TORONTO - Marketers love the Black Friday shopping holiday and continue to find ways to exploit its growing popularity.
Black Friday went from being a one-day event to an all-weekend series of sales. This year, pre-Black Friday sales were going strong on Thursday.
And, of course, at the end of the weekend there's Cyber Monday, the big online shopping day.
Canadian retailers have tried to cash in on the Black Friday trend by organizing their own sales and promising deals just as good as the ones that cause stampedes stateside.
But are the Canadian retailers offering promotions that truly rival prices south of the border?
The Canadian Press compared some of the Black Friday flyers of retailers in the U.S. and Canada to see how the sales differ and whether there are any legitimate bargains being offered to consumers on Friday.
(All Canadian prices are quoted in Cdn dollars. All U.S. prices are quoted in U.S. dollars.)
There are some pretty decent deals to be had at Walmart in Canada but they don't compare to the deeper discounts in the U.S.
An Xbox 360 console with a four-gigabyte hard drive is going for $129 in Canada, which is a good $50 off. But if you were in the U.S. you could pick one up for just $99. An RCA seven-inch tablet is $68 here and $49 in the U.S., "World War Z" on Blu-ray is $10 higher in Canada, and "Grand Theft Auto V" is $39 here and $34 down south. While Walmart Canada's big TV doorcrasher is an RCA 32-inch LED TV for $168, a 32-inch Funai LED TV is $98 in the U.S.
But Canadians can snag one deal that would make American bargain hunters jealous. A Keurig Special Edition K60 coffee machine is $68 in Canada and $139 in the U.S.
There are a few common items on sale at Best Buy on both sides of the border which would suggest it's maybe not worth a trip. A 46-inch Samsung LED TV is $499.99 in Canada and just $22 cheaper in the U.S., while a 32-gigabyte version of the Microsoft Surface tablet is $199.99 in both countries. A 13.3-inch MacBook Pro with four gigabytes of memory and 128 gigabytes of storage is $200 cheaper in the U.S., but is that enough savings to plan a trip? It depends on how much other shopping you plan to do. And cross your fingers that the computer doesn't sell out.
Target Canada's flyer is much, much leaner than the American version, making price comparison more difficult, but the TV doorcrasher looks a little better in the U.S. There, $229 gets you a 50-inch Element LED TV, while the Canadian doorcrasher is $30 cheaper but 11 inches smaller in size.
Once again, there's a better deal to be had in Canada on a Keurig coffee brewer.
Some of the deals Amazon.ca has highlighted are priced better than in the U.S., although the opposite is true for some of the promotions targeted to American customers. Canadians were being offered a Blu-ray set of the complete series of "Friends" for $69.99 while it was $149.99 in the U.S. A Toshiba 32-inch LED TV was $199 in Canada, a savings of almost $40 versus the U.S. store. On the other hand, an Xbox 360 250-gigabyte Holiday Bundle was $249 in Canada and $60 cheaper in the U.S.
The best thing you can do before making a big purchase on Black Friday in Canada is to Google an item's regular price — on both sides of the border — and then figure out whether there's any rush in pulling out a credit card. Yes, many products will be on sale but not necessarily with a deep enough discount to warrant waiting in long lines. And in some cases, you may not want to gamble with the off-brand electronics that are often highlighted as doorcrashers.
With almost a month's worth of shopping days left before Christmas, there will be other sales. Cyber Monday is a few days away. And then there's always Boxing Day.
The Details: Now through Dec. 1 What You Get: Save an extra 30% off final sale items online. No code needed! Shop <a href="https://www.joefresh.com/" target="_blank">here</a>.
The Details: Limited time. What You Get: 30% off already reduced merchandise for men and women.
The Details: Now until Nov. 29. What You Get: 30% off everything online and 30% off selected items in store including party dresses, blazers, skirts, cardigans and more.
The Details: Now through Dec. 1. What You Get: 25% off regular priced merchandise and an extra 50% off already reduced merchandise. Shop <a href="http://bench.ca/sale/women/?gip=0&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=cpc&utm_content=Women&utm_campaign=Black+Friday+-+Facebook" target="_blank">here</a>.
The Details: On now for a limited time. What You Get: Up to 75% off books, up to 50% off home, up to 40% off style, up to 50% off electronics, up to 45% DVDs. Shop <a href="http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/home/?langtype=4105" target="_blank">here</a>.
