By: Aimee Picchi | MoneyWatch
November 22, 2016
(CBS News) -- On the Friday after Thanksgiving, millions of Americans will go into high gear on their holiday shopping, hoping to scoop up good deals as they search for gifts for friends and family.
Yet some merchants are more likely than others to offer savings. So shoppers may want to study up on which retailers to visit before heading out on Friday, according to a study from WalletHub. Shoppers will likely spend an average of $657 on holiday gifts this year, an increase of 8 percent from last year. Americans will still most likely to shop in physical stores rather than via online retailers, NerdWallet found.
Even though Americans plan to be more generous gift-givers this year, retailers face increasing competition to attract a share of their spending. Online merchants are growing more aggressive with their Cyber Monday promotions, while millennials -- which count as America’s largest generation -- and other shoppers increasingly opt for “experiential” gifts, such as travel or entertainment.
That means retailers are pulling out the bells and whistles this year to convince shoppers to step inside their doors.
When it comes to discounts, the best option is Macy’s (M), which WalletHub found will provide an average discount of 63.4 percent. That compares with an overall discount rate of 39 percent for almost three dozen retailers the site surveyed.
Macy’s will open its doors at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving. Some locations will remain open all night, while others will shut at 2 a.m. on Friday and reopen at 6 a.m. Saturday. The best savings at Macy’s will be found in jewelry and apparel and accessories, the study found.
When it comes to technology and consumer electronics, shoppers should look toward Best Buy (BBY), Walmart (WMT) and Target (TGT), among others, according to Ben’s Bargains, which analyzed thousands of holiday sale prices to find the top bargains on Thanksgiving and Black Friday.
The best deals on Apple (AAPL) products, slated to be big sellers this season, can be found at a number of major retailers, including Target and Best Buy. The best price depends on the product. Ben’s Bargain’s found that the lowest iPad Pro price will be found at Target on Thanksgiving Day. The retailer will sell a 32GB iPad Pro for $449, or a 25 percent discount.
Several retailers, including Target and Best Buy, are selling iPhone 7 or 7+ and providing a $250 gift card, on both Thanksgiving and Black Friday.
Bundling gift cards with purchases is increasingly popular with retailers, says Coupons.com, which notes that it expects the value of gift cards to rise this year.
Here are the top 10 stores for discounts this Black Friday, according to WalletHub.
1. Macy’s (a 63.4 percent discount)
2. Stage (62.8 percent)
3. JCPenney (62.8 percent)
4. Harbor Freight (62.6 percent)
5. Gordmans (61.6 percent)
6. Kohl’s (58.1 percent)
7. Shopko (55.6 percent)
8. Fred Meyer (49.7 percent)
9, Craft Warehouse (45 percent)
10. Sears (43.9 percent)