Thanksgiving and Black Friday shopping specials and store hours
The six largest retail brands in America are offering a variety of Black Friday shopping specials, and while some are closed on Thanksgiving, others have opted to open their doors this year. Some speculate that Thanksgiving is slowly becoming an extension of Black Friday and that even small businesses will eventually be expected to be open throughout the holidays, but for now, it is simply a peppering of big brands across the nations opening up shop on Thanksgiving or extremely early on Black Friday.
We’ve highlighted the store hours and specials of the nation’s six largest retail brands (according to sales in 2012), and note that all sales are subject to change and while the information below is from the companies themselves and deemed credible, we cannot guarantee accuracy, so please check with your local retailer for questions about hours and specials.
1. Walmart hours, specials for Thanksgiving and Black Friday
Store Hours: Opening hours may vary due to local laws.
Wristbands: Black Friday shoppers will be given wristbands to customers so they can shop while they wait for certain sale items (like game systems), and prior to the specifically timed events, customers go to a designated line to pick up their product, and wristbands are limited to the number of products available in store. Instead of lining people up around the building in the cold, this allows them to shop and give Walmart more money as they wait.
One-Hour Guarantee: last year, Walmart introduced One-Hour Guarantees on specific items and it was hit, so it’s back this year*. One item per customer, and if they sell out in the first hour, Walmart offers a Guarantee Card and ships the product to their store before Christmas at the same price.
6 p.m. One-Hour Guarantee:
- Vizio 60″ Class Smart LED 1080p HDTV – $688 (a $310 savings)
- Apple iPad mini Wi-Fi 16GB (two colors) – $299 with a $100 Walmart gift card
- Funai 32″ LED 720p HDTV – $98 (special buy)
- Furby Boom! – $29 (a $30 savings)
- HP® Pavilion TouchSmart 14-B109WM Laptop – $278 (special buy)
- Call of Duty Ghosts (Xbox 360 and Playstation 3) – $39.96 (a $20 savings)
- LG Blu-ray Player – $38 (special buy)
- Graco Travel System (stroller and infant car seat) – $99 (special buy)
- 1 Carat T.W. Diamond and Sterling Silver Pendant and Earring Set – $98
- Assassins Creed, NBA 2K14, Batman, Grand Theft Auto V (Xbox 360 and Playstation 3) – $34 each (a $25.96 savings)
8 p.m. One-Hour Guarantee:
- Beats by Dr. Dre Solo Headphones – $114.95 (a $85 savings)
- Straight Talk Galaxy Centura prepaid phone – $29 (a $70.88 savings)
- RCA 7″ Dual Core Tablet – $49 (special buy)
Other specials include the “Couch Shop” While the Turkey Cooks promotion* – early on Thanksgiving moring, deals will be offered online while supplies last:
- Apple iPad® 2 with Bluetooth speaker and accessory kit – $349 (nearly $75 savings)
- Kids’ 3 Piece License Character Pajama and Robe Set (includes Disney, Marvel characters) – $14 (special buy)
- Samsung 40″ Class LED 1080p 60Hz HDTV – $379 (nearly $50 savings)
- Proscan 7″ Tablet with Keyboard Case – $49 (special buy)
- Wooden Activity Table with 45-Piece Train Set & Storage Bin – $49 ($20 savings)
- Xbox 360 with Camouflage Controller – $139 ($90 savings)
Starting at 6 p.m., Nov. 28
- 700-thread count sheet set from Better Homes & Gardens – $24.96 (special buy)
