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Local News / Business

Tuesday, 24 November, 2009 0:05 AM

Tips to Get the Most Out of Black Friday and Cyber Monday

The average consumer will spend $350 over Black Friday weekend


Prime Outlets is located at 12240 S Beyer Rd. near I-75 in Birch Run, Mich.

by Jason Rzucidlo


LISTEN: Interview with Kathy Granis of the National Retail Federation regarding Black Friday and Cyber Monday

LISTEN: Interview with Phil Whitsel, Marketing Manager of Prime Outlets Birch Run regarding midnight madness

BIRCH RUN, Mich. -- This year's Black Friday is expected to be slower due to our nation's struggling economy. Prices will be cut drastically on dozens of products. The average consumer is expected to spend $350 over the Black Friday weekend, according to the National Retail Federation. Many outlet malls across the country will be opening at midnight on the day after Thanksgiving. Wal-Mart has announced it will open at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving and will stay open through Black Friday. Meijer and Kmart will also be open for business on Thanksgiving Day.

Toys R Us will open at midnight on Black Friday, Old Navy will open at 3 a.m. Many stores such as GameStop, JCPenney, Kohl's, Parisian and Sears will open at 4 a.m. Several other stores will open at 5 a.m. including Bed, Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, Dick's Sporting Goods, Macy's, Sam's Club and Target. Opening at 6 a.m. will be Big Lots, Kmart, Lowe's, Office Depot, OfficeMax and Staples. ABC Warehouse and Nordstrom will open at 8 a.m., Costco will open at 9 a.m.

All other stores inside malls and shopping centers will open when the mall opens. Briarwood Mall (Ann Arbor) opens at 5 a.m., Laurel Park (Livonia) opens at 7 a.m., Southland Center (Taylor) opens at 6 a.m., Somerset Collection (Troy) opens at 8 a.m., Oakland Mall (Troy) opens at 7 a.m., Northland Center (Southfield) opens at 8 a.m., The Mall at Partridge Creek (Clinton Township) opens at 8 a.m., Macomb Mall (Roseville) opens at 8 a.m., Lakeside Mall (Sterling Heights) opens at 6 a.m., Fairlane Town Center (Dearborn) opens at 7 a.m. and Eastland Center (Harper Woods) opens at 8 a.m.

First, check some of the ads on one of the many Black Friday websites such as,,, and However, many of the websites could contain rumored information. It is still a great place to get a general idea of the possible deals. Since it is less than a week from Black Friday, some retailers are already posting their day after Thanksgiving ads on their official websites.

GPS devices are expected to be priced extremely low on Black Friday and on Cyber Monday. Some stores will be offering GPS devices for half off their original retail price. Kmart is expected to sell TomTom ONE 130 devices for $79.99, Kohl's is going to sell a 3.5" GPA for $69.99, Sears will sell a Garmin 205 and a Magellan RoadMate 1220 for $89.99, and Staples will offer a TomTom XL GPS for $99.99.

Kathy Granis is the manager of media relations for the National Retail Federation.

"We'll see everything from high-end electronics to even high-end apparel such as cashmere sweaters as we get closer to Black Friday," Granis said about this year's hot deals. "On Black Friday itself, we'll see more items like digital cameras, toys, outerwear, even home appliances."

Kmart and Sears have been promoting early Black Friday sales over the last few weeks. However, prices are predicted to be much lower on the day itself. "I don't think the sales we are having now will have any affect on Black Friday," the manager of media relations for the National Retail Federation said. "The deals that are out there now are not the same as we are going to see on Black Friday. Retailers are going to pull out all the stops for their Black Friday promotions."

Granis said that 80 percent of consumers will spend less this holiday season when compared to last year. "Two thirds of American consumers are affected by the economy somehow," the manager of media relations for the National Retail Federation said.

There are many things that shoppers should do to keep their purchases safe.

"As far as safety's concerned, coming prepared, having a list and knowing ahead of time what the store is offering in terms of extra security or early promotions," Granis said. "Keeping your bags to yourself is probably one of the best ways. Never letting a friend of family member watch your bags for you. They may accidentally get distracted. Your belongings matter more to you than anybody else. If you need to rent one of those buggies or carts that are available in certain stores for 25 long as that's by your side I think that's good to go."

