This past Friday, Kohl’s announced its top toys for the 2014 holiday shopping season. In a press release, Kohl’s called out 18 top toys, and name-checked a few well-loved brands like Barbie, Fisher-Price, Playskool and more.
When people think about Black Friday, images of waiting in line and intense shopping usually come to mind. However, Black Friday—or at least Black Friday 2014—is shaping up to be a big day for new music, too. Whatever music you like, there’s something on this list for you.
Nicki Minaj: The Pink Print
Her third studio album is inspired by Jay-Z’s The Blueprint. Similar to Jay-Z, Minaj hopes provide a ‘pink print’ for female rappers. And as for the sound? She has said it will include surprises and address things she’s never written about before. “I’m excited to make them [her fans] feel a sense of love and a sense of growing up, musically and just as a woman,” she gushed to MTV.
In a press release posted earlier today, Toys R Us gave shoppers a sneak peek at this year’s deals. They also held a live preview event and highlighted a handful of top toys, including items from trending favorites Frozen and LEGO.
This might not match the magnitude of the 2014 holiday toy guide released by Walmart this morning, but it’s worth noting.
They used the opportunity as a chance to talk up their layaway and rewards programs, as well as mention some big-name trending toys and exclusives. Let’s start with the toys.
Walmart doesn’t mess around when it comes to figuring out which toys your kids will be clambering for this holiday season. For the second year in a row, the big box Black Friday retailer pulled together the experts (hundreds of kids ages 18 months to 12 years), let them go wild on the newest toys from brands like Mattel and Hasbro, and then asked them which toys they liked best. And the results are in! Here’s the ad.
“The kids surprised us this year with their changing taste in toys,” said Anne Marie Kehoe, Walmart’s vice president of toys. According to the kids, retro is back in, as are toys that allow children to be creative. Walmart’s Kid-Approved 2014 Holiday Toy List is also predictably chock-full of toys and dolls from blockbusters like Disney’s Frozen, interactive electronic games, and throwback classics like Hot Wheels and Nerf guns.
It’s hard for me to believe that my team and I have been sharing the best online deals year round since 2001. We’ve learned a lot since then what to expect from Black Friday sales, including which deals are great, which deals you can skip, and what Black friday prices are likely to be.
To make my Black Friday predictions, my team and I analyzed several years of Black Friday ads to find trends for prices and the products being offered. We looked up the lowest prices ever seen on the doorbusters we know shoppers will want. We then compared that information to the deals we’ve found and posted over the past year at Brad’s Deals and consulted our team of deal experts. Finally, we took a step back and considered that every Black Friday is different, and we adjusted our predictions accordingly. In the end, my team and I came up with a fairly comprehensive list of Black Friday predictions for televisions, tablets, toys, appliances and more.
Most summer Black Friday sales are pretty pale compared to the real thing in November, but Carson’s August Black Friday deals are the rare exception. Running today through Sunday, you’ll find doorbusters that actually live up to the hype. Don’t have a Carson’s near you? Check out Bon-Ton, Herberger’s, Bergner’s, Boston Store, Younkers or Elder-Beerman instead. They’re the same store run under different names depending on where you live. They’ll have all of the same August Black Friday deals we mention here for Carson’s.
Before we get started though, we have one quick note. While there are plenty of deals throughout the store, we’re certain that popular kitchen electronics like KitchenAid stand mixers and Keurig coffee brewers will be cheaper in November, with bigger price cuts, better rebates and bonus store rewards that make waiting worth your while.
P.S. Don’t forget to add coupon code FREESHIP to score free shipping on anything you order.