The Details: Nov. 29 - Dec. 1 and Nov. 26-28 for pre-Black Friday deals. What You Get: Deals on pajamas, jeans, electronics, kitchenwear, DVDs, tablets and more. Shop <a href="http://www.walmart.ca/en" target="_blank">here</a> and check out their flyer <a href="http://www.redflagdeals.com/flyers/walmart/black-friday-flyer-nov-29-to-dec-01-2013-21495/?page=1#flyer" target="_blank">here</a>.
The Details: Nov. 29 - Dec. 2 What You Get: Save on mattresses, living room furniture, coffee makers, bedding, kitchenwear and more. Check out their flyer <a href="http://www.redflagdeals.com/flyers/home-outfitters/black-friday-weekend-sale-nov-29-to-dec-05-2013-21867/?page=1#flyer" target="_blank">here</a>.
The Details: Nov. 29 - Dec. 1 What You Get: Doors open from 7 a.m. until 11 p.m. on Nov. 29, guests who spend $75 or more storewide on Nov. 29 will receive a $15 Target GiftCard redeemable on their next purchase (one GiftCard per guest). Target REDcard cardholders will also receive an additional 5% off almost everything in the store. Target will also have deals on everything from electronics, toys, kitchenwear and up to 70 per cent off women’s, men’s and kids’ apparel and accessories. Shop <a href="http://flyers.target.ca/flyers/targetcanada-weeklyad?type=1&locale=en&flyer_run_id=13425#!/flyers/targetcanada-weeklyad?flyer_run_id=13425" target="_blank">here</a>.
The Details: Nov. 26 - Dec. 2 What You Get: Save up to 50% on select items plus when you spend a minimum of $600, you'll save an additional 20% on your order with the coupon code BLKFR. Items include a Steve Nash Gray Nailhead three-piece suit, Silver Moon cufflinks and an Ultimate Cardinal and Stone Micro-Design Blazer. Shop <a href="http://www.indochino.com/?utm_medium=banner&utm_source=RedFlag&utm_campaign=BF13RedFlag&utm_content=&cvosrc=banner.RedFlag.BF13RedFlag-" target="_blank">here</a>.
The Details: Nov. 28 - Dec. 1. What You Get: Save up to 40% off selected fall women's and men's designer fashion, accessories and shoes.
The Details: Now until Nov. 30 What You Get: Deals on products such as DVDs, juicers, electronics, watches, tools, books and more. Shop <a href="http://www.amazon.ca/b/ref=amb_link_396273662_2?ie=UTF8&node=6054205011&pf_rd_m=A3DWYIK6Y9EEQB&pf_rd_s=center-B1&pf_rd_r=1JBJVJTVHFA6SMA09E32&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1674768462&pf_rd_i=915398" target="_blank">here</a>.
The Details: Nov. 28 - Dec. 1 What You Get: 30% off the entire site when you use the code: KLBLACKFRIDAY and free shipping on orders over $100. Shop <a href="http://www.karenlondon.com/" target="_blank">here</a>.
The Details: Nov. 29 - Dec. 1 What You Get: 50% everything on the website including necklaces, earrings and bracelets. Shop <a href="http://www.mrkate.com/" target="_blank">here</a>.
The Details: Online only for Canadians, from now for a limited time. What You Get: Fleece hoodies for $50 in men's and women's styles. Shop <a href="http://www.shop.puma.ca/on/demandware.store/Sites-CA-Site/en_CA/Default-Start?affID=54412&mktID=AFF:54412:PepperJam:2-102634:CA" target="_blank">here</a>.
The Details: Now What You Get: Links to dozens of sales happening online. Shop Online <a href="http://www.bargainmoose.ca/canada-black-friday-sales">HERE</a>
The Details: Nov. 29 - Dec. 1 What You Get: <a href="http://coupons.bargainmoose.ca/cakebeauty.com#view_coupon_36561" target="_blank">When you enter the code pinkfriday</a> at the online checkout, you will received 40% off all items including dry shampoo, hand cream, body scrub and body butter. Shop <a href="http://www.cakebeauty.com/" target="_blank">here</a>.
The Details: Now until Dec. 1 What You Get: Major discounts on men's and women's leather jackets, purses, leather leggings and more. Shop <a href="http://digital.danier.com/i/210687" target="_blank">here</a>.
