Plan out next week's holiday retail frenzy

Shannon Brigham, Charleston Savvy Shopper

Grace Beahm

Let's face it, Black Friday isn't for the weak. Shoppers either get it, or they don't. The bottom line is the old saying, "the early bird gets the worm" and in this case, "the deal."

Overall, holiday retail sales are expected to rise 2.8 percent during November and December to $466 billion, according to the National Retail Federation.

This can be the absolute best day of the year to get rock-bottom prices on items, but if you are an impulse buyer, you actually may end up spending more. One way to avoid this is to make a list of not only where you want to shop, but specific things you plan to buy -- and stick to it.

That's what my family and I do every year. We sit around after our Thanksgiving meal and cozy up with sales fliers from the newspaper to plan our route and what we plan to buy. And we get up early to get to the stores right when they open. It is key to have a plan for this shopping trip to be a success.

This year, however, some retailers are switching it up by opening their doors on Thanksgiving so shoppers don't have to get up before dawn Friday to get the best deals. For example, Toys "R" Us opens at 9 p.m.; Walmart at 10 p.m.; Best Buy, Kohl's and Target open at midnight.

The number of people out shopping on Black Friday rose to 22 million last year, up from 18 million in 2009, said Kathy Grannis, spokeswoman for the National Retail Federation. She said stores wouldn't open at all on the holiday because of the cost if research didn't show this is what shoppers want.

"We expect many to take advantage of stores opening early … even long lines around stores before they open," she said.

If you don't want to stand in line or brave the cold, sites such as Buy.com, Overstock.com and Amazon.com also will offer some amazing deals. Just keep your eyes out for free shipping because most online retailers will be offering it this year.

Come out and see me and my Savvy Daily Deal pal Lindsey Clark at Mount Pleasant Towne Centre on Black Friday while we help them reveal … shhhh! It's a secret! And it's big! Find out what we are up to on Friday's Savvy Shopper blog at www.post andcourier.com/savvy shopper. We will be posting all week about Black Friday.

You also can check out the latest Black Friday news and deals by following Charleston Savvy Shopper on Twitter at twitter.com/chssavvyshopper and facebook.com/ CharlestonSavvyShopper.

Got a tip you'd like to share? Email charlestonsavvyshopper @postandcourier.com.