LIMA — Close to 116 million Americans are expected to shop during Black Friday this year, according to the National Retail Federation.
Shawnee resident Heather Jordan will be one of those 116 million Americans shoppers. Since the age of 18, it has been a family tradition to go shopping on Black Friday. Every Thanksgiving and Black Friday, Jordan, her sister, and daughter go shopping in search of some great deals. They typically start out 7 a.m. on Thursday and begin shopping at Walgreens and Dollar General for half-price toys. They have dinner at 4 p.m. and then head back out shopping at 6 p.m. to Walmart, which is another store with great toy deals, she said.
“It’s fun and it’s a tradition — that’s what we do,” said Jordan. “It’s great to be with your family and hang out and laugh and have fun. It’s more than just the sales for us.”
When preparing for Black Friday, she said she uses the Black Friday app on her smartphone.
“Any time there is a new ad, it will send me an update,” said Jordan. “I can plan for where I need to go and what time, who has the best deals and what I need to get. I have grandkids, so I want to make sure I get what they want.”
Her advice for first-time shoppers is to check the ads ahead of time, compare prices and budget. Jordan admits that, sometimes, it can be a little challenging to shop on Thanksgiving or Black Friday, but she said it’s totally worth it.
“You deal with the craziness and the hustle and bustle, but it’s worth it,” said Jordan. “It’s a lot of fun because I don’t take it that seriously. If you do, it will stress you out.”
Black Friday at Lima-area retailers
Retailers like Walmart, Kohls, Meijer, Macy’s and Menards have been preparing for the past couple of months for the millions of Black Friday shoppers like Jordan.
Walmart is offering a few new things this Black Friday. Two hours before the black Friday event at Walmart, the employees will be passing out 4 million cups of complimentary coffee and 2 million free Christmas cookies.
There is also a new color-coded store map feature in the Walmart app that helps guide customers throughout the store. Each department will be color coded to help customers find what they need easier than previous years.
There will also be “Check Out with Me” associates dressed in bright yellow sashes that will be able to ring out customers without going to a register. They will be equipped with cellular devices and Bluetooth printers that will allow customers to pay by credit card and receive either a paper or electronic receipt.
“There really is no bigger or better day of the year than Black Friday; that’s why we are pulling out all the stops to make it a great night for our customers,” said Steve Bratspies, Walmart chief merchandising officer, in a news release. “We’re more confident than ever that our customers will find incredible prices on everything on their holiday wish list at Walmart. And with deep availability of these items in our stores and new features like color-coded Black Friday Store Maps in the Walmart app and Check Out With Me, as well as earlier access to the deals online, it’s never been easier for customers to shop — and - save — at Walmart on Black Friday.”
Doorbuster deals include an iPhone 6 on Straight Talk or Total Wireless for $99, an iPad 6th for $249, Sony PS4 1 TB Slim Spider-Man Bundle for $199, a Google Home Hub for $99, HP 15” Touch Notebook for $259, Sharp/TCL 65” Class 4K Roku Smart TV for $398, Hisense 40” Class 1080p TV for $99 and Pac-Man or Galaga Retro Arcade Machine for $249.
Walmart will open at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving. For more deals, visit Walmart.com.
One of the newest Black Friday features this year at Kohls is the buy online and ship to store option. This allows customers to shop online and ship whatever items they want to the store.
Items typically take about three to five business days to arrive to the store, depending on the item. Customers also have the option to pay to expedite the items that they want.
“This gives them more of an assortment for their holiday gift giving,” said Jessica Irwin, Lima Kohls general manager.
As in years prior, customers can buy online and pick up items that are already in the store.
Through the Kohls app, customers can store coupons for Black Friday and set reminders for Kohls cash.
From Tuesday to Friday, customers can also earn $15 Kohls cash for every $50 they spend and can use the earnings from Nov. 24 to Dec. 5.
