Some of this year's holiday deals at Best Buy are on the shelves now, as Black Friday continues to morph into an all-November event across retail powerhouses.
Through Sunday, the Richfield-based consumer-electronics retailer will offer deals on several big-ticket items, including the Toshiba Fire TV, which it sells exclusively for Amazon; a KitchenAid Professional 500 Series Stand Mixer; and a GoPro Karma Quadcopter.
More deals will follow for My Best Buy loyalty program members. Then the big event will start at 5 p.m. Thanksgiving Day at almost all stores, similar to Target, Walmart and other retailers. More TVs, the iPad Mini 4, computers, phones and electronic games will be among the Black Friday deals. After stores close at 1 a.m. Friday, they will reopen at 8 a.m.
Even as the "graying of Black Friday," as retail analysts refer to the extension of deals, continues to grow, the Thanksgiving Day/Black Friday event is still top of mind for consumers.
This year's Pricewaterhouse-Coopers holiday retail survey found that consumer confidence is up. Similar to other reports, it forecasts spending for gifts, travel and entertainment will rise 5 percent.
And 70 percent of those surveyed said they would be shopping on Thanksgiving night, up from 40 percent in 2016.
With more money on the table — and the market share of bankrupt Toys 'R' Us up for grabs — the stakes and expectations are higher for major retailers this holiday season.
"As always, shoppers told us they want the best value for their money this holiday. Their next priority was a stress-free experience," the PwC report said. "They also told us they don't want to spend too much time shopping and they don't want to have to go to a lot of different stores."
Most major retailers are pushing omnichannel shopping, meaning they are ready for people to shop online or in the store and pick up orders at a store or have them delivered.
Target, Walmart and Amazon all have announced free two-day shipping with no minimum purchase.
Best Buy also is offering free shipping through the holidays, it said Thursday. Although it doesn't guarantee it, the majority of items are delivered in two days, executives said. For a fee, Best Buy will guarantee one-day delivery.
The key to all the options is execution, said retail consultant Carol Spieckerman.
"The key word is convenience," she said. "Retailers have learned that they can't afford to force consumers into convenience options that are easier for the retailer to execute — or more profitable."
Now, she said, it's the "all of the above world."
"Best Buy, like Target, doesn't have the brick-and-mortar scale that a Walmart has or the digital scale that Amazon has," she said.
But what it does have is service to add to a package — installation not just delivery — and salespeople who are known for their product and category knowledge, Spieckerman said. Best Buy cannot afford hiccups in either category or in easy pickup and customer service to the car.
"For the holiday season, people make high-dollar purchases at Best Buy," she said. "The minute a customer leaves the store to think about it, the risk of losing the sale is exponential."