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'Tis the season to get with it; retailers expect surge in online sales, shipping

Black Friday deals, ads roll out early to counter pandemic effects

SAN ANTONIO – From virtual shopping carts to curbside pickup, Black Friday is bound to look different this year.

Instead of door-busting mayhem before the pumpkin pie is even in the oven, record-busting online shopping and shipping is expected.

Online shopping for the season is expected to be 25% to 35% greater than last year, according to Deloitte. So, 'tis the season to get with it.

“Getting a head start is so important this year because some deals have already begun,” said Samantha Gordon of Consumer Reports.

Walmart is already having Black Friday “Deals for Days” events through November. Target is also offering month-long deals and extending its price-match guarantee through Dec. 24. Best Buy and Amazon, among others, are in on the early action, too. Most retailers are also offering curbside pickup as shoppers try to avoid crowds and germs.

Retailers including Lowe’s, Microsoft, Academy, Kohl’s, Penney’s, Bed Bath and Beyond have leaked or dropped their Black Friday ads. Macy’s came out Tuesday with 56 pages of offers, including an Instant Pot for less than half price.

Shoppers should have plenty of sales to shop, especially on electronics, clothing and housewares.

To find the current and future Black Friday ads, check out websites such as bestblackfriday.com, theblackfriday.com, and dealnews.com.

Another big reason to shop early is what’s being dubbed “shipageddon.”

“With holiday shopping on top of the widespread shift to online shopping during the pandemic, shipping companies are going to be totally overwhelmed,” Gordon said.

UPS and FedEx are among the shippers that ramped up seasonal hiring.

Bottom line, when it comes to holiday shopping this year, if you’re not early, you may just be late.


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