Black Friday shopping is one of America’s most treasured holiday traditions, but there’s always a bit of hassle involved. Traditionally, shoppers have to get up early, stand in endless lines at stores and try to find deals through hordes of other shoppers — all in the name of savings. The day will look a lot different this year, though, as the COVID-19 pandemic will limit both stores’ abilities to let crowds in and consumers’ enthusiasm to leave the house. In fact, 70% of consumers are “not likely at all” or “somewhat unlikely” to shop in stores on Black Friday, and merchants expect online sales to make up a much larger portion of their total sales compared to last year.
Black Friday sales have also been changing during the past few years. They are starting earlier, weeks ahead of the actual shopping holiday at some stores. That’s good news for consumers who want to stretch out their purchases over a longer period of time rather than buying everything in one day. So which stores offer the best discounts and for which items?
To answer that question and help consumers maximize their Black Friday savings, WalletHub surveyed nearly 7,000 deals from 26 of the biggest U.S. retailers’ 2020 Black Friday ad scans. Below, we’ve listed the stores offering the largest advertised discounts in various product categories such as “Jewelry” and “Appliances.”
Best Places to Shop on Black Friday
|Retailer||2020 Avg. % Discount by Retailer||2019 Avg. % Discount by Retailer||2018 Avg. % Discount by Retailer||2017 Avg. % Discount by Retailer||2016 Avg. % Discount by Retailer||2015 Avg. % Discount by Retailer|
|Office Depot and OfficeMax||33.3%||36.6%||42.6%||34.5%||43.0%||42.8%|
|The Home Depot||32.1%||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Dick's Sporting Goods||31.8%||52.3%||49.9%||35.1%||N/A||N/A|
|Academy Sports + Outdoors||31.5%||31.8%||28.0%||N/A||N/A||N/A|
- The pie chart above displays the product categories in which discounts are more heavily concentrated, represented in percentage terms. The percentages do not represent average discounts.
- The bar graph above displays the average discount percentage for each product category.
Average Store Discounts by Product Category
|Retailer||Apparel & Accessories||Computers & Phones||Consumer Electronics||Consumer Packaged Goods||Toys||Appliances|
|Academy Sports + Outdoors||29.23%||N/A||43.02%||N/A||37.39%||18.49%|
|Dick's Sporting Goods||30.29%||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Office Depot and OfficeMax||N/A||28.81%||N/A||46.70%||N/A||N/A|
|The Home Depot||N/A||N/A||38.62%||N/A||N/A||29.99%|
|Retailer||Furniture||Jewelry||Books, Movies & Music||Video Games (Software Only)||All Other Product Categories|
|Academy Sports + Outdoors||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||26.64%|
|Dick's Sporting Goods||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||32.18%|
|Office Depot and OfficeMax||33.76%||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|The Home Depot||38.80%||N/A||N/A||N/A||37.92%|
The savviest Black Friday shoppers can tell the good deals from the bad — and are likely to save the most money. We asked several experts to share some of their shopping smarts with budget-conscious consumers. Click on the experts’ profiles to read their bios and thoughts on the following key questions:
- How can consumers distinguish between real Black Friday deals and marketing traps?
- How can consumers protect themselves from overspending on Black Friday?
- Which day do you believe people get the best deals: Black Friday, Cyber Monday or another day? Why?
- What are some tips for maximizing bargains on Black Friday?
- Which types of products are better to buy on Black Friday than on Cyber Monday?
- More than half of Americans don’t plan to shop this year on Black Friday due to the pandemic. Do you think the current situation will lead to the demise of in-store Black Friday shopping as we know it?
Ask the Experts
In order to determine the retailers offering the most money-saving bargains this coming Black Friday, WalletHub surveyed nearly 7,000 deals from 26 of the biggest U.S. retailers’ 2021 Black Friday ad scans and calculated the average discount that each retailer plans to offer. The average discount was weighted based on the prediscounted price of the item in order to give more credit to the retailers discounting higher-ticket items. Our sample excludes deals that did not have calculable percentage markdowns.
We then organized the deals into 11 product categories such as “Apparel & Accessories,” “Consumer Electronics” and “Video Games.” When calculating the category averages, we took into account only the retailers that had at least five discounted items in that particular category.
For this report, we examined the following 26 retailers:
- Academy Sports + Outdoors
- Ace Hardware
- Best Buy
- Big Lots
- Dell Home
- Dick's Sporting Goods
- Office Depot and OfficeMax
- Sam's Club
- The Home Depot
Amazon did not provide all the requested info for all their Black Friday deals. As a result, some deals could not be included in our calculations. A total of 275 deals were included.
This year, many retailers have opted to release several rounds of markdowns throughout the month of November, changing their Black Friday deals on a weekly basis. All Black Friday data collected for this analysis are current as of November 18, 2021.
Sources: Data used to conduct this study were collected from each retailer’s official website and BestBlackFriday.com.