Up to 152 million shoppers are expected to visit stores and websites during Black Friday Weekend, according to the National Retail Federation.
The group said last year some 212 million shoppers spent about $45 billion over the four days.
Preparations are well underway for what's become known as the start of the holiday shopping season.
Lydia Dishmah, writing in Forbes, provides an overview of "apps designed to help consumers shop smarter, faster and cheaper." Shopkick, for example, enables shoppers to earn reward points just by opening the app in entrance area of participating stores. Target is one local retailer taking part.
There's an official Black Friday website, TheBlackFriday.com, featuring Black Friday ads, sales information, and shopping tips. Included in their tips:
- Decide what you want in advance, because you won't be able to cover all stores.
- Give preference to the big ticket items, because on these you'll save more.
- Buy only what you need so you don't end up paying a restocking fee.
- Avoid traffic congestion by parking away from the store and walking.
The Fairfax County Police Department Financial Crimes Unit is hosting a live online chat at 2 p.m. Monday, November 21, to discuss protecting self and assets during the Black Friday Weekend. Participants may log on live or submit questions in advance to: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/news/askfairfax/.
The day after Thanksgiving was first coined Black Friday in reference to businesses recording their losses in red, their gains in black. The weekend now includes Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday.