Make your Black Friday plans with this handy schedule
According to a National Retail Federation survey, an estimated 69 percent of Americans — about 164 million people — plan to shop during this Thanksgiving weekend. The numbers include Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, the new Museum Store Sunday and Cyber Monday.
That's a lot of shopping at a lot of stores.
It used to be easy, with Friday as the only special bargain shopping day until the very end of the holiday season.
Now you need a chart to keep track of what's opening when. Here's one to help you make your plan of attack.
WHAT'S OPEN WHEN
The hours listed are general mall hours. Some of the larger retailers have different hours, see list below.
Westmoreland Mall: Closed Thanksgiving / 6 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday
Monroeville Mall: Closed Thanksgiving / 6 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday
Pittsburgh Mills: Closed Thanksgiving / 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday
Ross Park Mall: 6 p.m.-1 a.m. Thanksgiving / 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday
The Mall at Robinson: 6 p.m.-1 a.m. Thanksgiving / 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday
The Waterfront: Store hours vary. Details at http://bit.ly/2zHxRHC
The Galleria of Mt. Lebanon: Closed Thanksgiving / 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday
The Block Northway: Store hours vary. Details at theblocknorthway.com
Tanger Outlets, Washington: 6 p.m. Thanksgiving-10 p.m. Friday
Grove City Premium Outlets: 6 p.m. Thanksgiving-10 p.m. Friday
Best Buy: 5 p.m.-1 a.m. Thanksgiving / 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday
Dick's Sporting Goods: 6 p.m.-2 a.m. Thanksgiving / 5 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday
JCPenney: 2 p.m. Thanksgiving until 10 p.m. Friday
Kohl's: 5 p.m. Thanksgiving-midnight Friday
Macy's: 5 p.m.-2 a.m. Thanksgiving / 6 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday
Michaels: 6 p.m.-midnight Thanksgiving / 7 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday
Sears: 6 p.m.-midnight Thanksgiving / 6 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday
Target: 6 p.m.-midnight Thanksgiving / Open 6 a.m. Friday, closing hours vary
Toys"R"Us: 6 p.m. Thanksgiving-11 p.m. Friday
Walmart: Open 24 hours, deals start at 6 p.m. Thanksgiving
Tips for champion shoppers
Are you ready to shop? Here's some advice on how to attack Black Friday.
Coupons: Make sure to look at the inserts in the newspaper today and Wednesday, and gather up any coupons that have come in the mail. Clip coupons in advance, and make sure to check what the exclusions are.
What to buy: OK, that's kind of up to you. But it's a good idea to check the store circulars and online ads and have a few items that you're targeting. Go for those first, because sometimes popular items run out. You'll find tons of leaked Black Friday ad scans at bfads.net, bestblackfriday.com, dealnews.com, gottadeal.com, and theblackfriday.com, according to Consumer Reports.
Go early: This is a little tricky this year. Since several places are closing overnight and reopening around 6 a.m., there will probably be a surge of people when the doors open. But if your destination is open all night, go in the wee hours from 4 to 6 a.m. The teenagers who just want to be out late have gone home, and the early morning shoppers haven't shown up yet.
Be charged up: If you're storing coupons on your phone or you want to hook up to price comparison sites, like PriceGrabber.com, PriceWatch.com, Shopping.com, or ShopZilla, make sure your phone is fully charged before you head out and you may want to bring some backup power.
Know the return policies: Some stores have strict return policies for Black Friday deep discounts
Not everything is really a deal: Some retailers will continue to discount even more as Christmas approaches.
Follow your budget: To reduce the chance of overspending and impulse purchases, set a budget and use cash.
Take a break: Don't shop until you drop. Nobody wants to deal with that. There are plenty of seats in the food courts at the malls, or just head back to your car to drop off your early purchases and rest a bit.
And finally, don't wear red in Target: Unless you want to be asked to help other customers over and over.
SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY
The day after the day after Thanksgiving is gaining traction as Small Business Saturday.
It began less than 10 years ago as a marketing gimmick of sorts for American Express, looking to appease small business customers unhappy with the company's card processing fees. Another goal was to help small retailers still reeling from the 2009 recession.
This year, head to some of the towns surrounding Pittsburgh that will be offering specials on Saturday and beyond, including Greensburg, Mt. Pleasant, Oakmont, New Kensington and the I Made It! Market at the former Office Depot space in the Waterfront. See more details, here .
MUSEUM STORE SUNDAY
The shop at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg.
Photo by thewestmoreland.org
On Nov. 26, museums and other cultural institutions across the country and worldwide will open their shops for the first-ever Museum Store Sunday to promote holiday shopping for their one-of-a-kind gifts.
More than 400 museum stores representing all 50 states, eight countries and three continents will be open on Nov. 26 to showcase broad assortments of curated gifts specific to the missions of those institutions.
Find out what local museums are participating here .