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A sign along 5th Ave is pictured during Black Friday Sales in New York November 29, 2013. Walmart, Amazon and Best Buy were among the top Black Friday retailers this year. (Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

Black Friday 2013 in review

By Lindsay SakraidaGuest blogger / 12.04.13

Everybody take a deep breath: Black Friday has come to an end. While there are still some Cyber Week sales to consider, and an onslaught of holiday promotions is on the horizon, we can at least close the book on Black Friday 2013. And as we do so, we've got some amusing tidbits from #BF2013 (Did you know that one of the hottest deals of the week was a towel?) and some major gripes to share. But first up, we crown the King of Black Friday 2013.

Did Walmart Win Black Friday?

Deciding which retailer reigned supreme during Black Friday is difficult. If you had asked us what store was winning before the big event, we would have said Walmart; we analyzed the ads from all the major retailers (and within a variety of categories), and by far Walmart had the most standout deals.

And come Black Friday week, the deals did indeed show up — but on many occasions, our staff had issues with the website itself. We frequently saw messages about the site being busy, which likely resulted in delays in getting deals. Despite these e-commerce fumbles, Goldman Sachs declared Walmart to be one of the top three retailers for the week, noting that the store "drove the market" with its promotions. Moreover, before Black Friday was even over, Walmart announced that it had already sold a record-breaking number of items, so we agree that there's a strong case to be made for Walmart.  ( Continue… )

People wait outside the American Eagle store for it to open at the Citadel Outlets Thanksgiving in Los Angeles. If you missed Black Friday, there are still plenty of Cyber monday deals to be had on clothes. (Jae C Hong/AP/File)

Cyber Monday means site-wide discounts on clothes

By Emily Dovi, Lindsay Sakraida, Marcy BonebrightGuest bloggers / 12.02.13

Last week electronics deals were the talk of the town, but now it's time for clothing sales to shine. We've rounded up some of the hottest offers, but act fast! These fashions may outlast the season, but the Editors' Choice prices sure won't. Be sure to check back often as we'll continue to update this page with all the latest,best Cyber Monday clothing deals.

American Eagle Outfitters Cyber Monday Sale
Store: American Eagle Outfitters
Discount: 50% off sitewide via coupon code "94C486V1"
Shipping: Free shipping
Expires: December 2
Is It Worth It?: If you were too busy buying a new HDTV or laptop on Black Friday and missed out on this American Eagle Outfitters Black Friday Sale, you're in luck! Today is the final day you can save 50% off sitewide, which even applies to clearance apparel. Combined with free shipping, this offer remains the best promotion we've seen from AEO this year.

Armani Exchange Cyber Monday Sale
Store: Armani Exchange
Discount: 45% off sitewide
Shipping: Free shipping
Expires: December 2
Is It Worth It?: Right in line with our Black Friday predictions, this A|X Exchange sale is the best of the year. In fact, it's the first ever sitewide sale we've seen from the clothier in 2013, and it tops last year's Cyber Monday promotion which only offered free shipping on overs over $100. Dress yourself to the nines in apparel and accessories, with prices starting at $14 (for accessories), men's sweaters from $37.95, and men's outerwear from $48.40. ( Continue… )

Elizabeth Grace plays with an iPad at Pembroke Pines, Fla. Best Buy store over the Black Friday weekend. Cyber Monday deals are still available on Apple products Monday, Dec. 2, 2013. year. (J. Pat Carter/AP)

Cyber Monday deals mean Apple discounts on iPads, MacBooks (+video)

By Emily Dovi, Louis Ramirez, and Marcy BonebrightGuest bloggers / 12.02.13

Black Friday has passed, but there are still Apple deals to be had! Don't waste any time, though; these Apple deals are super hot and going fast! Be sure to check back often, as we'll continue to update this page with all the latest, best Cyber Monday deals on Apple computers, iPhones, and iPads.

$100 iTunes Gift Card
Store: Best Buy
Price: $85 with free shipping
Lowest By: $15
Is It Worth It?: While we did see a $100 iTunes gift card for $80 in March, you could do far worse than the $15 savings on this credit. And if you 
If you're a Sams Club member you can nab 4 $25 iTunes gift cards for even less — $5 less to be exact. For $79.88, you'll get the $100 credit shipped free. (Non-members pay $3 more; a low by $2).missed this Editors' Choice offer when it first appeared in September, here's your chance to score big!