- Licensed sleepwear for kids (Hello Kitty, Spiderman, Disney and Monster High) – $4.50
- Kid’s hoodies and jackets for $10
- More than 100 video games priced at $10, $15 and $25 each
- 580 movies (including new releases) ranging in price from $1.96 to $9.96
- Fisher-Price® 6-Volt Barbie™ Jeep or 6-Volt Hot Wheels Jeep – $89 each (special buy)
- Rubbermaid® 30-piece Easy Find Lids™ Storage Set – $6.92 (special buy)
- National branded home appliances for $9.44
- Garth Brooks Blame It All On My Roots Limited Edition Boxed Set – $24.96 (exclusive)
- Big Hugs Elmo – $44 (a $5 savings)
- Stanley® Rolling Tool Chest with 88-pc. Mechanical tool set – $89 (special buy)
Starting at 8 p.m., Nov. 28
- VIZIO 70″ Class Smart LED 1080p HDTV – $998 (a $700 savings)
- Samsung 46″ Class Smart LED 1080p HDTV – $497 (a $151 savings)
- Element 40″ Class LED 1080p HDTV – $178 (special buy)
- Nabi 2 7″ Tablet – $99 (a $80 savings)
- Canon T3 dsLR Bundle (75-300mm lens, bag and 8GB card) – $449 (special buy)
- GoPro Hero 3: White Edition – $199 with a $30 Walmart gift card
- Monster Headphones – $79.95 (a $50 savings)
- Straight Talk Samsung Galaxy S III prepaid phone – $299 (a $100 savings)
Starting at 8 a.m., Nov. 29
- Apple iPhone 5C ($45) and 5S ($189) with a $75 Walmart gift card; requires a two-year contract from AT&T or Verizon
- Customers can save up to $127 per tire with Walmart’s weekend tire in-stock guarantee
- Keurig K70 Platinum Brewing System – $169 with a $20 Walmart gift card
- SodaStream Mega Bonus Kit – $79 with a $10 gift card (special buy)
- Bostitch 18-Volt Drill – $99 (a $50 savings)
- Shatterproof Ornament 80-pack – $30 (special buy)
2. Target hours, specials for Thanksgiving and Black Friday
Store hours: while they vary locally, the majority of stores will be open at 8pm on Thanksgiving until 11pm on Black Friday. Sales will continue through the weekend at normal hours.
Some of Target’s Black Friday doorbuster deals include*:
- iPad Mini Wi-Fi 16 GB, $299 plus a $75 Target GiftCard with purchase
- iPad Air Wi-Fi 16 GB, $479 plus a $100 Target GiftCard with purchase
- Element 50” 1080p LED TV, $229.00
- Beats by Dre Solo HD Headphones, $119.00 (Regular price: $179.99)
- Nikon L320 Camera, $99.00 (original price: $229.99)
- Nintendo 3DS XL Game System, $149.99 (Regular price: $199.99)
- Select Ride Ons including Kid Trax Viper, $99.00 (Regular price: $179.99)
- Dyson DC24, $259.00 (Regular price: $399.99)
- 6’ Pre-lit Artificial Trees (clear or multicolored), $30.00 (Regular price: $67.00)
- Select sleepwear for men, women and kids, $5.00
- Buy one, Get one 50 percent off select toys* including Monster High, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Lalaloopsy, Our Generation, and more (*the two toys must be of the same brand, the lower-priced item will be 50% off).
According to Target, sale offers are valid while supplies last, with no rain checks. New this year for guests who want to access early savings, Target.com will feature 15 online-only daily deals for two weeks beginning Sunday, November 24. On Thanksgiving Day, hundreds of Black Friday deals, including almost all in-store deals, will be available starting in the early morning hours at Target.com with free shipping included on all REDcard purchases.
3. Costco hours, specials for Thanksgiving and Black Friday
Store hours: Costco is one of the few big box brands that is closed on Thanksgiving, but they do open at 9am on Black Friday.
