Thanksgiving weekend marks the official kick-off to the holiday shopping season, and no town does shopping bigger and better than New York City with most stores offering major sales and Black Friday deals to lure shoppers.
The day after Thanksgiving is known as Black Friday because it marks the time of the year that puts retailers "in the black" profit-wise. Black Friday is the single busiest shopping day of the year and serious shoppers know they can score major deals during the Thanksgiving weekend. But it takes some savvy to find the best deals and strategize how to fight the crowds.
Barneys New York
Barneys is the place to find high-end designer items including Givenchy leather bomber jackets, Prada sneakers, and Lisa Perry dresses. In past years, deals as high as 40 percent off select items have been spotted on and around Black Friday at this upscale NYC store, with three locations in Manhattan and one in Brooklyn.
Bergdorf Goodman, New York's venerable high-end Fifth Avenue store, is the place to find Jimmy Choo, Oscar De La Renta, Gucci, and much more. Black Fridays at Bergdorf's have traditionally included free morning snacks, beauty events, shoe department giveaways, 20 percent discounts on ready-to-wear collections, and substantial gift-with-purchase offers.
Bloomingdale's, or " Bloomies" as it is affectionately known in New York, falls between Saks Fifth Avenue and Macy's on the luxury scale and offers store-wide savings via its "Big Brown Bag Sale" on the day after Thanksgiving. Deals have included up to 50 percent off or, take $25 off every $250 spent. Cashmere sweaters are a particular Black Friday favorite. The doors usually open as early as 7 a.m. and some special offers end by early afternoon, so you snooze, you lose. Online deals abound as well.
Century 21 offers deals every day, but on Black Friday, they're more like steals. Shop the Upper West Side or the Financial District, expect rock-bottom prices on designer goods like jeans and jackets, and prepare for a crowd no matter when you go. Previous Black Friday discounts have included $30 off $150 purchases and $40 off $200 purchases.
Doors open in the afternoon on Thanksgiving Day at JCPenney's Manhattan Mall flagship store. Black Friday sales include deep discounts on everything from women's boots (spotted in the past for $19.99) to crock pots (seen as low as $7.99). Arriving early is essential, and customers who are the first through the doors sometimes receive coupons for between $10 and $500 off purchases.
Looking for bargains on everything from clothing, shoes, home products, and more at Macy's Herald Square Manhattan store is a New York tradition even though it's constantly jammed with shoppers. Hundreds of Black Friday deals will be promoted on each of the store's 10 floors, starting when the store opens on Thanksgiving Day, usually at 5 p.m., and lasting into the wee hours of Black Friday.
The upscale Saks Fifth Ave offers deep sales and savings across the store and online. (Online sales begin at midnight the night before Black Friday.) In past years, shoppers have saved up to 70 percent on high-end merchandise such as Valentino bags and Versace watches, and the sale is usually held over the Thanksgiving weekend–not just on one day.