WalletHub Highlights 2022 Black Friday Trends and Best Deals
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WalletHub Highlights 2022 Black Friday Trends and Best Deals

In just a few days, the 2022 holiday shopping season will officially kick off with Black Friday. Ahead of that date, the personal finance site WalletHub has released its latest annual report looking at the trends and top deals shoppers can expect this year.

According to WalletHub’s findings, the retailer with the largest average discounts this Black Friday is JC Penney. The well-known anchor store is no stranger to this top spot, having previously found itself there in 2020, 2017, and 2015. This year, shoppers can expect average discounts at Penneys of 64.7% — up from 57.6% in 2021. That figure edged out the second place Belk with an average of 64.2% (compared to 56.7% last year). Belk has also regularly appeared at the top of the annual list, including first-place finishes in 2019 and 2018. Meanwhile, last year’s winner Macy’s fell to third place with an average discount of 53%, which is down from 58.5% during the previous Black Friday.

Overall, the average discount observed across all recorded retailers this year was 37.2%. In addition to the aforementioned retailers, OfficeMax/Office Depot (49.9%), Kohl’s (42.2%), and Lenovo (40.7%) all exceeded that average. On the other end, Costco’s 16.8% average discount was the lowest on the list. Best Buy (22.9%), Amazon (25.7%), BJ’s (27.6%), and Walmart (28.4%) represented the rest of the bottom five.

Looking at the most-discounted categories of items, jewelry tops the list with an average 48% discount. Furthermore, WalletHub found that Kohl’s had the best deals on jewelry this year, with an average discount of 75.76%. Next, apparel and accessories saw the second-highest average discount at 42%, with Belk’s 64.07% average leading the way. Furniture and “all other categories” were tied at 38% followed by toys with a 37% average. While the categories will see the largest discounts, the site also discovered that the single category seeing the highest concentration of discounts was appliances, accounting for 12.32% of deals. That was followed by computers and phones (10.99%) and jewelry (9.90%) — although “All Other Product Categories” was the true leader with 20.04%.

Of course, while some deals may sound attractive based purely on the supposed discount percentage, they may not always be what they seem. As Texas Tech University Department Chair and Associate Professor Robert Paul Jones, Ph.D notes, “The best way to identify a ‘deal’ on Black Friday vs clever marketing is to shop right now. Explore pricing that is available in-store and online for the items you will be looking for. Often you will find deals nearly as good today as you will on Black Friday.” Jones went on to warn “Also, do not be fooled by look-alike products from vendors you do not recognize. That is a common trap to lure you into a store just to find out it is not what you were looking for.”

With “Black Friday” deals already getting underway at many retailers, there’s a good chance that shoppers are already adding items to their carts. As they do, hopefully the discounts they’re finding will actually save them money while crossing loved ones off the list. That said, as always, be sure to do your research and set a budget price for items rather than allowing yourself to be lured by “deals.”

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