Apple iPad with Retina Display 32GB WiFi Tablet bundled with an Ematic 8-in-1 Universal Accessory Kit
Store: Walmart
Price: $449 with free shipping
Lowest By: $135
Is It Worth It?: This deal offers a great opportunity to get substantial storage from a recently-discontinued iPad. The 4th generation model is a powerful tablet, and it's similar to its 6-month-older cousin, the iPad 3, in that it boasts a brilliant Retina display. The main difference? This iteration receives a speed and graphics boost thanks to its A6X processor. This particular deal also includes a neat little accessory kit, which features extra chargers and a Bluetooth speaker. The iPad is 9.4mm thick, weighs 1.4lbs., and features a 5-megapixel iSight camera with 1080p video recording, 1.2-megapixel HD FaceTime camera, voice dictation, 802.11n wireless, Bluetooth 4.0, Lightning connector, up to 10 hours of battery life, and iOS 6. ( Continue… )

A platinum engagement ring with blue sapphires by Omi Gems. Dealnews recommends avoiding jewelry purchases at all costs during the holiday season, when prices are generally highest. ( Omi Gems/PRNewsFoto/Platinum Guild International USA/File)

The best and worst things to buy in December

By Lindsay Sakraida and Louis RamirezGuest bloggers / 12.01.13

December is a month when you almost can't avoid shopping. You may have skipped Black Friday — overwhelmed by the offers, hype, and crowds — but the holiday season is a different beast all together, with gifts from loved ones, friends, and people you barely know coming at you from all angles. Maintain lots of holiday cheer by shopping wisely with our December buying guide. We've pored over the extensive DealNews archives of sales, coupons, and daily deals from years past to guide you in your quest for the most savvy purchases in December. Here's what we found.

Get Good Deals on Toys ... By Still Waiting

Finally, it's the best time to buy holiday toys! Almost. In 2012, many of the year's top toys hit their lowest prices of the season during the middle of the month. In fact, last year that timeframe also saw an influx of Editors' Choice toy deals. Keep in mind, however, that shopping mere days before Christmas is probably not wise; retailers realize last-minute shoppers are desperate and less able to effectively comparison shop, and prices often reflect that.

Keep an Eye Out for Gift Card Freebies

A popular promotion throughout the month of December — especially amongst restaurants — is to offer a free gift card to shoppers who purchase one as a gift. For example, last year California Pizza Kitchen offered a $20 gift card to anyone who purchased $100 or more in gift cards. Retailers, on the other hand, are more likely to offer a gift card with purchases that reach a certain order threshold: L.L.Bean currently offers a free $10 gift card to any customer that spends $50 or more.

Tools & Hardware Deals for Dad

Does Dad want a new drill for Christmas this year? Perfect! Like last month, December is an excellent time for tool and hardware deals. While the sheer volume of Editors' Choice deals dips after November, there's still an above-average number of significant discounts on wrench and screwdriver sets, drills, lawn-care tools, and more.

It's a Jolly Time to Buy Christmas Decorations ... After Christmas

At this point, it's common knowledge that holiday decorations see their greatest discounts after the holiday in question has passed, and this is no different for Christmas. If you wait until December 26, you'll see discounts of 50% to 70% off seasonal goods. However, if you absolutely must buy a fake Christmas tree before the 25th, look to Walmart, Kmart, and JCPenney for inexpensive options. ( Continue… )

Black Friday shoppers pour into the Valley River Center mall for the Midnight Madness sale, in Eugene, Ore. last year. Black Friday ads are being used by some retailers to make the Black Friday crowds more manageable. (Brian Davies/The Register-Guard/AP/File)

Black Friday ads: Can deals serve as crowd control?

By Marcy BonebrightGuest blogger / 11.28.13

We've all heard the Black Friday horror stories about out of control crowds. But is it really dangerous to head to the store on Black Friday? What steps are retailers taking to protect customers and employees during the shopping holiday? Read on to see how merchants will try to maximize safety — and profits — during the Black Friday season.

Black Friday Crowd Control Remains a Priority

Our recent survey revealed that more than half of our readers plan to shop online during Black Friday. This finding was backed up by a recent Nielson study, in which 46% of respondents said they'd do their Black Friday shopping online. All of this could add up to smaller crowds on shopping's biggest holiday.

