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Black Friday 2020 was like no other in recent memory, coming in the midst of a continuing economic crisis and lockdown with many retailers struggling just to stay open and make their customers feel safe. Nonetheless, the National Retail Federation (NRF) reported that nearly all planned to be open on "the biggest shopping day of the year."

The big change for 2020 seems to be that brick-and mortar-stores belonging to 6 in 10 retailers—including chains highlighted in this article—would not be open on Thanksgiving Day though their online entities will.

Key Takeaways

  • Black Friday falls on the day after Thanksgiving.
  • The crowds and long lines at many major retailers are expected to be replaced by more online shopping during Black Friday.
  • Deep discounts are expected to continue even with most stores closed on Thanksgiving Day.
  • Same-day delivery and curbside pickup are expected to be a big attraction to shoppers.
  • The economic crisis and lockdown had a big impact on shoppers' habits.

A New Black Friday Tradition

The migration from brick-and-mortar to online shopping was well underway before the economic crisis and lockdown came along. Still, 2020 has seen an acceleration of online retail with 62% of retailers saying they expect significantly more of this year's holiday sales to come from online-only transactions.

Retailers' anticipation of increased online sales coincides with the expectations of consumers, 70% of whom told NRF they were somewhat unlikely or not likely at all to shop in stores on Thanksgiving or Black Friday.

Four Places to Shop and Save on Black Friday

Whether your Black Friday shopping plans include an online or in-store experience, or both, you still have to decide where to spend your money.

Here are four national chains that offer both types of shopping experience and are known for having some of the best deals on Black Friday.

Even with multiple ways to shop, Black Friday sale items are always limited and often hard to find. Be prepared to spend time looking for deeply discounted items, even online.

1. Macy's

With an average Black Friday discount of 56%, Macy's should be near the top of your list. Macy's best discounts by product category are apparel, small appliances, and jewelry, according to a survey by WalletHub.

Macy's is practically synonymous with Thanksgiving, thanks to its Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, along with its legendary doorbusters. This year the parade will be replaced by a live television spectacle, but the doorbusters in the store and online continue.

Macy's physical stores will be closed on Thanksgiving Day and open on Black Friday. Online shopping never shuts down and Black Friday sale prices will be honored online and in store from Nov. 24 to Nov. 28. Shopping options include online with home delivery (same day for select products) or curbside pickup (location dependent) and in store.

The 2020 Black Friday deals include 50% off selected designer bags, 65% off Effy fine jewelry, and 65% Off Brookstone headphones & speakers.

2. Kohl's

This specialty department store chain offers significant deals during Thanksgiving weekend averaging nearly 52% this year. As with Macy's, apparel, appliances, and jewelry offer the best discounts.

Like many chains, Kohl's will be closed on Thanksgiving Day but open on Black Friday at 5 am. The Black Friday week sale begins on Nov. 22 with deep discounts and multiple shopping options including online with home delivery including same day in select markets, online with in store or curbside pickup, and, of course, in store just like in pre-lockdown days.

The store's popular "Black Friday Kohl's Cash" feature, which issues a future purchase coupon for $15 for every $50 spent (normally $10 for every $50), adds to the savings you receive from Nov. 22 to Nov. 27. Deals include Beats Solo Pro wireless headphones for $229, reg. $299; Voyager Hover Strobe self-balancing scooter, $99.99, reg. $199.99; and up to 55% off Champion clothing.

3. Target

Many shoppers believe you can’t go wrong with Target. WalletHub reports that Target will offer an average Black Friday discount of 28.1% in 2020, with the best discounts in apparel, toys, and appliances.

Stores are closed on Thanksgiving, though online shopping is available, and stores open Black Friday at 7 am with Black Friday prices available Nov. 22 through 28, except when noted as Black Friday Now deals. Target lets you shop online for home delivery (same day for select items), for in-store pickup, or in store during regular store hours. 

This year Target provides extra shopper protection by offering to "match the price" if the Target price goes lower before Dec. 24. This applies to everything in the company's 61-page Black Friday ad including a 65" Samsung 4K Smart TV for $479.99, reg. $529.99 at Target, 50% off select Swissgear luggage and backpacks, and a 50% off $149 price for a Shark ION Robotic vacuum.

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF) a majority of retailers are cautiously optimistic that holiday spending in 2020 will outpace spending in 2019.

4. Walmart

Already known for deeply discounted prices, Walmart digs even deeper on Black Friday, offering an average 29.2% discount with even greater reductions on computers, small appliances, books, movies, music, and video games.

Following the example of most stores, Walmart physical locations are closed on Thanksgiving Day with online shopping available. Special online Black Friday deals begin at 12 am Friday and stores open at 5 am. The store offers online and in store shopping, curbside pickup at most locations, and home delivery including same day for select items. 

Black Friday 2020 deals include Apple AirPods Pro, reg. $219 for $169, PlayStation 5 Console for $499, and the Oculus Quest 2 Virtual Reality Headset for $299.

The Bottom Line

In the days directly before and after the Thanksgiving holiday, hundreds of retailers advertise rock-bottom prices and out-of-this-world deals. If recent history is any indicator, however, you’ll probably get the biggest bang for your Black Friday buck at these four retailers.