It is becoming almost a whole season, said Taylor, who is also the Macys chair of retailing at FIU. Where is it going to end? Will it take away the whole Black Friday if it is the whole week or the whole season?
Without question, the holiday shopping season is critical for retailers. Its a period when they typically generate 20 percent to 40 percent of the full years revenue.
The Florida Retail Federation forecasts that Florida will see a 5.3 percent jump in holiday spending this year, to $58 billion marking the highest percentage growth predicted since the recession.
Driven in large part by tourists and snowbirds, Florida is expected to outpace the nation: holiday spending nationwide is forecast to rise 4.1 percent, according to the National Retail Federation. On average, consumers are expected to spend about $750 each.
Yet while Black Friday (so named because it was traditionally when stores went into the black) is best known for holiday shopping, it is actually not the heaviest shopping day, said Rick McAllister, president and chief executive of the Florida Retail Federation.
In fact, Dec. 24 is the busiest shopping day of the year. And with Christmas Eve falling on a Monday this year, retailers are expecting a greater flurry of sales during the three-day weekend before Christmas, McAllister said.
Regardless, plenty of stores will open at the crack of dawn on Black Friday, hoping for a shopping extravaganza.
JCPenney opens at 6 a.m. on Friday, for its one big sale of the year. Deals include $5 kids pajama pants or tops, $8 slow cookers, toaster ovens or coffee pots, $12 mens dress shirts and $25 womens boots.
Even Salvation Army stores in Miami-Dade are opening at 6 a.m., and closing at noon, with 50 percent off everything.
Aventura Mall will open at 6 a.m. on Friday. Bloomingdales will open at 7 a.m., Nordstrom at 8 a.m.
Leslie Wolfson loves to shop early on Black Friday.
Im the designers girl version of Black Friday, said Wolfson, 49, chief executive of Connect the Dots, a business and marketing strategy firm in Aventura. She plans to hit Bloomingdales at 7 a.m., then head to Saks Fifth Avenue in Bal Harbour.
I get the best deals ever, said Wolfson, who lives in Aventura. And those first three or four hours are kind of fun. Its a free-for-all.
Indeed, retailers are promising deals everywhere you look, all over South Florida.
Macys has a long list of specials, and a new Black Friday feature on Macys mobile app is geared to help customers shop for them.
Gap is offering up to 60 percent off storewide through Sunday. And from midnight until noon on Black Friday, customers can get such items as sweaters for $19 at Gap and graphic tees for $5 at GapKids and babyGap.
Banana Republic is giving customers 40 percent off their entire purchase on Black Friday.
At Aventura Mall, virtually every store has a sale. At 7 for all Mankind, for example, you can get 30 percent off your entire purchase. At Charles David, you can get 50 percent off the entire store until 1 p.m. on Friday, and then 40 percent after that. And at Desigual, you can get 70 percent off on Black Friday.
At Disney, you can get 20 percent off your entire purchase until 10 a.m. At Donald J. Pliner, you can get $100 off all boots on Black Friday, and at the Body Shop you can get three items for $30, a savings of up to $78, the store says.
And dont forget online shopping sites. Many, including Amazon.com and shopbop.com, are offering discounts leading up to Cyber Monday, the online equivalent of Black Friday.
Jumping on the Black Friday bandwagon, even travel companies and continuing education credit companies, like Cruise.com and CLECenter.com, are offering holiday deals.
But when it comes to shopping in stores, are all these Black Friday deals really the best of the season?
Black Friday is very good prices, but not always the best, the NPD Groups Cohen said.
His advice is to follow the strategy he uses himself: If you like the deal, buy it. Most retailers, he said, will give you an adjustment if the price falls further.
Dont be afraid to buy a good deal and save the receipt, Cohen said. And if the price goes down, ask for a refund. Youll get it.