Yet, despite these findings, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released a document urging retailers to put safety first on Black Friday. Citing the trampling death of a Walmart worker during a Black Friday sale five years ago, the press release implores merchants to enforce crowd safety measures like providing "on-site trained security personnel or police officers," "not allowing additional customers to enter the store when it reaches its maximum occupancy level," and "not blocking or locking exit doors."

OSHA revises and sends out its crowd control tips on an annual basis in an effort to protect retail workers, who are the most likely to be injured by rushing crowds. "The busy shopping season should not put retail workers at risk of being injured or killed," said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health.

Retailers Have Other Safety Tricks Up Their Sleeves

Implementing OSHA's crowd control measures is just one way retailers can prevent Black Friday mob madness. The pursuit of higher profits could actually lead to a safer Black Friday in some cases, as merchants implement more subtle forms of crowd control in the name of bigger sales. ( Continue… )

A new Microsoft Corp. logo, left, is seen on an exterior wall of a new Microsoft store inside the Prudential Center mall in Boston last year. (Steven Senne/AP/File)

Laptop deals: Six great offers before Black Friday

By Louis RamirezGuest blogger / 11.28.13

Touchscreen laptops have hit the mainstream and these pre-Black Friday laptop deals show these systems no longer come with a premium price tag. Check out these sales on systems from Lenovo, Dell, and more. Be sure to check back often as we'll continue to update this page with all the latest best Black Friday laptop deals.

  1. ASUS AMD A4 1GHz 10.1" LED-Backlit Touchscreen Netbook
    Store: Microsoft Store
    Price:$299 with free shipping
    Lowest By: $41

    Is It Worth It?: When it comes to budget laptops, AMD is king and this $299ultraportable is proof. Despite being a budget machine, the 2.4-lb. laptop packs a 10.1" touchscreen display. Also onboard you'll find an AMD A4 1GHz dual-core processor, 2GB of RAM, and a 320GB hard drive. This Editors' Choice system is the cheapest ASUS touchscreen 10" AMD laptop we've seen.

  2. Gateway NV570P10u Intel Ivy Bridge Core i5 1.8GHz 15.6" LED-Backlit Touchscreen Laptop
    Store: Microsoft Store
    Price:$399 with free shipping
    Lowest By: $51

    Is It Worth It?: A DealNews Editors' Choice, the Gateway NV570P10u holds the distinction of being the cheapest 15" touchscreen laptop we've seen with a Core i5 CPU; it's a tough title to hold considering the multitude of laptops we see in this category. The 5.8-lb. machine features a 1.8GHz dual-core Ivy Bridge processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 500GB hard drive.

  3. Dell Inspiron 15 Intel Haswell Core i5 1.6GHz 15.6" LED-Backlit Laptop
    Store: Dell Home
    Price:$449.99 via coupon code "HF08ZLDCXJM19W" with free shipping
    Lowest By: $50
    Expires: November 27

    Is It Worth It?: Thanks to its Haswell upgrade, the Dell Inspiron 15 is as future-proof as you can get. The mainstream laptop features a 1.6GHz Haswell Core i5 CPU, 6GB of RAM, and a 750GB hard drive. And thanks to the above coupon, it's $50 off and the least-expensive Inspiron 15 we've seen with a Haswell CPU.

  4. Dell Inspiron 17R Intel Haswell Core i7 1.8GHz 17.3" LED-Backlit Laptop
    Store: Dell Home
    Price:$699.99 via coupon code "HF08ZLDCXJM19W" with free shipping
    Lowest By: $390
    Expires: November 30

    Is It Worth It?: The Inspiron 15's big brother, this desktop replacement means serious business. It boasts a 4th-gen Intel Core i7 Haswell 1.8GHz dual-core processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 1TB hard drive. Though it tips the scales at 7.3 lbs., it's still a well-equipped notebook if mobility isn't a factor.

  5. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Intel Ivy Bridge Core i5 1.8GHz 14" LED-Backlit Touchscreen Ultrabook
    Store: Lenovo
    Price:$1,086.75 via coupon code "BLACKFRIDAY" with free shipping
    Lowest By: $259
    Expires: December 1

    Is It Worth It?:Engadget calls this notebook the "definitive ultrabook for pros." PC Mag echoes the sentiment naming it an "executive's ultrabook." But even executives like saving money! Coupon code "BLACKFRIDAY" will knock $362 off, dropping it to $1,087. At this price it's $259 under our October mention and the cheapest X1 Carbon touchscreen we've seen. The 3.8-lb. Editors' Choice ultrabook delivers a Core i5 Ivy Bridge dual-core 1.8GHz processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 128GB SSD.

