Once again, the lines between Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday and Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday will be blurred this 2018 holiday shopping season, particularly with many of the major chain retailers launching their sales on Turkey Day.
Columbus-area residents will be among the estimated 164 million people crowding the nation’s stores and pulling out their cash or credit and debit cards to purchase gifts for others or perhaps themselves, according to the National Retail Federation.
The “holiday” items shoppers will buy this year remain somewhat predictable. Heading the list will be gift cards and certificates, with 60 percent of those surveyed by the retail organization and Prosper Insights & Analytics expected to make the somewhat easier purchase for friends and loved ones rather than browse for hours online or in a mall.
Following gift cards, clothing and accessories are expected to be the most popular purchases placed under the Christmas tree this year, followed by books, movies and music, electronics, home décor and furnishings, jewelry, personal care and beauty items, sporting goods and leisure items, and home improvement goods.
“Consumers will be scouring through retailers’ ads to make sure they are getting the best deal possible,” said Phil Rist, executive vice president of strategy with Prosper. “Although sales will remain an important factor, shoppers want good quality and want to be able to find what they’re looking for.”
If the survey’s predictions hold true, the average consumer will shell out just over $1,000 on gifts this 2018 holiday season — $1,007.24 to be exact — which would be 4.1 percent higher than shoppers’ average guestimate a year ago of $967.13. Altogether, according to the retail federation, retail spending as a nation will surge to as much as $720.9 billion in November and December combined, which would be nearly 5 percent higher.
Locally, the hubs of brick-and-mortar shopping that will draw sizable crowds include Columbus Park Crossing, Peachtree Mall, The Landings, Bradley Park and Cross Country Plaza, along with the city’s downtown area, particularly on Small Business Saturday.
And it’s worth noting that with Toys R Us going out of business earlier this year, those seeking fun items for their youngsters will need to check with other general merchandise retailers, some of which have added to their toy inventory just for that reason. Electronics retailer hhgregg also closed its doors nationally this year, eliminating another source for both electronics, TVs and appliances.
Of course, a high percentage of spenders may forgo the Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday dash from store to store altogether for calmer shopping on computers in the comfort of their homes. The upcoming Cyber Monday is expected to see retailers sweeten the pot for those doing so that day, with free shipping being offered by major sellers during the holidays.
With that bit of insight, we bring you a selection of popular doorbuster items, in no particular order, culled from a variety of circulars that will be available in the Ledger-Enquirer Thanksgiving morning in what the newspaper is calling its “biggest paper of the year.”
▪ 70-inch LG 4K ultra high definition (UHD) Smart TV with HDR, $699.99 – Best Buy
▪ 43-inch Toshiba 4K UHD Smart TV with HDR, Amazon Fire TV edition, $129.99 in store only – Best Buy
▪ Dell Inspiron laptop Intel Core i5 processor, 15.6 inch screen, 8GB memory, 256GB solid state drive, $399.99 – Best Buy
▪ Microsoft Xbox One X 1TB Gold Rush Special Edition Battlefield V bundle with 4K UHD Blu-ray, $429.99 – Best Buy
▪ 55-inch Element Smart 4K UHD TV, $199.99 – Target
▪ Fitbit Versa smart watch, $149 – Target
▪ Nintendo Switch Mario Kart 8 deluxe bundle, $299.99 – Target
▪ Rampage women’s boots, entire stock, $19.94 – Shoe Station
▪ Sugar women’s boots, entire stock, $29.94 – Shoe Station
▪ North Face women’s or men’s Alpz down vest, $59.98 – Dick’s Sporting Goods
▪ Amazon Echo smart speaker, $69 – Kohl’s
▪ 58-inch Samsung 4K Smart TV, plus $165 Kohl’s cash, $549.99 – Kohl’s
▪ Various: Slow cooker, pillows, glassware, bath rug, tote bags, fashion watches, plush Minnie or Mickey, pearl studs, Giorgio perfume, all FREE after rebates – Macy’s
▪ Diamond earrings, 1/10 ct.t.w. in sterling silver, while supplies last, $29.99 – Macy’s
▪ 7.5-foot pre-lit LED Townsend artificial Christmas tree, while supplies last, $79 – The Home Depot
▪ Char-Broil Advantage 3-burner gas grill, 540-square-inch cooking area, $89 – Lowe’s
▪ Oklahoma Joe’s Bandera Smoker, $199.99 – Academy Sports & Outdoors
▪ JumpZone 14-foot trampoline with enclosure, $149.99 – Academy Sports & Outdoors
▪ AGame 44-inch composite portable basketball goal, $59.99 – Academy Sports & Outdoors
▪ Women’s boots, various styles, $19.98 – Shoe Carnival
▪ Black and Decker Crisp ‘n Bake Air Fryer toaster oven, $47.99 with 20-percent-off coupon – Bed Bath & Beyond
▪ HP Pavilion 15.6-inch screen laptop, Intel Core i7 processor, $499.99 – Staples
▪ Beautyrest queen mattress only, Friday morning only, $99, while supplies last – Mattress Firm
▪ Sealy Essentials queen mattress only, $299 – The Sleep Center
▪ Casey recliner, $299, limited supplies – La Z Boy Home Furnishings & Decor
▪ Morphe 9-piece vegan makeup brush set, $19.50 – Ulta Beauty
▪ Buy one, get one free boots for the family, starting at $19.99 – Rack Room Shoes
▪ Rocker recliners, $189, Thanksgiving only – Big Lots!
▪ T-Fal 15-piece cookware set, $39.99 – Bealls Outlet
▪ Intelligent robot, $29.99 – Bealls Outlet
▪ Fitbit Versa smart watch, $149.95 – JCPenney
▪ Toys to include Barbie, Nerf and Disney Collection, 50 percent off, coupon can’t be used – JCPenney
▪ 55-inch Hisense 4K Roku Smart TV, $248 – Walmart
▪ Sony PS4 1TB Slim Spider-Man bundle, $199.99 – Walmart
▪ Hover-1 Liberty hoverboard, $99 – Walmart
▪ Google Home Hub, $99 – Walmart
▪ Pac-Man or Galaga retro arcade machine, $249 – Walmart
Thanksgiving Day store openings
Shoe Station – 6 p.m.
Walmart – 6 p.m.
Target – 5 p.m.
Kohl’s – 5 p.m.
Best Buy – 5 p.m.
JCPenney – 2 p.m.
Macy’s – 5 p.m.
Big Lots! – 7 a.m.
Dick’s Sporting Goods – 6 p.m.
GameStop – 3 p.m.
Michael’s – 6 p.m.
Old Navy – 4 p.m.
Ulta – 6 p.m.