Costco is offering quite a few Black Friday specials*, here are a handful to check out:
- $280 off of the Nikon D3200 2 lens DSLR Camera Kit
- $200 off of the HP Envy Touchsmart 15.6″ Laptop, 16GB memory, 1TB Hard Drive
- $150 off of the Nikon P520 Long Zoom Camera
- $100 off of the Dyson DC50 multi-floor plus bagless vacuum
- $80 off of the VIZIO 5.1 Sound Bar with wireless subwoofer and satellite speakers
- $70 off of the Panasonic ZS25 20x Digital Camera
- $50 off of the Calphalon 13-piece hard anodized cookware set
- $40 off of the Sony 3D Blu-ray player with wifi
- $40 off of Cuisinart Prep 11 plus food processor
- $35 off of SANUS simpmlicity Flat-Panel TV wall mounts
- $30 off of the Keurig Platinum Brewer
Costco is also offering online sales* on Black Friday as well as on Saturday:
- $250 off of the HP 15t quad touchsmart 1080p laptop
- $250 off of the Maytag laundry suite with 3.6 cu ft waster, 7.0 cu ft dryer
- $200 off of the Dell XPS 8700 Desktop Tower
- $150 off of the Dell Inspiron 15R touchscreen laptop
- $100 off of the Toshiba Satellite S75 17.3″ laptop
- $100 off of the Saeco Xsmall Automatic Espresso machine
- $100 off Smarter Tools Portable Generator
- $80 off of the Neato XV Signature all-floor robot vacuum
4. Home Depot hours, specials for Thanksgiving and Black Friday
Store hours: Home Depot is closed on Thanksgiving, and on Black Friday, Home Depot opens at 5am and stays open until 10pm.
Home Depot is offering many Black Friday specials*, including a handful featured below:
- LG Front Load Washer and Dryer is $599 (regularly priced at $899)
- Samsung French Door Refrigerator is $1,798 (regularly priced at $3,199)
- GE or Maytag top load washers are $399 each (regularly priced at $499 each)
- Samsung Dishwasher with stainless steel tub is $398 (regularly priced at $648)
- Magic Chef Chest Freezer is $158 (regularly priced at $199)
- Artificial Christmas trees are 20% off
- Select holiday yard decorations, wreaths, and garlands are 20% off
- Free table top heater with select patio sets
- Up to 40% off of surveillance and security systems
- 25% off Dyson vacuums and fans
5. Lowe’s hours, specials for Thanksgiving and Black Friday
Store hours: like Home Depot, Lowe’s is closed on Thanksgiving but opens at 5am on Black Friday, staying open until 10pm. Their Black Friday specials are good through Monday while supplies last.
Below are a handful Lowe’s Black Friday sales*:
- Samsung 28 cu ft 4 French Door Refrigerator is $1,798 (was $3,198)
- Roper 3.4 cu ft top load washer, 6.5 cu ft dryer, $299 each (was $399 each)
- Samsung 3 series 3.6 cu ft Front-Load Washer and 7.3 cu ft Dryer are $549 each (was $899 each)
- Frigidaire Dishwasher 2406 Series 24″ 60-decibels is $279 (was $349)
- DEWALT 20-volt max lithium ion cordless combo is $199 (was $249)
- GE 7.5′ Pre-Lit Fir artificial Christmas tree is $310.40 (was $388)
- Honeywell 7-day touch screen programmable thermostat is $224 (was $249)
- Grill Master Stainless Steel and Black 4-burner is $169 (was $199)
- Werner 17′ aluminum ladder is $99 (was $159)
- Kobalt 227-piece standard (SAE) and metric is $99.97 (was $199.97)
- Swing-N-Slide Cedar Brook Wood complete ready-to-assemble $799 (was $999)
6. Best Buy’s hours, specials for Thanksgiving and Black Friday
Store hours: although they vary locally, most Best Buy locations will open at 6pm on Thanksgiving evening, remaining open until 10pm on Black Friday.