  6. Dell Inspiron 14R Intel Haswell Core i3 1.7GHz 14" LED-Backlit Touchscreen Laptop
    Store: Dell Home
    Price:$599.99 via coupon code "5TK?LC9VJ5F$33" with free shipping
    Lowest By: $130

    Is It Worth It?: Powered by Intel's Haswell Core i3 processor, the 5-lb. Dell Inspiron 14R promises up to 50% more battery life than its Ivy Bridge predecessors. The laptop features a dual-core Core i3 1.7GHz Haswell CPU, 4GB of RAM, and a 500GB hard drive. What's more, it's currently the cheapest 14R laptop we've seen with a Haswell chip.

Louis Ramirez is a senior features writer for Dealnews.com, where this article first appeared: http://dealnews.com/features/best-black-friday-laptops/.

Target customer Nancy, last name not given, guides her shopping carts with televisions purchased at a Target Store in Colma, Calif. in 2011. (Jeff Chiu/AP/File)

Black Friday doorbusters you can get right now. Why wait?

By Jeff Somogyi, Lindsay Sakraida, Louis Ramirez, and Marcy BonebrightGuest bloggers / 11.27.13

With this year's Black Friday sales, retailers are pulling out all the stops to earn your patronage. For some, that means extending Thanksgiving and Black Friday store hours or ramping up price-matching policies. However, many merchants are going the extra mile and quietly dropping their prices days ahead of schedule, meaning you can score some of Black Friday's best deals right now. We've rounded up all the items we could find that were already marked down to their advertised Black Friday price or lower. As with all Black Friday deals, these items are likely to go fast, so catch 'em while you can!

Apple iPad Air 16GB WiFi Tablet with $100 Fry's Gift Card for $479 at Fry's Electronics
If you live near a Fry's, then you don't have to wait for Target's iPad Air deal to go live. We expected the iPad Air's price to drop by 12% during this holiday season. But if you count the $100 gift card, then Fry's price is 24% off Apple's list price. Considering that the best price we'd previously seen for this model was $449, this promotion is a fantastic deal on the current-gen iPad.

Kindle Fire HD 7" 16GB Tablet for $99.99 at Best Buy
You can get Best Buy's doorbuster price for the Kindle Fire HD 7" 16GB tablet right now, via coupon code "KINDLEDEAL". At $100, it's tied as the best price we've ever seen for this tablet in this capacity; our previous mention at this price point was for a 16GB refurb. (A new 16GB model currently goes for $169 on Amazon.)
5th Generation Apple iPod touch 16GB MP3 Player with $50 Target Gift Card for $229 at Target
Attention Target REDcard members: You might have early access to several of Target's Black Friday deals. Case in point, you can pick up the 5th-gen iPod touch with a $50 Target gift card days before everyone else. Assuming you'll use the gift card, it's like getting the new iPod touch for a mere $179.
Sharp 50" 1080p LED LCD HDTV for $399.99 at Best Buy
Right now, you can get the best price we've seen for any new 50" 120Hz LED HDTV; just use coupon code "SHARP50DEAL" to drop it to $400. (It's also the cheapest 50" Sharp HDTV we've seen by $100 and a current low by $197.) If you were shopping for a brand-name 50" set on Black Friday, this is definitely your deal. ( Continue… )

The HP Chromebook 11", left, is displayed with a Chromebook 14" at a Google event last month in New York. The 14" Chromebook is one of many HP Black Friday laptop deals shoppers can expect. (Mark Lennihan/AP/File)

Laptop deals: Which store has the best for Black Friday?

By Marcy BonebrightContributor / 11.27.13

Hear that? It's the clock ticking away the minutes until the Black Friday laptop deals officially begin. Until then, we'll keep rounding up the best of the Black Friday laptop ads so far. Read on to see what the latest crop of ads has yielded. Be sure to bookmark this page and check back often, as we'll be adding even more awesome Black Friday laptop deals as we come across them.

Ultraportable Laptop Prices Still Impressive

HP Pavilion Celeron 1.1GHz 14" Chromebook for $179.99 at Staples: Weighing in at just under 4 lbs., this HP 14" Chromebook is the ideal ultraportable for your basic computing needs. And when Staples drops it to $180, this'll be the cheapest new 14" Chromebook we've ever seen, and tied as the cheapest new Chromebook we've seen in any size.