The Details: Nov. 27 - Dec. 2 What You Get: 50% off prescription sunglasses from Nov. 27 to Dec. 2 and buy two accessories and get a third accessory of equal or lesser value free until Dec. 31. Shop <a href="http://www.lenscrafters.ca/lc-ca/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/OrphanView?catalogId=11652&langId=-1&storeId=10852&page=BlackFridayOffers&cid=cpc:GL000000:Black_Friday:General_Terms" target="_blank">here</a>.
The Details: Now for a limited time What You Get: 75% their ticket price for leather sofas when you purchase either a matching loveseat or chair, 30% off the ticket price of all bedroom and dining packages. Shop <a href="http://www1.thebrick.com/brickb2c/jsp/index.jsp" target="_blank">here</a>.
The Details: Nov. 28 - Dec. 2 What You Get: Customers get a 20% off incentive card on every purchase between Nov 28-Dec 1, which can be used towards their next purchase between Dec 7-18. This is on top of up to 60% off Black Friday specials.
The Details: Black Friday weekend What You Get: At all 12 M locations across the GTA, customers will find Black Friday specials for $29 and under. From the season's most coveted runway trends including faux fur vests ($15), vegan leather moto jackets ($29), outerwear ($29) and holiday dresses ($29).
The Details: Nov. 20 - Nov. 29 What You Get: Forever 21 is offering a Black Friday pre-sale starting on Nov. 20 across Canada and online with up to 50% off select items. The retailer will also be having a Black Friday sale on Nov. 29 with special yellow tag deals on select products. The collection includes winter staples such as heavy knit sweaters, quilted faux leather bomber jackets and winter accessories starting at $3. Select locations will also offer scratch cards for 10% or 15% off purchases made in-store to the first 600 customers through the door on Black Friday.
The Details: Now, for limited time offer What You Get: 30% off sale shoes and boots plus an extra 25% off select dress shoe styles online and in stores. Shop Online <a href="http://www.aldoshoes.com/ca-eng/sale">HERE</a>
The Details: Deals are on now as part of their <a href="http://www.sears.ca/catalog/sears-days/4294557477?intid=hp_novwk22013_Marquee_Sears_Days" target="_blank">Sears Days campaign</a>. What You Get: 50% off women's and men's clothing, shoes, appliances, toys and more. Plus get free shipping to almost everywhere in Canada when you spend $99 or more Shop Online <a href="http://www.sears.ca/catalog/sears-days/4294557477?intid=hp_novwk22013_Marquee_Sears_Days">HERE</a>
The Details: Deals are being offered now through Friday, Nov. 23 What You Get: There will be flash sales and online deals at all The Bay locations. <a href="https://www.facebook.com/hudsonsbay" target="_hplink">Check out their Facebook page for full details</a>. Stores will open at 7 a.m. on Black Friday. Shop Online <a href="http://www.thebay.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/en/thebay" target="_hplink">HERE</a>
The Details: Happening now for a limited time. What You Get: 50% off select dresses, skirts, bags, pants and bags. Shop Online <a href="http://www.eluxe.ca/en/sale.html/">HERE</a>
Details: Nov. 29 to Dec. 1 What You Get: N/A
NEXT: Craziest Black Friday Moments
Black Friday Romance?
<a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/black-friday-shopping-spree-love-story-long-island-couple-article-1.414121" target="_hplink">According to the <em>New York Daily News</em></a>, two individuals have Black Friday to thank for their unique love-at-first-sight story. The two lovebirds struck up conversation while standing in line at a Long Island Kmart. The small talk turned into sweet talk as the two waited in line together for a total of seven hours before doors opened. Fast forward two years, and the couple is happily married with fond memories of the day they met, saying, "Black Friday will always be a memorable day for us. That was the day that changed our lives." (Getty photo)
Woman Shakes Up Shoppers With Death Threats
Shoppers were shaken up last year at Toys "R" Us in Wisconsin, when a woman named Lanessa Lattimore threatened to shoot shoppers who were waiting in line outside the store. A confrontation began after the woman tried to cut the line of several hundred people. <a href="http://articles.cnn.com/2010-11-26/justice/wisconsin.shopper.threat_1_gun-threat-black-friday-shopper-huge-lines?_s=PM:CRIME" target="_hplink">Lanessa told CNN</a>, "Everybody was cutting in line. But there was one girl who was threatening me, so I told her that I'd shoot her." Although no weapon was found, she was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. (Getty photo)
Kim Kardashian: Best Black Friday Buddy?