Best Buy Black Friday specials include*:
- The Apple iPad 2 16GB with wifi is $299.99 (was $399.99)
- GoPro HD Hero3 black edition action camera is $249.99 (was $329.99)
- Toshiba Laptop Essentials Bundle is $349.99 (was $441.96)
- Samsung Galaxy S 4 4G LTE phone is FREE with 2-year activation (was $249.99 with 2-year activation)
- Insignia 39″ Class LED 1080p 60Hz HD TV is $169.99 (was $329.99)
- Insignia 24″ Class LED 1080p 60Hz HD TV is $79.99 (was $169.99)
- Apple MacBook Pro with 13.3″ Retina display, 4GB memory is $1,099.99 (was $1,299.99)
- Apple iPod nano 16GB 7th Generation is $99.99 (was $149.99)
- Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 8GB is $149.99 (was $199.99)
- Amazon Kindle 2GB is $49.99 (was $69.99)
- Toshiba 16GB USB 2.0 flash drive is $5.99 (was $29.99)
*All information is deemed reliable and based on information provided by each company, but AGBeat makes no guarantee of its accuracy as it is subject to change.
Big retailers are opting for refunds instead of returns
(BUSINESS NEWS) Due to increased shipping costs, big companies like Amazon and Walmart are opting to give out a refund rather than accepting small items returned.
The holidays are over, and now some people are ready to return an item that didn’t quite work out or wasn’t on their Christmas list. Whatever the reason, some retailers are giving customers a refund and letting them keep the product, too.
When Vancouver, Washington resident, Lorie Anderson, tried returning makeup from Target and batteries from Walmart she had purchased online, the retailers told her she could keep or donate the products. “They were inexpensive, and it wouldn’t make much financial sense to return them by mail,” said Ms. Anderson, 38. “It’s a hassle to pack up the box and drop it at the post office or UPS. This was one less thing I had to worry about.”
Amazon.com Inc., Walmart Inc., and other companies are changing the way they handle returns this year, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ). The companies are using artificial intelligence (AI) to weigh the costs of processing physical returns versus just issuing a refund and having customers keep the item.
For instance, if it costs more to ship an inexpensive or larger item than it is to refund the purchase price, companies are giving customers a refund and telling them to keep the products also. Due to an increase in online shopping, it makes sense for companies to change how they manage returns.
Locus Robotics chief executive Rick Faulk told the Journal that the biggest expense when it comes to processing returns is shipping costs. “Returning to a store is significantly cheaper because the retailer can save the freight, which can run 15% to 20% of the cost,” Faulk said.
But, returning products to physical stores isn’t something a lot of people are wanting to do. According to the return processing firm Narvar, online returns increased by 70% in 2020. With people still hunkered down because of the pandemic, changing how to handle returns is a good thing for companies to consider to reduce shipping expenses.
While it might be nice to keep the makeup or batteries for free, don’t expect to return that new PS5 and get to keep it for free, too. According to WSJ, a Walmart spokesperson said the company lets someone keep a refunded item only if the company doesn’t plan on reselling it. And, besides taking the economic costs into consideration, the companies look at the customer’s purchase history as well.
Google workers have formed company’s first labor union
(BUSINESS NEWS) A number of Google employees have agreed to commit 1% of their salary to labor union dues to support employee activism and fight workplace discrimination.
On Monday morning, Google workers announced that they have formed a union with the support of the Communications Workers of America (CWA), the largest communications and media labor union in the U.S.
The new union, Alphabet Workers Union (AWU) was organized in secret for about a year and formed to support employee activism, and fight discrimination and unfairness in the workplace.
“From fighting the ‘real names’ policy, to opposing Project Maven, to protesting the egregious, multi-million dollar payouts that have been given to executives who’ve committed sexual harassment, we’ve seen first-hand that Alphabet responds when we act collectively. Our new union provides a sustainable structure to ensure that our shared values as Alphabet employees are respected even after the headlines fade,” stated Program Manager Nicki Anselmo in a press release.
AWU is the first union in the company’s history, and it is open to all employees and contractors at any Alphabet company in the United States and Canada. The cost of membership is 1% of an employee’s total compensation, and the money collected will be used to fund the union organization.