“These are great features for the customers to shop however they want to and at their own leisure to be able to pick up those items during the holiday season,” said Irwin. “We will check prices — check another store — to make sure that their shopping season is even better this holiday season.”
Doorbuster deals include an Amazon Echo for $69, an Echo Dot for $24, a Canon EOS Rebel T6 DSLR camera with Wi-Fi connectivity, a bag, a 18-55 mm lens and 75-300 mm lens for $399, a 1/4 ct. T.W. diamond sterling silver bracelet for $69.99, a Fitbit Versa smartwatch for $199.99, a 58 inch Samsung 45 Smart TV for $549.99, a Xbox One S for $199.99 and an Instant Pot for $69.99.
Kohls will be open from 5 p.m. on Thursday until midnight Saturday. For more deals, visit Kohls.com.
This year at Meijer there will be a Double Doorbuster two-day sale and deals on Thanksgiving and Black Friday and a Santa Bucks deal on Saturday.
The Thanksgiving and Black Friday deals include an Element 55” Smart Roku 4K UHD TV for $199.99, a $100 savings on next purchase with a purchase of an Apple Watch Series 3 or an iPad 6th Gen, an XBox One S for $199.99, and 50 percent off of select games.
During the Saturday One Day Only Santa Buck Deals, customers can save $50 or more with their Santa Banks store credit. They can also take $3 to $20 off one general merchandise, apparel, shoes, or heath and beauty care item priced at $14.99 to $99.99 or more.
“We believe the season of giving starts by offering our customers deep discounts early,” said Peter Whitsett, executive vice president of merchandising and marketing for Meijer, in a news release. “We are offering a slew of great buys, from electronics to household appliances to toys and apparel. We believe families will love our expansive toy selection and 50 percent off incentive.”
For more deals, visit Meijer.com.
This Black Friday Macy’s will have a Loyalty Hub, a new feature on the Macy’s app that simplifies checking Star Rewards balances and status, according to Carolyn Ng Cohen, director of media relations.
Macy’s Black Friday doorbusters include diamond earrings for $29.99 with a purchase of $50 or more, $10 beauty products from select brands, $39.99 for select Charter Club Cashmere, $19.99 boots for her and shoes for men, $80 off Apple Watch Series 3, 60 percent off Polaroid Bluetooth Headphones and a 50 percent off Tzumi Bluetooth Speakers.
In addition to in-store and online specials, Macy’s will also be offering doorbuster items free after mail-in rebate.
“As always, customers can access the incredible savings in a multitude of convenient ways, from visiting a local store to shopping online at Macy’s.com to using the Macy’s app,” said Cohen.
Macy’s will begin it’s Thanksgiving/Black Friday sale at 5 p.m. Thursday. For more deals visit Macys.com.
Black Friday at Menards this year will very similar to previous years, according to Justin Bellows, general manager.
“We do everything we possibly can to make sure that the shopping experience on Black Friday is as fun and as efficient as possible,” he said. “To get you into the building and excited about the holiday season as well as get you out of the building so that you can continue your shopping elsewhere.”
Just like in the past, there is an enchanted forest area where customers can buy Christmas trees, snowman and reindeer displays. Toys can be found by the registers in the front.
Before the Black Friday event begins, employees will be handing out maps to customers in line.
“Our set up is strategic,” said Bellows. “Our tools are grouped with tools, toys are with toys, electronics and electronics. Those maps help highlight where everything is in the store. We try to prevent customers from having to go from corner to corner to find things so that they don’t miss out on certain opportunities.”
Although the Black Friday ad has not yet been released, Bellows said that he guarantees that the shopping deals and experience will be outstanding.
“We do everything we possibly can to make sure that the shopping experience on Black Friday is as fun and as efficient as possible,” said Bellows. “We want to get you into the building and excited about the holiday season as well as get you out of the building so that you can continue your shopping elsewhere.”
Menards will have its Black Friday sale from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday. For deals visit Menards.com.
Reach Camri Nelson at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @CamriNews.