Last year on Black Friday, Carson’s took 50% off all boots by these brands, ranging from $82.50 to $107.50 off. This weekend’s sale doesn’t go that far, but it gets pretty darn close to the November Black Friday sale when you buy b.o.c shoes originally priced at $85, the lowest original price we found, now available for $45. For Clarks, we found shoes starting at $95, available this weekend for $55. Both are good deals on these brands, and are on par with what we see on Black Friday. We liked the “Jami” Casual Loafers and “Alejandra” Casual Flats from b.o.c., both $45, along with the Clarks “Esha Marigold” Slip-Ons for $55. (Pictured left to right)
It’s just 100 short days until Black Friday 2014! Do you realize how short that really is? It may be back-to-school season now, but that will quickly segue into Halloween and Thanksgiving and, you know, Black Friday. And of course, Black Friday predictions and rumors are just around the corner, too.
We’ve been at this whole Black Friday thing awhile now, and there are a few things we’ve learned over the years.
“When will we start seeing Black Friday ads?” is one of the most common questions we get. To answer, we took an accounting of the first ads we’ve gotten over the last few years:
The Sprint leak in 2012 was actually unprecedented in how early it was, and also was not a typical ad in that it only revealed one product. The next ad we found in 2012 was Harbor Freight again, this time on October 12. So we’re comfortable calling the 2012 Sprint leak a fluke, but it just proves the point that there’s no way to predict when an ad will be released unless the retailer announces it. And even then, someone might swipe a copy off the boss’s desk and sent it out to the interwebs ahead of schedule.
Last November, we let our readers in on one of our favorite dirty little secrets about Black Friday: Anyone can get almost anything at its Black Friday price well before Black Friday.
In our post Get Those Black Friday Deals – Before Black Friday, we pointed out how savvy shoppers can use credit card price matching programs to avoid the crowds and score doorbusters early without leaving the comfort and warmth of their own homes. The gist is that if you know what the Black Friday price will be, and can offer proof of that price, select credit cards will refund you the difference.
If this sounds like an appealing strategy to you, then the best time to make sure at least one of those credit cards is in your wallet come November is right now.
Trust me, you didn’t want to learn about this time and money saving strategy the week before Black Friday, when it would be too late to get approved and for your card to arrive in the mail. Summer is the perfect time to apply. Plus, if the card you choose requires a minimum spend over three months, as so many of the better rewards cards do, your points will hit your account just in time to use them for holiday travel, saving you even more money.
Best Buy officially launches their Black Friday in July sale tomorrow, but you can get early access if you’re a My Best Buy member. (Registration is free and you’ll be granted immediate access.)
While there are some good buys in here – our tech editors pointed out the Asus Laptop and Jawbone Activity Tracker in particular – these are nowhere close to the prices we’ve seen at Best Buy on previous Black Fridays. It’s hard to forget that last year the iPad mini was bundled with a $100 Best Buy gift card for $200. This is also not the best season for buying televisions, though the models we mention in our list below are still good buys at this price for this time of year.
These some of our top picks from the sale:
Get ready! Target is hosting three weekends of Black Friday-style deals beginning tomorrow, Friday July 11th!
A first for retailers who’ve hopped on the summer Black Friday sales trend, Target is rationing their summer Black Friday deals out over three consecutive weekends, each with its own theme, plus other storewide sales throughout the month.
Spring and summer Black Friday sales have become a sales trend in recent years, with retail giants like Home Depot, Sears and Target taking advantage of Black Friday’s reputation as a bargain hunting holiday to drive sales through warm weather months. With Back-To-School just around the corner and Black Friday season close on its heels, July’s “Black Friday” deals are likely to be the last we see before the actual day arrives.
Check out web-buster deals on clothing for the entire family and take advantage of Target’s “buy one, get one 50% off” clothing offer. You’ll also save 25% on ladies’ sandals and select other footwear, like these Mossimo Supply Co. Lady Sandals, available in six colors and on sale for $14.99.
There are a few other notable promotions running through the first weekend of Black Friday in July as well, including up to 20% off school uniforms for those already doing their back-to-school shopping, up to 30% off select furniture, and up to 20% off LeapFrog items.
Also noteworthy? The $100 Target gift card with select iPad minis and iPad Airs offer, good through 7/12.