ASUS Celeron 1.5GHz 12" Touchscreen Laptop for $249.99 at Best BuyThis Asus ultraportable may lack the bells and whistles of higher-end touchscreen laptops, but $250 is still a seriously great price. Until now, the best price we'd ever seen for any new 12" touchscreen laptop was $280, so this deal is definitely worth grabbing if you're looking for a basic laptop with touch capabilities. (This build currently goes for at least $325 elsewhere.)

HP Pavilion TouchSmart Celeron 1.5GHz 14" Touchscreen Laptop for $278 at WalmartIf you're itching to get a touchscreen laptop, but Best Buy's all-time low on a 12" ultraportable doesn't interest you, then check out this slightly better-equipped HP Pavilion TouchSmart. The 14-B109WM has both a bigger screen and a bigger hard drive than Best Buy's offering, and it only costs $28 more. Plus, it's one of Walmart's guaranteed doorbusters; you're sure to bag the cheapest 14" touchscreen laptop we've ever seen, even if your local store runs out. ( Continue… )

Sheila Bullock carries a toy car in her cart at a Target store in Phoenix during Black Friday 2012. Target will be open at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving to kick off Black Friday 2013. (Tom Tingle/The Arizona Republic/AP/File)

Black Friday store hours: the master list

By Emily Dovi, Lindsay Sakraida, and Louis RamirezContributors / 11.26.13

Despite some pushback from consumers and staffers about Black Friday deals creeping into Thanksgiving, there are already signs that indicate that even more retailers will again open their doors for Black Friday shopping on Thanksgiving. Traditionally Macy's has remained closed on Thanksgiving, but this year the store will open at 8 pm on Thanksgiving, four hours earlier than usual. And now JCPenney is jumping on the bandwagon, as it announced that it, too, will open at 8 pm on Thanksgiving — a full 10 hours earlier than last year.

But Macy's and JCPenney aren't the only retailers caught up in the Black Friday store hours creep. Based on last year's patterns, we expect a multitude of stores to be open on Thanksgiving Day — which means savvy shoppers may need to alter their Black Friday game plan this year.

The Race to Be First: Black Friday Store Hours Start on Thanksgiving

Black Friday is without a doubt one of the busiest shopping days of the year, and as a result, we've seen stores open their doors earlier and earlier with each passing season. In fact, 180 stores at the Mall of America broke tradition last year and opened their doors at midnight on Black Friday, the earliest ever.

But why wait until Friday when a retailer can open on Thanksgiving Day? Last year TargetWalmart, and Searswere just a few of the major retailers to welcome early bird shoppers on Thursday evening rather than early Friday morning. Even if a store is hesitant to start its commercial sales on a national holiday, the demand to be first and remain strong in the face of competition has forced vendors of all sorts to consider earlier Black Friday store hours. In fact, an executive vice president at JCPenney was quoted by the Associated Press, lamenting the fact that JCPenney was one of the last retailers to open during Black Friday in 2012. The chain is certainly hoping to remedy that this time around. ( Continue… )

A Thanksgiving meal. 48 million turkeys are consumed on Thanksgiving annually, according to DealNews.com (Melanie Stetson Freeman / The Christian Science Monitor/File)

Thanksgiving and Black Friday by the numbers

By Lou CarlozoGuest blogger / 11.25.13

Black Friday is so close we can practically taste it! And there's nothing more exciting than having done our Black Friday research in advance: knowing which doorbuster deals to nab, which filler deals to avoid, and actually get to spend some time gearing up to go shopping during Black Friday store hours. But before we charge out the door on Thanksgiving, we want to pause for a minute and think about what this all adds up to. We've crunched some big numbers in the lead up to this major shopping event, and think this is a great space to talk about Black Friday by the numbers.

Projected Black Friday Overall Spending: $602.1 Billion

To put this figure in perspective: $602 billion is more than $10 billion spent per day for the entirety of the shopping season throughout November and December, and it exceeds the gross domestic product of Poland for one year. It also tops the GDP of the Czech Republic, Ukraine, and Slovenia combined. The NRF, also estimates this total to be 3.9% more than consumers' total holiday spending in 2012. Looks like Santa will need a much bigger sleigh this year!  ( Continue… )

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