A poll conducted by AOL back in 2009 revealed that Kim Kardashian was voted the person you'd most like to go shopping with on Black Friday, <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/gossip/online-poll-kanye-west-named-year-biggest-turkey-kim-kardashian-best-black-friday-shopper-article-1.165773" target="_hplink">as the NY Daily News reported</a>. She even beat out Victoria Beckham for the best shopping buddy title. Would you want to spend Black Friday shopping with Kim? Something tells us that the poll results would be <em>quite</em> a bit different this year... (Getty photo)
... And Kayne West, The Biggest "Turkey"?
The same AOL poll that voted Kim K. as the "best shopping buddy" also revealed that Americans think Kanye West was the biggest "turkey" of 2009... whatever that means. Bear in mind that this poll took place shortly after his Taylor Swift interruption scandal at the Grammy's that year. <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/gossip/online-poll-kanye-west-named-year-biggest-turkey-kim-kardashian-best-black-friday-shopper-article-1.165773" target="_hplink">According to the New York Daily News</a>, Kanye beat out the likes of Jon Gosselin, Levi Johnston, Spencer Pratt,and Michael Lohan. In other words, it sounds like being called a "turkey" is just a kinder way of saying "biggest D-bag." (Getty photo)
Wal-Mart Employee Trampled To Death
A tragic story took place at a Wal-Mart in Long Island in 2008. <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/29/business/29walmart.html?ref=blackfriday" target="_hplink">As the <em>New York Times</em> reported</a>, an employee by the name of Jdimytai Damour got caught amidst utter chaos in a stampede on Black Friday, resulting in his ultimate death. Sources say that Damour was literally trampled to death by crazed shoppers, although no specific individual could be called out and held responsible for the fatal accident. Wal-Mart was also slapped with a $75K fine, according to the <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/7k-fine-wal-mart-black-friday-stampede-death-article-1.404243" target="_hplink"><em>New York Daily News</em></a>.
Two Men Shot Dead At Toys "R" Us
A heated argument between two men lead to a deadly shooting at a Toys "R" Us in Palm Desert, California on the biggest sales day back in 2008. <a href="http://articles.cnn.com/2008-11-28/us/black.friday.violence_1_wal-mart-worker-fleming-busiest-shopping-days/2?_s=PM:US" target="_hplink">According to CNN</a>, police still aren't completely certain about the origin of the fight, although sources believe that it was unrelated to the timing of Black Friday sales that day. Luckily, no innocent shoppers were injured during the shooting.
Shopping Cart Heist
A strange shopping cart heist took place at a Toys "R" Us in the Bronx in 2009, <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/bronx/shopping-cart-thefts-began-black-friday-500-bronx-toys-article-1.435826" target="_hplink">the <em>New York Daily News</em> reported</a>. Thieves stole 500 shopping carts starting on Black Friday and continued to nab carts throughout the holiday season. Shoppers were left annoyed as they were forced to carry all of their purchases, since no carts were anywhere to be found. Police suspect that the carts -- which cost a hefty $200 a piece -- were either stolen by gang members to sell metal scraps for money or taken by homeless people who use them to carry their belongings. (AP Image)
Hotel Deals For The Extreme Shopper
When stores in Indianapolis had a super successful Black Friday back in 2009, hotels decided to try and take advantage of visiting shoppers by targeting the <em>eve</em> of Black Friday. <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/retail/2010-11-14-black-friday-hotels_N.htm" target="_hplink">According to <em>USA Today</em></a>, the Conrad Hotel was among the first to notice this opportunity and advertised to serious out-of-town shoppers who planned on rising early to hit the sales. The deal offers $99 for a room on Thanksgiving night, as well as a personal shopping appointment at Nordstrom, a free coffee and a free shoeshine. Other hotels have also developed similar deals to cash in on the night of Thanksgiving, too. It sure beats camping out overnight for the doors to open in the morning. (Getty photo)
Shooting Over Flat Screen TV
Another story that will make your heart sink: the tragic shooting of a man in Queens who was shot by robbers on Black Friday back in 2009, as the<a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/black-friday-mayhem-queens-man-shot-flat-screen-tv-thugs-t-fit-set-getaway-car-article-1.413993" target="_hplink"> <em>New York Daily News</em></a> first reported. The elderly man was walking with his new flat-screen TV in a parking lot, when robbers ruthlessly shot him dead in an attempt to steal his new purchase. However, the TV didn't fit in the trunk of their getaway car, and witnesses reported that they dumped the TV on the street as they quickly fled the scene of the crime. (Getty photo)