Black “Friday” now lasts an entire week

Retailers have a very loose definition of the word “Friday.”
Retailers have a very loose definition of the word “Friday.”
Image: REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
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It’s 2019 and every day is Black Friday.

At least, it seems that way, judging by the discounts offered by retailers far ahead of the annual Black Friday shopping event, traditionally hosted in the US the day after Thanksgiving. (Its popularity has started to expand overseas as well.) This year, the calendar says Black Friday should take place on November 29. However, many big-box stores have already begun their deals and we haven’t even reached the week of Thanksgiving yet.

These are the worst offenders:

Starting a week early (Nov. 22)

Amazon: For founder Jeff Bezos and company, Black Friday lasts a whole week—sort of like a birthday week. As with Amazon Prime Day, the company has decided it isn’t bound by anything as trivial as calendars or time itself. (This year, Prime Day lasted a full 48 hours.)

In addition to the early kickoff for Black Friday, Amazon plans to share more deals on Nov. 28 (Thanksgiving), Nov. 29 (the real Black Friday), and Dec. 2 (Cyber Monday), meaning Black Friday is threatening to become Black Fortnight. Let’s see how long it takes for other companies to follow suit.

Starting Monday (Nov. 25)

Kohl’s: Deals begin Monday at the department store and Amazon returns partner. Shares in Kohl’s dropped almost 20% Nov. 19, as the company cut its full-year earnings guidance, triggering a knock-on effect across the retail sector. Despite the lower projection, CEO Michelle Gass expressed optimism for the upcoming holiday season during Kohl’s earnings call. “We will have Amazon Returns in stores nationwide this holiday for the first time, which will drive additional traffic into our stores,” she said, adding that the partnership has helped Kohl’s attract younger shoppers.

Starting Wednesday (Nov. 27)

Macy‘s: Online and in-store sales run from Wednesday through Saturday (Nov. 30).

Nordstrom: The department store drops online prices on Wednesday. However, it’s closed on Thanksgiving itself.

Target: Online deals begin Wednesday for RedCard loyalty cardholders (all day) and members of its new Circle program (starting at 6:00 pm US Central time). However, in-store sales start on Thursday at 5:00 pm. Stores close at 1:00 am on Friday and re-open at 7:00 am on Friday.

Walmart: Online sales begin at 10:00 pm US Eastern time on Wednesday. In-store sales begin at 6:00 pm local time.

Note: Walmart’s Black Friday deals “officially” start on Friday. But on its website, Walmart says Black Friday deals begin Nov. 27

Starting Thursday (Nov. 28)

*Bed Bath & Beyond: The home-goods store has already begun some online discounts. And for the first time in its history, in-store sales begin on Thanksgiving day, going from 5:00 pm until midnight. They continue on Black Friday, starting at 6:00 am.

*Best Buy: Online deals are available all day, as of Thursday. Most stores open at 5:00 pm that day, close at 1:00 am Friday, and re-open at 8:00 am Friday.

Note: Stores in Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island are closed Thursday. They open—and remain open—on Friday at 12:01 a.m. (in Maine) and 1 a.m. (in Massachusetts and Rhode Island).

Actually starting Friday (Nov. 29)

*Costco: Technically, many of Costco’s online deals drop on Thanksgiving Day. But seeing as the wholesale store is closed on Thanksgiving, in-person discounts only start at 9:00 am on Black Friday.

*Home Depot: Online deals begin at 6:00 am US Eastern time. Stores open early on Friday (with varying hours) and are closed on Thanksgiving.

*Lowe’s: Online deals are available all day. Stores open at 6:00 am on Friday.

*Some online deals, including Best Buy’s “Doorbusters,” have already begun.