Black Friday sales preparations underway at Walmart, Target

November 26, 2013 (CHICAGO)

On Tuesday, saavy shoppers are hydrating, resting and preparing to hit the Black Friday sales.

But inside, retailers prep for game day. There is much to be done to behind the scenes at Target on Elston Avenue. The after-Thanksgiving sales will be the biggest sales of the year for many stores. That's why it's known as Black Friday, an accounting term that refers to when you're in black print, it's profit.

"We have three seasons that we need to move through in 24 hours. We need to go from the Thanksgiving meal, to gift-giving on Black Friday night, to home decorating the following morning," said Lee Crum, Target.

For shoppers, this week may be the best deals with a short holiday shopping season retailers more competitive for your business. So why wait? Some retailers are already offering their Black Friday deals.

"I saw in the newspaper last week that they have some specials already before Thanksgiving, so I may get those first," said Cecilia Martinez, shopper.

Some savvy shoppers have trolled for bargains already. Dorothy Wulf says she's ahead of her shopping list, but will come out on Friday for fun.

"Probably will take advantage of it, just to be a part of the hustle and bustle of it. Just for sport," said Wulf.

The after-Thanksgiving specials are rolling into Walmart in the Belmont-Craigin neighborhood. Those in line in time will be guaranteed items. And if you see your item go on sale somewhere else, many retailers will match the competitor's price.

"The Christmas ad match. We do have our regular ad match guarantee, where if you find a lower price item at a competitor, we'll match that price in store," said Erica Jones, Walmart.

"To go to the place that has the best deals, and I don't go to 10 stores. I pick the place that has the best deals. I pick one store, go, that's it. I have to function when I get home in the morning," said Amanda Marino, shopper.

'Tis the season for an all-out war for your holiday dollars, and retailers know it's the sales that lure you in.

At Macy's on State Street, it's the windows that have shoppers dreaming of their wish lists and thinking about what it would take to pull out the plastic.

Steven McFarland says he already bought his mother a necklace for 70 percent off the regular price. But is that really a good deal? Experts say be aware of the hype.

"The whole pricing system where they mark up just so they can discount is built into their business model," said Hitha Prabhakar, chief research officer, AITCHPE Retail Advisory.

Some shoppers have a strategy whether they are shopping on Black Friday or on Thanksgiving.

"The companies I go for send these huge lists what they have on sale and usually dart to that section," said Dana Svgura, shopper.

While the big-box stores will be open on Thanksgiving evening and Black Friday, don't forget that you may find some good deals at local retailers in your own neighborhood.

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