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Thanksgiving Day sales: JCPenney, Kohl's, and Target kick off Black Friday early

Thanksgiving Day sales are here to stay, with JCPenney opening up three hours earlier than last year. 

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    Customers ride the escalator at a J.C. Penney store in New York. The department store will kick off its Black Friday sales at 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day this year.
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We thought Black Friday retailers might be taking a step back from Thanksgiving Day sales. After all, stores like REI and GameStop came out swinging against the Black Thursday trend, with REI going as far as to close on Thanksgiving and Black Friday AND give its employees two days paid vacation to frolic in the great outdoors. But if JCPenney, Kohl's and Target's Black Friday hours are any indication, Black Thursday is here to stay. Here's our roundup of the latest Black Friday ad leaks and the hottest Black Friday news. 

JCPenney

According to their Black Friday ad, which dropped today, JCPenney's Black Friday sale will begin at 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, which is two hours earlier than their 2014 start time of 5 p.m., and five hours earlier than their 2013 8 p.m. start time. This might seem a bit drastic, but it's not as crazy as you might think. After all, the last time the JCPenney Black Friday sale ACTUALLY started on Friday was in 2012, and sale start times have been getting earlier and earlier across the board every year since. While 3 p.m. might be the earliest we've seen any of the big Black Friday retailers go this year, I wouldn't be surprised to see more follow suit.

Another thing we noticed in the JCP Black Friday ad was the conspicuous lack of the universally beloved Disney Snow Globe giveaway that's usually afforded to the first few hundred shoppers in each store. While there is no mention of this deal in the ad itself, a spokesperson for JCPenney responded to a Facebook query with this cryptic response: "Plans are still in the works and have not been announced. Stay tuned!" I think its safe to say that at least a few lucky JCP shoppers will get their hands on a free Disney snow globe this year, but we'll just have to wait for the details of this giveaway to be officially announced.

Early shoppers will have the chance to win one of 10 $10,000 cash grand prizes and a $500 off $500, $100 off $100, or $10 off $10 instant-savings coupon, the details of which you can find on the last page of the ad.

Some of our favorite deals from the ad?

  • Cooks Small Kitchen Appliances Doorbuster Deal -- $7.99 (originally $40-$70)
  • Crosley Cruiser 3-Speed Portable Turntable -- $49.99 (originally $120)
  • Men & Women's Fashion Watches -- $9.99 (originally $30)
  • Keurig K-Cup Brewer K45 Elite -- $89.99 (originally $175)

Check out the full JCPenney Black Friday ad here!

Target

Target's Black Friday sale, while not actually starting on Friday, will begin at the SLIGHTLY more reasonable time of 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

If you're reading this on Monday, 11/9, there's a Black Friday preview sale going on today only that offers a sneak peak of what's to come on the big day. The early access deals aren't exactly groundbreaking, but they're nothing to sniff at. You can check them out on pages 2-5 of the Target Black Friday ad, but here are a few of our favorites you can shop today:

  • 25% off all Beats Wireless Headphones
  • 25% off the Apple TV
  • Polaroid 9″ Tablet with Bluetooth keyboard — $49.99 (was 79.99)
  • Hoover WindTunnel 2 Rewind Bagless Upright Vacuum — $69.99 (was $129.99)

If you're not enticed by anything in the preview, here's a list of notable Black Friday sale items Target put out in a press release this morning:

  • 55” Westinghouse LED TV — $249.99 (was $599.99)
  • 43” Element LED TV — $169.99
  • Free $150 Target Gift Card when you buy an iPad Air 2
  • Parrot Bebop Drone — $394.99 (was $499.99)
  • Xbox One Bundle — $299.99 with Gears of War digital game download ($39.99 Value) and a free $60 Target Gift Card (was $349.99)
  • Free $100 Target Gift Card with purchase of any Apple Watch
  • Beats Solo 2 Headphones — $96.99 (was $199.99)
  • Nikon CoolPix L340 digital camera — $99.99 (was $229.99)
  • GoPro Hero+LCD, — $299.99 and a free $60 Target Gift Card and a free 64GB Lexar MicroSD card ($42.99 value)
  • Fitbit Charge HR — $119.00 (was. $149.99)
  • Dyson V6 Motorhead Cordless Vacuum — $249.99 (was $399.99)
  • 40 percent off all apparel and accessories for women, men, kids and baby
  • Buy one, get one 50 percent off select toys, including Star Wars, Hot Wheels, Thomas & Friends and more
  • 50 percent off top holiday home décor, including all frames and jar candles

Kohl's

I've said it before and I will say it again now: Kohl's consistently has one of the best, most underrated Black Friday sales in the business. Not only is it always home to the cheapest net price on a KitchenAid Mixer, but between the Kohl's Cash, the Yes2You Rewards, the mail-in rebates and the coupon stacking, you can really get a great bang for your Black Friday buck at Kohl's. Here's an example of how to take advantage of all these special promotions using the aforementioned KitchenAid Stand Mixer, which everyone and their mom goes crazy for on Black Friday:

The 5-quart Classic Stand Mixer, which usually sells for around $500, is on sale on Black Friday for $299.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate. Mail-in rebates are annoying, but ignoring them is akin literally throwing money away, so make sure you actually mail it in. In addition to this rebate, Kohl's will likely also be offering the following four stackable coupons, as they do every year:

  • One site wide percent off offer (ex: last year’s 15 percent off offer for Black Friday shoppers)
  • One category percent off offer (ex:  10 percent off KitchenAid stand mixers)
  • One dollar off offer (ex: “take $10 off a $50 purchase”)
  • One shipping offer (ex: free shipping on all items)

So if, like last year, Kohl’s offers an additional 10 percent off all KitchenAid Stand mixers, that would count as a category percent off offer. In addition to that, Kohl's also usually offers 15 percent off for Black Friday shoppers, which counts as a site-wide percent off offer.

If you’re shopping online, you’ll add the mixer to your cart at the $349.99 pre-rebate price, and the 10 percent off will be automatically applied. If this year goes the same way as last, Kohl’s may offer a site wide 15 percent off code just for Black Friday. If so, you’ll then type in that discount code and get another 15 percent off, bringing the total upfront cost to $267.74. Subtract the $50 mail-in rebate, the $75 in Kohl’s Cash and the $10 in Yes2You Dollars you’ll earn on the purchase, andyou’re essentially paying $132.74 for a mixer that usually sells for $500.

If they don't end up offering the 10 percent category percent off offer on KitchenAid stand mixers (it's not currently in the Black Friday ad but they sometimes don't announce percent off offers until the day of), you'll be essentially paying $162.50 for this mixer. Either way, I think this kind of deal is what Black Friday is all about!

Like Target's, the Kohl's Black Friday sale will start at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. You can check out the Kohl's Black Friday ad for yourself here!

Other notable Black Friday news

In addition to these three hard-hitters, we've recently uploaded the StaplesSam's ClubPetSmart,PetCo and GameStop Black Friday ads, to name just a few. If you want to stay on top of all the latest Black Friday ad leaks and news, head over to our sister site, Brad's Black Friday, check out all the goods and make sure you subscribe to get email alerts every time a new ad is posted!

This article first appeared in Brad's Deals.

The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best personal finance bloggers out there. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click here. To add or view a comment on a guest blog, please go to the blogger's own site by clicking on the link in the blog description box above.

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