The leftovers from Halloween are probably still sitting on your kitchen counter, but U.S. retailers want you to move on.
Forget waiting for Black Friday -- or even Thanksgiving Day -- bricks-and-mortar and online retailers are already blitzing consumers with holiday sales and promotions.
Retail giants Walmart and Target have rolled out their holiday merchandise in stores and are offering free shipping deals on their websites. Target’s free shipping promotion is particularly generous right now with no minimum purchase required. Amazon.com, meanwhile, has launched a “Countdown to Black Friday” event featuring heavily discounted new deals every day.
And the retail buzz will only get louder as we move deeper into November.
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As expected, most of the larger retailers will be open on Thanksgiving Day with opening times encroaching on the dinner hour.
Macy’s, which for decades has drawn family members around living room television sets to watch its parades, has announced it will open at 6 p.m. on Turkey Day. That’s two hours earlier than last year. With Thanksgiving falling so late on the calendar -- Nov. 27 -- most competitors are likely to do the same.
On the flip side, a handful of retailers will buck the trend and remain closed on Thanksgiving Day this year. Among this year’s traditionalists is Costco.
How is a would-be bargain hunter expected to keep up with it all?
Several online holiday sites crank up this time of year to provide up-to-the-minute details, including digital replicas of store circulars that leak early.
A word to the wise on those coveted sneak peek ads: While some retailers intentionally leak their ads to create buzz, other ad leaks are unauthorized so information you see on a site today may be gone tomorrow if a retailer objects.
Here are links to a few of the holiday shopping websites to help you decipher the deals:
BFads.net (note the address...it’s .NET not .com)