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Which retailers will have the best Black Friday deals?

Are you already planning your route for Black Friday shopping? Hit up these stores for the biggest discounts.
Which retailers will have the best Black Friday deals?
Posted at 8:15 AM, Nov 16, 2023

If you're looking for the best deals on Black Friday, JCPenney is expected to have the best discounts among 13 of America's top retailers, according to a new report from WalletHub. 

The retailer is expected to offer an average discount of 59.1% this Black Friday. WalletHub says JCPenney has had the highest discounts for three of the last four Black Fridays. Macy'sBelk and Kohl's are also expected to have hefty discounts, WalletHub said. 

Overall, WalletHub found retailers will have an average discount of 33.5% on Black Friday.

But just because something may look like a good deal, it might not actually be at the best possible price, Ishani Banerji, clinical assistant professor at Clemson University, said in response to this report.

"Retailers will typically try and signal that a particular price is a good deal by showing a 'reference price' on their website. The reference price is what the retailer claims the product is usually sold for, and this is contrasted with the sale price," Banerji said. "Consumers should try and verify the reference price before jumping on deals like this. Reference prices are often artificially inflated so that the sale price seems like a good deal. In fact, websites can be used to verify the reference price because they provide the price history of the product over some time."

Based on retailer advertisements surveyed by WalletHub, these stores are expected to have the top average discounts:

1) JCPenney — 59.1%

2) Macy's — 58.2%

3) Belk — 54.8%

4) Kohl's — 48.8%

5) Target — 32.7%

6) BJ's — 30.1%

7) Best Buy — 29.8%

8) Amazon — 28.5%

9) Walmart — 26.9%

10) Dell — 25.8%

SEE MORE: When will stores open? What to expect for Black Friday

What types of items have the biggest discounts

If you're looking for jewelry, Black Friday seems to be a good time to buy. WalletHub said jewelry will have a price drop of about 54%, followed by apparel and accessories, which are expected to have a 42% price drop.

Electronics and computers are among some of the items with the smallest discounts, but these items could have price drops of over 25%, WalletHub said. 

"I think there are good deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but if you really are looking for a big-ticket item or a specific item, do some research on the price history and be alert; you might find it a bit cheaper on a normal day when these framed sales are not going on," said Lalatendu Acharya, assistant professor of health sciences at Indiana University Kokomo. "I have found my 'Hobbit' and 'Lord of the Rings' extended complete edition Blu-rays at a far better deal on a normal day rather than on a Black Friday."

SEE MORE: Most Americans are not planning to shop on Black Friday

Is Black Friday or Cyber Monday truly the best day to shop?

Unlike prior to the pandemic, when Black Friday featured short-lived doorbusters, many Black Friday discounts are now offered days ahead of time. In some cases, Black Friday deals have already started. 

Walmart said it began offering Black Friday deals online on Nov. 8 and in stores on Nov. 10. Costco started offering Black Friday deals on Nov. 13. JCPenney will start its Black Friday deals on Nov. 17. 

That could mean shopping now might actually be the better option as quantities dwindle, Mark A. Cohen, adjunct professor at Columbia Business School, said.

"The problem today is that Black Friday is being promoted right now rather than just the Friday after Thanksgiving — and then expect actual Black Friday pricing to be extended by many retailers after that day," Cohen said. "Shopping in a store on the actual day after Thanksgiving requires dealing with crowds who have responded to the hype. If the excitement of all of that is appealing — go for it. If not, take advantage of similar if not identical offerings marketed via e-commerce starting on the so-called 'Cyber Monday.'"

According to the National Retail Federation, 2022 marked the busiest Black Friday in three years. The day attracted 72.9 million in-person shoppers, which was up from 66.5 million the year before. There was also a significant increase in the number of shoppers the Saturday after Thanksgiving, as 64.4 million Americans shopped in person.Cyber Monday garnered about 77 million shoppers in 2022. 

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