In a response to the announcement, Google’s Director of People Operations, Kara Silverstein, said, “We’ve always worked hard to create a supportive and rewarding workplace for our workforce. Of course, our employees have protected labor rights that we support. But as we’ve always done, we’ll continue engaging directly with all our employees.”
Unlike other labor unions, the AWU is considered a “Minority Union”. This means it doesn’t need formal recognition from the National Labor Relations Board. However, it also means Alphabet can’t be forced to meet the union’s demands until a majority of employees support it.
So far, the number of members in the union represents a very small portion of Google’s workforce, but it’s growing every day. When the news of the union was first announced on Monday, roughly 230 employees made up the union. Less than 24 hours later, there were 400 employees in the union, and now that number jumped to over 500 employees.
Unions among Silicon Valley’s tech giants are rare, but labor activism is slowly picking up speed, especially with more workers speaking out and organizing.
“The Alphabet Workers Union will be the structure that ensures Google workers can actively push for real changes at the company, from the kinds of contracts Google accepts to employee classification to wage and compensation issues. All issues relevant to Google as a workplace will be the purview of the union and its members,” stated the AWU in a press release.
Ticketmaster caught red-handed hacking, hit with major fines
(BUSINESS NEWS) Ticketmaster has agreed to pay $10 million to resolve criminal charges after hacking into a competitor’s network specifically to sabotage.
Live Nation’s Ticketmaster agreed to pay $10 million to resolve criminal charges after admitting to hacking into a competitor’s network and scheming to “choke off” the ticket seller company and “cut [victim company] off at the knees”.
Ticketmaster admitted hiring former employee, Stephen Mead, from startup rival CrowdSurge (which merged with Songkick) in 2013. In 2012, Mead signed a separation agreement to keep his previous company’s information confidential. When he joined Live Nation, Mead provided that confidential information to the former head of the Artist Services division, Zeeshan Zaidi, and other Ticketmaster employees. The hacking information shared with the company included usernames, passwords, data analytics, and other insider secrets.
“When employees walk out of one company and into another, it’s illegal for them to take proprietary information with them. Ticketmaster used stolen information to gain an advantage over its competition, and then promoted the employees who broke the law. This investigation is a perfect example of why these laws exist – to protect consumers from being cheated in what should be a fair market place,” said FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney.
In January 2014, Mead gave a Ticketmaster executive multiple sets of login information to Toolboxes, the competitor’s password-protected app that provides real-time data about tickets sold through the company. Later, at an Artists Services Summit, Mead logged into a Toolbox and demonstrated the product to Live Nation and Ticketmaster employees. Information collected from the Toolboxes were used to “benchmark” Ticketmaster’s offerings against the competitor.
“Ticketmaster employees repeatedly – and illegally – accessed a competitor’s computers without authorization using stolen passwords to unlawfully collect business intelligence,” said Acting U.S. Attorney DuCharme in a statement. “Further, Ticketmaster’s employees brazenly held a division-wide ‘summit’ at which the stolen passwords were used to access the victim company’s computers, as if that were an appropriate business tactic.”
The hacking violations were first reported in 2017 when CrowdSurge sued Live Nation for antitrust violations. A spokesperson told The Verge, “Ticketmaster terminated both Zaidi and Mead in 2017, after their conduct came to light. Their actions violated our corporate policies and were inconsistent with our values. We are pleased that this matter is now resolved.”
To resolve the case, Ticketmaster will pay a $10 million criminal penalty, create a compliance and ethics program, and report to the United States Attorney’s Office annually during a three-year term. If the agreement is breached, Ticketmaster will be charged with: “One count of conspiracy to commit computer intrusions, one count of computer intrusion for commercial advantage, one count of computer intrusion in furtherance of fraud, one count of wire fraud conspiracy and one count of wire fraud.”
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