When is the best time to buy Christmas gifts at these popular stores?


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Prior to 2020, holiday shopping followed a fairly predictable schedule. The mini-sales started after Halloween, store-by-store, and headed for the grand finale of Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday. After that, all the department stores remained in a state of near-perpetual sales until the end of the year.

Then the pandemic changed everything you knew about holiday shopping, just like it changed everything else – and it all started when the virus forced a single online retailer to reschedule its big summer shopping vacation. .

One year later and the revamp to the traditional fall holiday shopping calendar that took place in 2020 is still in effect. Here’s what you need to know about the new normal at your favorite vacation spots, and when you can expect the discounts to be the biggest.

Read: Where to get unique holiday gifts without leaving your home
To find: 29 Ways To Save On Holiday Gifts

Amazon: right away

In 2020, the pandemic forced Amazon to postpone Prime Day from its usual date in July to mid-October. According to eMarketer, this was a watershed moment.

The pandemic had already funneled most of the country’s retail sales to e-commerce, so when the world’s largest online retailer held its biggest sales event of the year a month and a half before Black Friday, the entire retail industry was forced into vacation mode early. What started out as a setback turned out to be the biggest Prime Day in Amazon history. Sales increased by $ 3.23 billion from 2019 to a total of $ 10.39 billion in 2020.

In 2021, Amazon brought Prime Day back to its usual time in July, but it learned from the early harvest last year. In October, Amazon started listing the epic daily deals that it promised to rival anything you would find on Black Friday – and so far, a lot of them have.

The entire industry, once again, has been forced to follow Amazon’s lead.

To learn: 10 stocks that should take a break from holiday shopping

Target: strategize on Sunday

To keep pace with Amazon, Target brought back its three-day Deal Days event on October 10 – almost exactly the same time as last year’s delayed Prime Day. After a brief lull, it followed Amazon in ongoing sales ahead of Black Friday for the second year in a row. On Halloween night, Sunday, October 31, Target launched “Holiday Best,” a month-long sales event that changes categories every week until Black Friday. Every Sunday, a new ad launches the categories of the week.

Last year, according to The Krazy Coupon Lady, Target followed the same format with the following weekly categories:

  • Nov week 1: Electronic
  • Nov week 2: Kitchen and floor maintenance
  • Nov week 3: Beauty, clothing and electronics second round
  • Nov week 4: Video games and some consoles and, again, cooking, floor maintenance and electronics

It appears to be moving in the same direction this year, with first week sales focusing on electronics like laptops, headphones, smart TVs and mixers. If you miss the first week, don’t worry – you’ll almost certainly have another chance at electronics, but be ready on Sundays in November for whatever gift category you choose.

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Walmart: three events in November

Like Target, Walmart finds itself in the familiar position of holding Amazon’s hand in early and ongoing holiday sales. Walmart is bringing back “Black Friday Deals for Days,” which it debuted in 2020 in response to Prime Day’s move to October.

The world’s largest retailer promises to bundle its best holiday season deals into three events in November.

  • Event n ° 1: Offers start online November 3 at 7 p.m. and continue in-store November 5
  • Event n ° 2: Offers start online November 10 at 7 p.m. and continue in-store November 12
  • Event n ° 3: To be determined

As an added perk, Walmart + members will have early access to all of the same offers four hours earlier than the general public for all three events – that’s a 3pm start time for the first two sales.

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Best Buy: November 19

If you’re on the hunt for tech giveaways, it’s hard to compete with Best Buy’s vacation deals. Like other big boxes, Best Buy was forced by Amazon’s kickoff to start sales earlier, which it did on October 19. The retailer then took a month to regroup and its next big sale begins a week before Black Friday on November 19. Best Buy promises its first deals will be as good as any you’ll find on D-Day.

Promises are one thing. Guarantees are another.

Best Buy Totaltech and My Best Buy members can shop worry-free with the Black Friday price guarantee with automatic refund. Best Buy will refund the difference if the price drops on qualifying items you purchased from October 19 through the upcoming sale on November 18, no questions asked.

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Last updated: November 2, 2021

About the Author

Andrew Lisa has been writing professionally since 2001. Award winning writer Andrew was once one of the youngest nationally distributed columnists for the nation’s largest newspaper union, the Gannett News Service. He worked as the business editor for amNewYork, the most circulated newspaper in Manhattan, and as the editor for TheStreet.com, a financial publication at the heart of the Wall Street investor community in New York.


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