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More shoppers look online for Black Friday deals

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JCPenney leader on duty Marquesha Washington organizes Arizona booties on Thursday at Golden East Crossing mall. Women's boots and booties are a popular sale item on Black Friday.

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BY COREY DAVIS
Staff Writer

Monday, November 20, 2017

Shouldn’t there be an easier way to find the best Black Friday deals over the upcoming four-day shopping holiday weekend?

Jon Vincent, founder of EarlyBlackFriday.com, thinks so. Vincent says he has found a way to simplify the shopping experience by consolidating Black Friday ads from hundreds of the top retailers. Vincent, who has been following Black Friday deals since 2005, said we could be seeing something unprecedented this year.

Vincent predicts this will be the first year that Black Friday’s online sales surpass in store sales.

“Shoppers can now get most of these deals online, and you don’t have to go to the stores to fight with the crowds,” Vincent said.

 Many major retailers, Vincent said, advertise on the front page of their Black Friday flyers that all the deals are made available to customers who shop online beginning on Thanksgiving Day at 12:01 a.m. That means no fighting crowds and waiting in long lines for the doors of the storefronts to open. No mad dashes to the stocked items. No panic, no frenzy, no fuss.

“Retailers have really pushed people to the website and are not pushing people so much to the stores. That’s kind of the way retailers have gotten more online sales each year,” Vincent said.

Among the best doorbuster deals for shoppers, Vincent said, will be the 55-inch 4K Ultra High-Definition Smart TV from Westinghouse that will be selling for $249 at Target. He said customers looking for a slightly smaller TV can purchase a sharp 50-inch 4K Ultra High-Definition Smart TV for $179, which is $320 off the normal retail price.

Vincent said shoppers can take advantage of a slew of deals and popular buys, including smart home products such as the Google home mini at Target for $29.99, which is $20 off the normal retail price and the Amazon Echo Dot that can also be purchased at major retailers such as Target, Walmart or Best Buy on sale for $29.99, which is $20 off the actual retail price.

“I also expect Amazon to match that price, so people can probably go to Amazon.com to get the same deal,” Vincent said.

In the past, major retailers have allowed shoppers to hit stores on Thanksgiving. The JCPenney in the Golden East Crossing mall in Rocky Mount will be opening at 2 p.m. on Thanksgiving. Nona Kay Davis, general manager of the Rocky Mount JCPenney, said the store is prepared for the upcoming rush and has already added 25 seasonal employees for the holiday season.

Davis said the store will be selling big ticket appliances on Black Friday with discounts up to 40 percent off. She said other big sellers expected on Black Friday at JCPenney’s include the Air Fryer and a selection of boots, jewelry and Sephora products.

Davis said the store has expanded its line of toys with several brand names. The JCPenney will be opened for 31 straight hours and will not close until 9 p.m. Friday.

“Black Friday is such a huge event, and we will do more volume than we typically do in three to four weeks,” Davis said. “Even though, it’s a lot going on, for us it’s enjoyable because we really get to see our efforts pay off when we see all the customers come in.”

 Vincent said consumers are expected to spend around $13 billion this year on Black Friday. People wanting to find out more information about Black Friday deals can go online at www.earlyblackfriday.com.

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