All indicators are pointing to record Black Friday 2016 sales and deals. Consumers will see the best deals on consumer electronics and retailers will break sales records during this year's Black Friday.
Black Friday is an annual phenomenon all across the United States. Consumers and retailers have come to an understanding that each time Black Friday rolls around deals will be bigger and better. Amazon accelerated the sales growth of Black Friday with the introduction of the mini Black Friday in July. Amazon broken its single-day sales record on Prime Day 2016 in July.
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All signs point to record Black Friday sales, especially in consumer electronics. There are new generations of video game consoles with the Microsoft Xbox One S and Sony's PS4 Pro and PS4 Slim. A new generation not only means new demand, but new opportunities for consumers to score big discounts on the new, but outdated consoles. Another big sales driver is HDR (High Dynamic Range). The TV makers finally found another must have feature for TVs.
Sony is helping along the HDR adoption with making all Sony PS4 consoles support HDR. Another trend for Black Friday is virtual reality. Sony will launch the Sony PS VR on October 13th. Facebook's Oculus and HTC will push their Windows 10 PC based virtual reality solutions as hard as they can to fend off Sony's entry into the home VR market.
As true for the past years, Apple's new products will be in the focus of Black Friday. Apple has so far introduced new Apple Watches and new iPhones. More new products are sure to come. Another big player in consumer electronics that needs to mentioned is Amazon. Once an online book seller, Amazon is now a consumer electronics power house. The Amazon tablets, ebook reader, media streamer and smart home devices are category leading devices. On Black Friday, Amazon is offering the best deals on their own products. If you want to own an Amazon Echo or get a new Kindle, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the best opportunities to save in a big way.
Black Friday 2016 is When?
The actual Black Friday 2016 is on the day after Thanksgiving. This year Black Friday is on November 25. Black Friday has expanded and shifted over the years. In the beginning, the Black Friday sales have been limited to Friday after Thanksgiving. Now the we can call Black Friday a season that begins in early November right after Halloween. It stretches over weeks culminating in the Thanksgiving week and ending when Cyber Monday sales begin.
Shopping Black Friday early has shown to bring results. Retailers have offered attractive deals in the past in Pre-Black Friday sales that have not been as good in final Black Friday sales events.
In the past two years, Thanksgiving Day has become the online Black Friday. The best Black Friday deals advertised in Black Friday ads are now released as early as the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. The actual Black Friday is now mostly an in-store affair. There are exceptions including the Apple Store. We expect the same picture this year.
Black Friday 2016 Ads
Besides Amazon, most retailers are releasing Black Friday ads. These highly anticipated adverts are still the bible for Black Friday shoppers. The tradition of printed Black Friday ads distributed in newspapers has lost appeal as digital Black Friday ads are now common. Best Buy for instance is leveraging the power of digital in their Black Friday ad. The consumer electronics retail chain is updating its Black Friday ad several times in the lead up to Black Friday. Printed ads do not have that flexibility. Many digital Black Friday ads are also directly linked to product pages, making deal research much easier as well as shopping.
The release of popular Black Friday ads such as the Walmart Black Friday 2016 Ad, Best Buy Black Friday 2016 Ad and Target Black Friday 2016 Ad are celebrated milestones of each Black Friday season. The leaking of Black Friday ads has become a side show. Most retailers have now a tight control and use the release of their Black Friday ads as a social media driver.
The first Black Friday 2016 ad leaked on October 12. The Harbor Freight Black Friday 2016 ad is the first of the year 2016. Last year, the first Black Friday ad was released aka leaked on October 2. It was the Half Price Books Black Friday ad. The Half Price Books 2016 Ad got released on October 22. The HPB Ad is the second Black Friday ad that gets released in 2016.
Mark your calendar for the JCPenney Black Friday 2016 ad. It will be released on November 4.
The Walmart Black Friday ad was released on November 19 last year, 8 days ahead of the actual Black Friday. The Amazon Black Friday ad comes in the form of a press-release that contains a list of the retailers' best Black Friday 2016 deals. Last year, Amazon announced the deals on November 18.