Cyber Monday (the Monday following Black Friday) is also expected to be a very busy shopping day for many. For a sneak peek at Cyber Monday deals, go to or

"Hundreds of retailers are already gearing up for their online promotions on Cyber Monday," the manager of media relations for the National Retail Federation said. "We'll see things from digital cameras to men's slippers to women's cashmere sweaters. Those who shop online-only typically won't head out for Black Friday. There's a good chance that the same amount of people will shop both."

Tim Burns is the public affairs director of the Better Business Bureau, Eastern Michigan office.

"If you're going to a physical location, be careful about where you're parking," Burns said. "Make sure that you are parking in an area that's lighted or that's in a visible view where people can see your car and you so that no one can sneak up onto you or onto your car. Next, you want to make sure to keep your items in your trunk or somewhere hidden. People can do smash and grabs really quickly and get into your car.

"When making your purchases, what you should do is get your most expensive stuff near the end of the day so that you have that with you when you're leaving. It's not left in your car where there's easy access for someone to break in and steal it."

Burns said shoppers should not carry four or five bags at once -- instead, bargain hunters should put one or two bags away in the car then return to the mall and continue shopping.

"Target things at the lower end of your price scale at the beginning of the day," the public affairs director of the Better Business Bureau, Eastern Michigan office said. "Make a couple of trips out until you get to the most expensive stuff at the end of the day. Make a quick, direct route to your car. Don't linger around, look like you could be a victim, be confident, put the stuff in an area where it's not easily seen. If you're making multiple trips with a couple of items, it's not going to make as much attention as someone carrying a bunch of bags in and out."

Burns said that women should keep their purse close to their body and men should keep their wallet in their front pocket.

"If you have your keys ready to go, there's not any time jingling or trying to focus to get to your car," the public affairs director of the Better Business Bureau, Eastern Michigan office said. "Come out with your keys, you're ready to put it in, there's less time where you're distracted or you're eyes are away from the area around you. You want to get in your car quickly, get the car started and lock your doors once you're in there so you can get away. If you're juggling and looking for your keys, that's easier for someone to come up and approach you and maybe do a crime or something that's not in your best interest."

Burns also said that consumers should closely read return and exchange policies at all stores. Some stores may not accept returns or exchanges without a receipt and there is no federal or state law that mandates it. Electronics that are returned may come with a restocking fee. Burns said to also watch out for phishing scams when shopping online. Always shop at websites that have an "https" at the beginning of the web address when making an online transaction. Also look for the BBB online seal, a physical address and phone number on shopping websites. Purchases should be made with credit cards or PayPal instead of debit cards, since debit transactions come directly out of a bank account.

Phil Whitsel is the marketing manager of Prime Outlets at Birch Run.

Some of the stores at the outlet mall will be open as early as 10 or 11 p.m. on Thanksgiving evening. Nearby restaurants will also be open for those shoppers who are looking to get an extra head start this year.

Shoppers can go to and click on "Birch Run" to print off a list of all the Black Friday deals.

"You can download all of the offers that we have going right now," the marketing manager said. "In addition to that, we will be updating that every couple of days until the event. Make sure to go back and check on it from time to time. Find out if your favorite store has been added if they're not already there."

Some of the hottest deals are expected to be at Aeropostale, AK Anne Klein, Banana Republic, Clarks Bostonian, Dickie's, Guess, Jones New York, Wilsons Leather and Van Heusen.

The first 500 shoppers in line at the outlet center information store who are wearing their pajamas and over the age of 16, will receive a free gift bag. It will include special edition Jockey sleepwear and other free items.

"Winners must be 16 years of age to be eligible," Whitsel explained. "We actually have a ladies pajama top that is provided by Jockey. It's an exclusive top, you can't find it in any store. There is also going to be a coupon inside the bag for Jockey that you can take and get some slippers to go with it."

Dickie's is offering a free $10 gift card to the first 100 customers. Oops! Outlet is offering a free fabric tote bag to the first 50 customers. The first 100 customers at VF outlet will receive a free $5 gift card. DressBarn outlet is giving away a free 3-piece cosmetic bag set with any purchase of $50 or more from midnight to 6 a.m. on Friday.

Click here to download and print Black Friday weekend deals at Prime Outlets Birch Run. (PDF)

Related Story: Prime Outlets Birch Run to open at midnight on Black Friday with free gift bag offer



Prime Outlets Birch Run will be the first stop for many shoppers on Black Friday.



Aeropostale is expected to be one of the busiest stores at Prime Outlets Birch Run on Black Friday weekend.




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Unauthorized duplication or use of Text, Site Template, Graphics and or Site Design is Prohibited by Federal and International laws. See our Notice/Disclaimer.