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Black Friday

Companies Begin Black Friday Deals Early As Supply Chain Concerns Persist

This holiday season, major companies are getting ahead of the shopping curve. Amazon revealed their “Black Friday-Worthy Deals” event and have already starting promoting holiday gift guides and items on their website, while Target unveiled its “Deal Days” event which ran from Oct. 10 to Oct. 12.

Meanwhile, Best Buy announced its Black Friday deals would start on Oct. 19 and end on Oct. 22, and that their “true” Black Friday sale would start a week prior, on Nov. 19. Best Buy is also implementing a price guarantee, meaning prices won’t go lower prior to Black Friday.

These moves are being done in response to the shift in consumers’ preferences when it comes to the timing of their shopping. Speaking to NBC Nightly News’ Stephanie Rhule, Best Buy CEO Corie Barry explained that they saw “not just a willingness” from their customers, but a “want to try to start early” when it comes to holiday shopping.

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In a survey conducted by RetailMeNot — that polled 1,082 U.S. adults — it was found that 24% of consumers plan to start their holiday shopping pre-Thanksgiving, while 22% plan to start in October. Additionally, 66% said they’d prefer to get holiday shopping out of the way as soon as possible, while 33% said they’re starting shopping earlier than they did in 2020.

According to Barry, Best Buy is going into the holiday season with 50% more inventory, which is 20% more than two years ago. Barry also said to expect inflation on certain products, such as appliances – although she did stress other products’ prices remain “competitive.”

Meanwhile, RetailMeNote found that shoppers plan to spend 15% more than they did last year, and that the average consumer holiday spending in 2021 would be at $885.76, up $119 from 2020. As the Washington Times Herald notes, experts are projecting that Black Friday sales will break for $12 billion, and Cyber Monday could hit for around $11.8 billion.

Both those numbers would be record-breaking, and it continues a trend that is seeing consumers spending insanely big for holidays (Halloween is projected to see $10.14 billion spent, another record).

Aside from consumer desires, one of the biggest reasons companies are pushing up their Black Friday sales is due to the supply-chain problems that have arisen. The Los Angeles Times says that labor, logistics, and transportation costs are up, capacity has been reduced, there’s a shortage of truck drivers, and resources have been thinned – all culprits of the expected inflations and late deliveries.

Meanwhile, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to play a nasty part. Trading between countries has become a bare at borders and ports due to travel restrictions. Don’t expect much positive change in the meantime, either – Moody’s Analytics warned that supply chain problems will “get worse before they get better.”

The Los Angeles Times reported that experts say it might take six months to a whole year before the backlogs are sorted out, far beyond the upcoming seasonal rush.

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For consumers, shopping now might be the smart decision, whether it’s preferable to them or not. Continued supply chain problems could lead to shortages in popular products in the weeks leading up to major holidays – a reason companies like Best Buy are stocking up their inventory now.

Target gave updates on how it plans to overcome supply chain challenges, stating large investments put into operations, adding more facilities, sortation, and distribution centers, and integrating further stocking technology. Additionally, Target announced that it was hiring 30,000 positions in supply chain operations.

However, Target is also trimming the amount of seasonal workers they hire. This year, they plan to hire 100,000 seasonal roles, which is about 30,000 less than last year. Instead, they’ll opt to give more hours to the workers they currently have.

Best Black Friday Tech Deals For Students Of All Ages 

Regardless of if you’re heading into middle school, high school, or college, Black Friday is the perfect time to start looking for new devices and technology that will not only help you in school, but in your personal life as well. Many brands have already begun their Black Friday deals online as a means of making up for the lack of foot traffic they’ll likely experience this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Here are some of the most highly anticipated and popular tech devices going on sale this week:

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Tablets: Tablets are great for kids all ages, and now that there’s a multitude of child-friendly tablet devices on the market, there’s never been more options for you this year. Amazon’s Fire HD 7 Kids Edition tablet is going on sale for $60, which is $40 off its original price, and this deal will be active until December 1st. Amazon’s Fire HD 8 Kids Edition is now $80 as well, $60 off its original price. This deal is also active until December 1st. Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S6 Lite is $279.99 at Walmart, $70 off its original price and the deal also includes 64GB of storage and an S Pen.

Laptops: For older kids entering into their college years, Black Friday is the perfect time to purchase a new personal computer for themselves. One of the most popular laptops used among college student’s is the HP Envy due to its high quality performance, and touchscreen capabilities. The laptop is going on sale for $750, which is $250 off its original price. 

Speakers: While speakers may not necessarily be as helpful in your schooling as a laptop, creating a comfortable environment where one is able to play their calming music as they study for the big exam is helpful in itself. Some of the most popular speakers on the market that are going on sale this year include the Sonos Move speaker which is available for $300 on Amazon and Best Buy, $100 off its original pricing. Amazon’s third generation Echo Dot is also now just $19, and the Echo Studio is $40 off as well for $160. 

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Smartphones: Cell phones in general are always a great product to buy on Black Friday because pretty much all kinds of smartphones go on sale. Apple’s iPhone SE is projected to be $200 at Best Buy when one trades in their iPhone 7 or newer. Samsung’s Galaxy A51 is now on sale for $275 as Best Buy as well, $125 off its original pricing. Motorola’s Moto G Stylus is 50% off at Best Buy for $150.

Headphone Deals: Headphones are a universally great gift for anyone, and this year some of the most popular wireless ones are going on sale. The Bose 700 noise-canceling headphones are currently $340 at Amazon, $40 off their original price. This deal will be active until January 4th. Some alternative colors are also on sale for as low as $299 at Best Buy. Apple’s AirPods Pro are $200 also at Best Buy, $50 off their original price. Sony’s WH-1000XM4 are $280 at Best Buy, $72off their original price.

Smart Home Devices: The Philips Hue White Color Ambiance 3-pack will transform any room into a multi-colored paradise. LED lights are extremely trendy and popular right now, so take it a step further and add some sophistication to your room by picking up these lightbulbs at Best Buy on Black Friday for $100, $35 off its original pricing!