Black Friday 2016 Sales
The first Black Friday 2016 sales are expected to begin on Friday, November 4. The Black Friday 2016 sales season is very short this year. There are only 21 days between the first Friday in November and Black Friday, November 25. The major Black Friday sales will be hosted by Walmart, Amazon, Best Buy, Target, Sears, Kmart and Sam's Club.
We see the Amazon Black Friday 2016 sale as the best Black Friday 2016 sale. Amazon introduced a frictionless deal shopping experience on Prime Day 2016. We expect similar predictability and deep stock of advertised deals from Amazon in the Black Friday sales.
The Black Friday sales events at Walmart, Target and Best Buy will be big too. Walmart stands out with their 1-hour guarantee doorbuster Black Friday deals. Deals under the 1-hour guarantee are only available in stores, but are easy to get. You just need to line-up at the deal sales point within the first hour of sale. If its out of stock, you are getting a receipt that guarantees that you get the product at the Black Friday price.
The Sam's Club Black Friday 2016 sale is one to watch. The membership warehouse had incredible deals on TVs during Black Friday a year ago. Sam's Club was hosting Black Friday events ahead of the Black Friday that had already Black Friday quality deals. It started with the Sam's Club Celebration Sale on November 14. This sale already offered the coveted $299 Sony PS4 bundle with free game that was a staple deal on the actual Black Friday by other retailers. The first Sam's Club Black Friday TV deal was the $998 65-inch Vizio D65U-D2 4K UHD Smart TV and $498 50-inch Vizio D50U-D1 4K UHD Smart TV. To benefit from Sam's Club's deals you need to be a club member. We have compiled the best deals on the Sam's Club Warehouse memberships.
The Amazon Black Friday 2016 sale will be again a whole week if the retailer sticks to the concept of past years. The Amazon Black Friday Deals Week 2016 will start on Friday November 18. There will be several special deals of the day along with time limited Lightning deals. Amazon Prime members get rock star treatment and get early access to these deals. On Prime Day, a Prime membership is required. On Black Friday you could still pass by without one, but Amazon is likely making Black Friday more like Prime Day and the best deals will only be available to Prime members.
To push the Amazon Shopping app, the retailer will offer special app-only Black Friday deals. We expect Amazon to have deeper inventories of announced Black Friday deals to make the experience of deal hunting more convenient, which in return drives up sales. The Amazon Black Friday 2016 sale will be dominated by deals on Amazon Devices, TVs, Xbox One, Sony PS4, movies, books and video games.
Black Friday 2016 Deals
The most popular Black Friday 2016 deals are on TVs, video game hardware, Apple products, laptops, smartphones and wearables. As mentioned above TV and Video game deals will take center stage. At this point we only can make predictions about Black Friday 2016 deals. The best Black Friday deals from last year included:
We expect many Black Friday deals on 4K TVs with HDR. There still will be bargain low end TV deals, but the biggest savings will be on 4K TVs this year.
There will be Xbox One and Sony PS4 console deals with the deepest discounts ever. You will be able to score a bargain original XBox One or PS4 at never before seen low prices as retailers try to get rid of all inventory. Because Sony and Microsoft continue to fight for market share, the new generations of consoles will be on sale too.
The Apple Watch will be subject of deep discounts and gift card bundles. Retailers might still have lots of stock of the original Apple Watch. To get an Apple Watch will be more affordable than ever.
And yes. There will be Pokemon Black Friday deals. The Pokemon merchandise is just rolling in. PokeBalls, Pokemon T-Shirts, Pokemon Video games, Pokemon accessories and Pokemon toys are going to flood this Holiday season.
Black Friday 2016 Store Hours
While Black Friday 2016 sales will kick off online way ahead of the actual Black Friday, more retailers might decide this year to keep their stores closed on Thanksgiving Day. Last year GameStop, Staples and REI made headlines by keeping stores closed on Thanksgiving Day, reverting to the classic Black Friday model. Years ago, stores opening early Friday morning for Black Friday.
GameStop, Staples and Costco are reportedly keeping their stores closed again on Thanksgiving Day. It is not clear what REI is doing this year. Last year they made a splash by skipping Black Friday and motivate people to enjoy the outdoors instead.
