MANHATTAN — Black Friday deals started popping up well before Thanksgiving, but retail experts still expect a busy day of shopping.
Savvy shoppers have been scouring online discounts rivaling those that may be offered in stores on Friday or at e-tailers for Cyber Monday. Big ticket items such as televisions, laptops, iPods and cashmere sweaters have been marked down days before doorbuster sales sweep across the city.
Here are some of the top deals:
• Target will be closed on Thanksgiving until midnight, when it will offer a Westinghouse 46 inch LCD HDTV for $298, a saving of $250 according to its ad (pdf). Target will also have Kindle Keyboard 3G for $85, down from $139.
• Best Buy, also opening at midnight, has a Sharp 42 inch LCD HTDV for $199, according to its ad.
• Toys 'R' Us will open at 9 p.m. Thanksgiving evening, and deals include a free $50 gift card when you buy any Apple iPod Touch, according to its ad.
Black Friday deals for electronics are big this year, with name-brand products for up to almost 50 percent off normal prices.
• Amazon.com started unveiling its Black Friday deals on Monday, with offers that included a Haier 32-Inch 720p LCD HDTV flat screen television for $149.00, down 43 percent from $349.99. The JLab J3 Micro Atomic In-Ear Earphones with Travel Case was also on sale on Amazon for $18.98, down from $79.95.
• Walmart also started offering deals for electronics online as early as Tuesday. The chain store's featured item was an Apple iPod touch on sale for $189.
• Bloomingdales is currently running a Big Brown Bag sale, through to Nov. 27, but will discount more deeply for Black Friday. It will open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday.
• JC Penney will open at 4 a.m. Black Friday with more than 500 deals, including 50 to 70 percent off window coverings, according to its ad.
Social media will play a big role in how stores will communicate their sale announcements, Phil Rist, executive vice president of strategic initiatives for BIGresearch, said.
“From Facebook to Twitter and even group buying sites, 'social' retailers may be rewarded this season in terms of additional holiday sales," he said.
Shoppers on Twitter were looking forward to getting deals for jewelry by Swarovski, clothes from Armani Exchange and household goods from Macy's and other Manhattan department stores.
"#blackfriday is almost here, can't wait <3" @DreeanaLoveee tweeted.
"Just found out that @VictoriasSecret is having a #BlackFriday sale this year! I'm there!" @RachellesCloset tweeted.
Some of the most deeply discounted items offered across Manhattan on Friday will include jewelry, like a diamond belt-buckle ring on sale at Zales for $599, down from $919.99 and baby furniture at Toys 'R' Us, including a high chair on sale for $29.99, down from $59.99.
Other stores such as Ralph Lauren offer up to 25 percent discount on select styles throughout the weekend, and Macy's offers 50 percent off of designer sweaters. Macy's will also offer deep discounts for kitchen ware, including a 22-piece cutlery set for $34.99 and pans at 70 percent off, selling for $29.99.
National Retail Federation President and CEO Matthew Shay still anticipates shoppers will be "blown away" by Black Friday sales.
“We fully expect to see excited shoppers as early as midnight at stores around the country, as many holiday shoppers would rather stay up all night to take advantage of retailers’ Black Friday deals rather than set their alarm to wake up the next morning," Shay said in a statement.
Up to 152 million people across the nation plan to shop Black Friday weekend, up from the 138 who planned doing so last year, according to a preliminary Black Friday shopping survey, conducted for the National Retail Federation by BIGresearch.