Black Friday is the race to get the best gift at the best price and Little Rock stores can be crowded with people looking to get the same. Be sure to get a game plan before you go. Personally, I prefer to wait until CyberMonday and catch some sales that way, but I normally brave the crowds on Black Friday for at least one item.
Get a Game Plan - Check the Ads
The ads come out in the Thanksgiving paper, but most of them can be found online up to a month in advance. Check the paper for changes and ads that aren't published. Walmart is a big retailer that doesn't publish their ads super early, but sometimes these sites even have a Walmart ad up for a while, before an executive asks them to take it down. The ads also have opening times.
Plan A Route
True Black Friday warriors know that you have to plan a route corresponding with the time stores open and what you want the most. It can be tricky if stores are on opposite parts of town. I generally recommend you avoid the Park Plaza and McCain Mall areas unless you really need to go. The best sales won't be found there anyway. Every Walmart in the city is crowded, but the Bowman one (which is most centrally located) tends to be the most crowded. You'll probably have to decide if battling the crowds is worth the central location or not.
Electronics are a commonly wished for item and you can find some great sales on Black Friday. Before hitting the local stores, I would do some spec comparison and maybe even check some online reviews of the items that you're thinking about. That $20 DVD player or $100 computer may only last until New Year's. Be sure you know your brands (and some "off" brands are actually bargains because they're made by the big brands). Local big box electronic stores include Best Buy
. Remember, Walmart is one of the top electronics sellers, so don't be ashamed to do some one-stop shopping.
CyberMonday: Online Shopping on Black Friday and CyberMonday
CyberMonday is the Monday after Thanksgiving and is said to be the biggest online shopping day of the year. Though some analysts say that CyberMonday isn't real, many online shops do have CyberMonday sales. I expect to see more of that this year, with the economy being down. On top of that, many retailers like Sears and Amazon.com offer online specials on Black Friday. Online is my preferred way to shop. There's no crowds!
Prepare Your BodyAlright Black Friday shoppers, I know you want some of that turkey and dressing before you head out (on Friday, you're not sick of it yet). Don't do it! High fat meals make you sleepy, and you're going to need all your energy. I suggest you head to bed early after Thanksgiving dinner (real bed, not in front of the television), and eat a light meal for "breakfast." Some of you will be wanting bargains that start as early as midnight. Well rested, you'll be ready to run to the bargains.