Staples announced on September 30th to keep its retail stores closed again on Thanksgiving Day. The Staples Black Friday 2016 sale will be available online on Thanksgiving Day. The in-store Staples Black Friday 2016 sale will begin at 6am on Black Friday 2016, November 25.
America's largest mall, Mall of America announced on October 6 to keep closed on Thanksgiving Day. The Black Friday 2016 sale at Mall of America begins at 5am on Black Friday morning.
Many of the big retail chains have though opened stores on Thanksgiving Day including Walmart, Best Buy, Target and ToysRUs. The most common opening time was 6pm. The first stores opened already at 6am on Thanksgiving Day according our Black Friday Store Opening Hours chart.
Black Friday by the Numbers
According to Adobe's online shopping analytics the overall online sales on Thanksgiving Day reached $1.73 billion. On Black Friday 2015, consumers spent $822 million between midnight and 11 am ET. Overall Black Friday 2015 closed with reach $2.72 billion in total online sales, which is a 14% increase year-over-year. Thanksgiving Day online sales grew more year-over-year, with 25%.
The combined online sales volume of Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday comes out to $4.45 billion.
Black Friday 2015 sales at retail locations dropped to $10.6 billion compared to 2014 according to the numbers of ShopperTrak. Black Friday online sales are growing, while Black Friday sales in stores drop. The in-store Black Friday is still more than double that of online in sales volume.
Black Friday 2016 Planning
To make the best out of Black Friday 2016 you need to do some planning and research. I4U News will keep you updated with the latest Black Friday 2016 news and availability of Black Friday ads, Black Friday schedules, Black Friday store maps and any other useful information about the biggest sales event of the year. You find everything about Black Friday in the I4U News Black Friday 2016 Hub.
Black Friday 2016 Tips and Tricks
1) Shop Black Friday Early
Shopping for Black Friday deals ahead of the Thanksgiving Weekend does make a lot of sense. As mentioned above, retailers like Sam's Club are offering true Black Friday deals in sales events ahead of Black Friday. Less consumers compete in these events for deals. The chances are higher to get your hands on coveted Black Friday deal.
2) Do your Research
Some retailers are cutting corners to offer a great deal. You have to pay close attention to the specifications especially on TVs and computers. Some retailers like Walmart and Best Buy offer exclusive models that are hard to compare with products from other brands. Often these exclusive models have lower specs than similar models offered by other retailers.
Also make sure you get a 2016 model and not a product that is from last year, unless the discount is substantial. The Apple Watch is great example for this on Black Friday 2016. If the discount is not huge, there is no reason to get it. The Apple Watch Series 1 has a faster CPU and will also be on sale.
3) Make a Time plan
To make the best of Black Friday, especially on Thanksgiving Day and the actual Black Friday, some time planing is necessary. You need to research the opening hours of the Black Friday 2016 sales events online and in stores to make schedule when to shop which store. The best deals and doorbuster deals are only available right when the doors open or the Black Friday sales event begins.
4) Shop with your Smartphone
Your smartphone is your best tool for Black Friday shopping not only in stores, but also online. In stores you can research and compare prices before you buy and navigate to deals in large stores like Walmart. Amazon for instance offers special deals inside its shopping app. You do not want to miss these.
Digital Black Friday ads are also available as mobile versions. You can browse your favorite Black Friday 2016 ads right on your smartphone.
We will have more tips and tricks coming as we get closer to Black Friday 2016.
5) Shop Online first and the Stores
Black Friday begins online and ends in stores. The online Black Friday deal hunting is growing in importants, but retailers still want to make sure to lure you in their stores with sepcial in-store doorbuster deals that are not avaiable online. Walmart is offering special 1-hour guarantee deals that are only available in stores the first hour of Black Friday. The advantage of the 1-hour guarantee deals is that you are guaranteed to get one, as long as you show up within the first hour.
As retailers kick off Black Friday online first, you have time to try to get the deals you want online. If you fail to score, you can still go out on Thanksgiving Day or Black Friday to try to get the in-store deals.
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If you have any question about Black Friday 2016, please feel free to post it in the comments below. We'll try our best to answer them.