Following a hearty Thanksgiving feast, armies of turkey-stuffed consumers will descend on America's stores into the wee hours of the night to conquer one mission: save bigtime. It's one of our country's most sacred holiday traditions. If you're familiar with the custom and need a reason to be grateful this year, you can appreciate us for finding the retailers with the best — and worst — Black Friday deals.
And who could blame consumers for their Black Friday enthusiasm? After all, a U.S. economy on the mend appears to be boosting consumers' confidence and beefing up their wallets. This holiday season, including November and December, the National Retail Federation estimates that total retail sales will reach $616.9 billion, an increase of 4.1 percent from nearly $592.7 billion in 2013.
As a further expression of their gratitude, more consumers are planning to shop on Black Friday in 2014 than in years past. Two-thirds plan to do so, according to Accenture's latest Holiday Shopping Survey, compared with 55 percent in 2013 and 44 percent in 2007. But the Black Friday tradition is evolving as more and more online shoppers ditch department stores and shopping centers. That could mean fewer consumers getting trampled on or losing their children in stores — one more reason to give thanks.
To help consumers maximize their savings this Thanksgiving holiday, WalletHub surveyed 5,525 deals from the 2014 Black Friday ad scans of 22 of the biggest U.S. retailers. We included the average markdown of those 5,525 items, which are categorized into their appropriate categories for easy digestion. You can check out the results and our detailed methodology below. As a bonus, you can find additional shopping wisdom from several experts we consulted for this report.
Average % Discount by Retailer
|Office Depot and OfficeMax||43.89%|
Average % Discount by Major Category for Main Retailers
Apparel & Accessories
Computers & Phones
Consumer Packaged Goods
|Office Depot and OfficeMax||N/A||40.63%||43.23%||N/A||N/A||N/A|
Books, Movies & Music
Video Games (Software Only)
All Other Product Categories
|Office Depot and OfficeMax||53.85%||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
In order to identify the retailers with the most and least money-saving bargains this Thanksgiving holiday, WalletHub surveyed 5,525 deals from the 2014 Black Friday ad scans of 22 of the biggest U.S. retailers and calculated the average discount that each retailer will be offering on Black Friday. The average discount was weighted based on the pre-discounted price of the item in order to give more credit to the retailers that are discounting higher-ticket items. Our sample excludes deals that did not have calculable percentage markdowns.
Afterward, we organized the deals into 11 product categories such as "Apparel & Accessories," "Consumer Electronics" and "Video Games." When calculating the category averages, we took into account only the retailers that had at least five discounted items in that particular category.
For this report, we examined the following 22 retailers:
- Ace Hardware
- Best Buy
- Big Lots
- CVS Pharmacy
- Office Depot and OfficeMax
- Rite Aid
Please note that the following retailers did not respond to our requests for data despite our assurance that we would not disclose the names of their specific discounted items:
- Home Depot
Amazon did not provide all the requested info for all their Black Friday deals. As a result some deals could not be included in the calculations.
Source: Data used to create these rankings were obtained from BlackFriday.com.