Black Friday deals are available to shoppers even earlier this year, and though there will be a large inventory of discounted merchandise, this week is not the best time of the year for the steepest discounts.
The two times of the year that offer the steepest online discounts are January to February and August to September, when discounts average 46 percent, according to Tamra Feldman, vice president of marketing at personalized shopping deals site Shop It To Me.
On the other hand, the average discount offered during Thanksgiving week is about 40 percent, according to the 150 online retailers in Shop It To Me's database.
However, shoppers have a larger inventory to choose from earlier on, so Feldman consumers should still purchase items they love this week. If you are hesitating to make a purchase, Feldman said, "If you're exceeding 40 percent, you can feel confident it's a great deal."
Like previous years, stores are commonly offering free online shipping with no minimum purchase total this season.
Stores like Sears and Ann Taylor have begun offering online discounts earlier in the week for Black Friday. Because consumers are more comfortable shopping online, Cyber Monday is less of a gimmicky one-time event to entice shoppers to go online.
In fact, 87 percent of consumers will use a mobile device to help make a purchasing decision this holiday season, according to a survey of 1,000 adults conducted by the Mobile Marketing Association and Sybase 365, the mobile services arm of software firm SAP. Half of those surveyed said they will make a purchase with mobile device this season.
To capitalize on these tech-friendly shoppers, many retailers including Kohl's and Walmart will offer special Cyber Week online deals throughout the week after Thanksgiving.
Below are the best Black Friday deals offering discounts of 40 percent or more in-stores or online. As always, it is best to check your local listings for store hours and deals.
Ann Taylor has already begun offering 40 percent off full-price merchandise online with the code: THANKS.
Leading up to Black Friday, Banana Republic stores offer 40 percent off select styles. On Black Friday, customers will get 40 percent their entire purchase in the U.S. and Canada.
Save up to 50 percent off online and in-store now through Sunday, Nov. 25. In stores only, get 15.00 bMoney, Bloomingdale's reward points, for almost every $100 you spend. Free shipping on any online order ends 12/20.
Tuesday and Wednesday are also Bloomingdale's loyalist preview days online only, in which shoppers save more if they buy more. For example, shoppers who spend between $200 and $399.999 get $25 off; shoppers who spend $400-$599.99 receive $50 off, and so on.
Starting Thursday, Fanatics.com, online retailer of officially licensed sports merchandise, is offering an additional 20 percent off items already on sale plus free 3-day shipping for orders over $50. For example, a Pittsburgh Steelers hoodie sweatshirt will be on sale for $39.99, normally retailing for $69.95.
Gap's "Bright Friday" event is offering up to 60 percent off select items online through Saturday and in stores through Sunday. On Friday until noon, men's and women's sweaters are $19, GapBody pajama sets are $19, and kids and baby graphic tees are $5. On Saturday and Sunday, men's and women's tees are $10, GapBody pajama pants are $15 and kids and baby sweaters will be discounted 60 percent.
JCPenney is offering its "only sale of the year" on Black Friday. Over 1,100 JCpenney stores will open at 6 A.M. on Black Friday. Black Friday deals will start on Thanksgiving day online. Its Cyber Monday sale will start on Sunday with free shipping and deals unique to jcp.com.
Department store Kohl's is offering 500 Early Bird Black Friday specials online from Wednesday to Friday. Its in-store sales begin midnight on Friday. All Kohl's shoppers will earn $15 Kohl's Cash for every $50 spent online and in stores, with no maximum.
Kohl's Cyber Monday and Cyber Week deals include 20 percent off and free shipping.
Kmart stores open at 6 A.M. on Thanksgiving. Many stores will open at 5 A.M. on Black Friday. Triple door buster online sales will begin at 5 A.M. on Thanksgiving morning, 7 P.M. on Thanksgiving night and 4 A.M. on Friday morning.
Macy's is opening its doors at midnight on Thursday night, offering deals like 1/2 ct. t.w. diamond studs in 14k White Gold for $199, 40 percent off all regular priced coffee makers, tea kettles and espresso makers, and a free pair of high-definition headphones with any $75 or more men's or women's fragrance purchase. Customers can also view Black Friday specials on the Macy's mobile app.
Luxury retailer Neiman Marcus is offering free shipping with the code: NMFALL. Shoppers will save up to 40-60 percent off regular prices online and in-stores.
The first customers to make a $40 purchase on Black Friday may get a New Super Mario Bros. U Game ($59.99 retail value) for the new Wii U home console. From midnight to 4 A.M. on Black Friday, half-zip fleece for the family will sell for $5, Old Navy Famous Jeans for adults will sell for $15, and select styles of Adoraboots for women, girls and toddler girls will sell for $12. Sherpa hoodies and coats will go on sale for $15 to $19 from 8 A.M. to noon. On Saturday, graphic tees for the family will sell for $5.
Sears' website is listing door busters each day of the weekend. Sears has already hosted Turkey Tuesday, offering 5 to 15 percent off plus free shipping on orders of $49 or more. Starting Wednesday, the company will have over 1,000 Black Friday door busters.
Sports Authority will have 100 door busters until 3 P.M. and for the first time, most locations will open at midnight on Black Friday. The store is offering 50 percent off all balls, a Razor E100, E125 or E150 electric scooters for $99 for a savings of $50, and a Chelsea Foosball table for $159.99 for a savings of $240, plus other deals.
Target will open its doors for Black Friday sales on Thursday at 9 P.M. The company also offers holiday price matching from competitors.
Toys "R" Us will open its doors at 8 P.M. on Thursday night, offering door buster deals while supplies last and a free bag of toys, including Lego and Crayola products, for the first 200 families.
Walmart's Black Friday two-day sale starts online on Thanksgiving Day and through Black Friday. The company will open its doors at 8 P.M. at most stores. Its Cyber Week starts online on Saturday, Nov. 24 through Sunday, Dec. 2, with free shipping on over 100,000 items.