Ready, set , shop!

The Thanksgiving holiday can be a crazy time of the year. Meal planning, cooking, baking, setting the table and dealing with all the relatives. And then the real fun begins with Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year. For decades now, the Friday after Thanksgiving has become a time when retailers slash their prices and offer “doorbuster” promotions to lure in excited holiday shoppers.

Not for amateurs!

But this day isn’t for amateurs. The National Retail Federation trade group, which tracks holiday shopping data, noted that in 2012 about 147 million people shopped over the Black Friday weekend, representing a 4.6% increase from the year before. If you head out to shop on Friday, you’re going to have to brave large crowds in the aisles and long lines at the checkout counters.

Not about Friday anymore

And Black Friday isn’t even about Friday anymore. More and more major retailers like Walmart, Best Buy and Macy’s opened their doors on the turkey day holiday itself with tempting sale offers to jump-start the retail holiday season. And consumers are taking advantage. The National Retail Federation also noted that 28% of people surveyed admitted they started shopping at midnight or earlier on Thanksgiving Day.

You can’t hide behind your computer

And this doesn’t even include online shopping! It takes stamina to sit at your computer and sift through various websites and their blockbuster deals. There are even more shopping deals to be found on Cyber Monday and Mobile Tuesday. But don’t think you can avoid the malls and the big box retailers by limiting your shopping to online purchases.  

Last year the online journal Bloomberg  Businessweek noted that brick and mortar stores had started stepping up their strategies to keep shoppers offline and in the stores. Target, for instance, started matching’s prices, and many other retailers started offering same day shipping. J.C. Penney, Nordstrom and Sears started placing touchscreens and tablets near certain products to assist consumers in comparative price shopping. Stores are also offering new amenities like self-checkout kiosks or mobile phone check-outs to keep customer service quicker and easier. There’s also an avalanche of well-trained salespeople out on the floors to assist you every step of the way.

Still think you can avoid shopping?

Retailers are even offering shoppers an experience they just can't get online. Last year, for instance, Macy’s in New York offered shoppers the chance to meet  the pop star Rihanna! There’s no word yet on who will make celebrity appearances this year, but it’s sure to be someone exciting to draw shoppers away from their laptops and tablets.

What does this mean for you?

You’re going to want to get out there and shop! But you're going to need energy for endurance. So make sure you take along some Royal Velvet. It has the natural properties your body requires to keep you out and on your feet this holiday shopping season. Get out there and get those deals!

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