friday hours have been creeping earlier for years. Last year, several chains, including Sears and Gap, were open on Thanksgiving Day. Premium Outlets, including Albertville, has opened at midnight the past few years–creating traffic jams in the process.

Target says the decision to open four hours earlier than last year was based on customer demand. Mall of America has 70 of its 500-plus retailers signed on for the midnight opening. It will be interesting to see what the deals are like: longer hours could actually help retailers create more of a party atmosphere–putting the emphasis on the event of shopping, rather than the blockbuster deals that have become synonymous with Black Friday. But it would have to be a really excellent party. Discounts are the reward for staying up late or rising extra early, and it won’t be easy to change that.

P.S.: Macy’s announced on Monday that its stores will open at midnight on Black Friday as well.

Will you shop at midnight?

Where to buy Denkosekka

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

I hear shoppers are having trouble getting their hands on Denkosekka, one of the hot new toys mentioned in the St. Paul Pioneer Press article I wrote last week. assures me Toys ‘R Us stores will have the magnetic yo-yo “battle” game in stock in early December, but it’s so new that many locations have yet to receive their shipment. Hang tight, or order online now at

And while we’re on the subject of toys, the toy coupons that Target sent out several weeks ago expire Nov. 24, so don’t wait until Black Friday! Target launches a four-day sale on Sunday (Nov. 21) featuring many toys, games and videos that will not be on sale Black Friday.

But not that Denkosekka.

Pumping up Black Friday

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Retailers aren’t the only ones hoping to cash in on Black Friday this holiday shopping season. A friend just forwarded me an email from the Plymouth, Minn. Pump It Up (The inflatable party zone!) offering a Black Friday Drop n’Shop Event. For $25, the kids can bounce around for four hours in giant inflatables while you bounce from sale to sale. Factor that into those early bird specials.

Black Friday in July

Monday, July 19th, 2010

And you thought starting the Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving Day was early. Target is staging its first Back in Black Friday Salethis Friday, July 23. Leave it to Target to beat the crowd. The sale is online only and will include electronics, toys, home goods and more, mostly at 30 to 60 percent off. Looks like there will be camcorders and at least one big screen TV, but the preview list also includes a three-pack of Zhu-Zhu pets for $18.99 and 83 percent off the “Ally McBeal” series on DVD, which is cause to wonder if this sale is just an attempt to generate buzz for garden variety summer clearance.

The deals keep coming

Friday, November 27th, 2009

Everyone who sells anything seems to be caught up in Black Friday fever this year. Stores that hadn't planned a sale are making one up as we speak. That's the beauty of smaller retailers – they can discount on a dime! Some of the latest: Urban Junket is offering 20 percent off on its popular new eco-friendly, multi-functional, bright colored T.O.T.E. bags. Enter THANKS at checkout through Nov. 30. Arafina is offering 30 percent off clearance – just until NOON, 20 percent after that. Doozie's doing doorbusters – 20 percent off, just until noon. Mystery discount at Creative Kidstuff: 10 to 30 percent off your purchase. Uber Baby's got 40% off. Ooh – here's a good one: 30 percent off site-wide at trendy plus size retailer today only. Check Sales/Specials for tons more Black Friday sales more civilized and stylish than big box mayhem.

Black Friday: Revealed

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

Standing on the Best Buy sales floor today, before a roped off, ceiling-high stack of 32 inch TVs that the retailer will discount on Black Friday, I was struck by how much this orchestrated event has changed. Just a couple of years ago, the big Black Friday story was rogue websites that were covertly obtaining and posting retailers' Black Friday ads, which were supposed to be secret until Thanksgiving. A flurry of lawsuits didn't stop the ads from leaking…and then came Twitter. Now, retailers are tripping over each other to announce their Black Friday deals. When you can't beat the consumer, charm 'em.

The good news for shoppers is you no longer have to worry about chasing rumors. When you decide to go shopping at 4 a.m., you'll know what's going to be in store. Go directly to the websites of your favorite stores and you'll find all of their sales plans listed. Follow them on Twitter or Fan them on Facebook for more details. You might also discover that the Black Friday deals will be available online on Thursday so you can save, and still sleep in

Retail Hell: Black Friday edition

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

How to escape a thankless job on the front lines at a department store: Expose the shopper for her every inappropriate return and rude request in a funny new book called "Retail Hell: How I Sold My Soul to the Store – Confessions of a Tortured Sales Associate." So this year, former Nordstrom handbag salesman turned author Freeman Hall will spend Black Friday at a book signing rather than in the midst of shopping chaos. It's a fun book, whether you've worked the cash register or tried to return a handbag after carrying it 10 times. It brought me back to my days in the boys 8 to 20 department at Dayton's. So rather than dwell on the inevitable long lines and staffing shortages we're sure to face at the malls later this week, I devoted my pre-Black Friday Savvy Shopper column to acts of retail kindness…and other ways to avoid getting beat up at the sales. Read before you shop.

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