Category: Black Friday (43)

Sleep in and score on Black Friday


Guest Post: party girl Micaela Hood says skip all the Black Friday early sales. South Florida department stores offer deals and ways to relax for ladies who lunch.

If holiday shopping on Thanksgiving makes you feel like a Grinch, we have a Black Friday plan that will let you sleep in and still score at sales.

Not only are some South Florida department stores opening at a civilized hour, they also are offering ways to relax on the busiest shopping day of the year. Many offer restaurants, bars and spa and beauty services in salons.

"It doesn't have to be a frenzy experience. Go in, shop and then have a nice ladies' lunch," says Ginger Reeder, spokeswoman for Neiman Marcus, which has stores in Fort Laudredale and Boca Raton.

Following is a rundown of stores, hours and Black Friday specials and events.

Bloomingdale's: Shop and then wine and dine at Petrossian Rendez-vous Cafe and Forty Carrots from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. in Boca Raton, 561-394-2000; 59th and Lex Cafe will be open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. in Aventura, 305-792-1000.

Dillard's: Find plenty of the steals at this trendy department from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. in Fort Lauderdale, 954-565-5245, and Plantation, 954-370-8182.

H&M: The on-trend stores are offering $5 sweaters and $10 pants and other deals from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., so you can buy something for everyone on your list. 3101 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens, 561-626-9445, and 541 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, 855-466-7467.

JC Penney: JCP is holding its "One Big Sale of the Year" from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. and giving away 80 million buttons that can be redeemed for a chance to win prizes including vacations, merchandise and gift cards.


Neiman Marcus: Grab a friend, shop from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., and then gossip over a glass (or two) of wine at the Little Mermaid Bar at the Galleria in Fort Lauderdale, 954-566-6666. From 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. in Boca Raton, get complimentary facials and then head to Mariposa, right, for a snack and a cocktail, 561-417-5151.

Nordstrom: Forget Thanksgiving leftovers and make a reservation at Bistro N. Yummy eats include crab bisque, steak au poivre and crispy chicken frites. Hours are 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. at Town Center at Boca Raton, 561-620-5555.

Saks Fifth Avenue: Open 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., this high-end department store will offer specials and complimentary makeovers at Town Center at Boca Raton, 561-393-9100.

Doreen Christensen contributed to this report.

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Buy one, get 2nd 50% off at Loehmann's

Loehmann's Thanksgiving sale, with stores opening 6 a.m. Friday, Nov. 26, and 8 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 27, is featuring a "buy one, get the 2nd at 50% off" everything in the store.

The first 400 customers on Friday and Saturday will also receive a $20 coupon.

On Wednesday, Nov. 24, take an extra 25 percent off all regular-priced boots, back room sportswear, and coats.

Loehmann's is a great place to find designer wear, handbags and accessories for the holidays. During the Thanksgiving sale, the stores will include Michael Kors wool jackets and coats, DKNY down jackets, BCBG and Steve Madden boots, Calvin Klein, Tahari and Kenneth Cole handbags, Tommy Bahama, Kenneth Cole and Invicta watches, and many other items.

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$19.99 silver sterling necklaces at Kohl's

Kohls%20necklace.jpgShhhhh..don't tell Mom: I found a $19.99 silver sterling necklace with a diamond chip, regularly $90, at Kohl's this morning. Pendants include a snowflake, cross, heart and others.

Just checked on and the same necklaces cost more, $24.99, so it's worth your gas to the store.

Spend $50 at Kohl's and you get $10 in Kohl's cash to spend after the holidays. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Sears and Kmart Black Friday deals

This just in for Black Friday:

Kmart Thanksgiving Day Deals (Nov. 26; select stores on Nov. 25):
50-inch Samsung Plasma TV on sale for $699.99 (reg. price $899.99)
*While supplies last, limit four per store, no rainchecks
Vivitar 8.1MP Digital Camera with free bag on sale for $49.99 (reg. price $69.99)
*While supplies last, limit five per store, no rainchecks

Sears Black Friday Deals (Nov. 27):
Samsung 40-inch Class 1080p LCD HDTV on sale for $599.99 (reg. price $949.99)
*While supplies last, limit three per store, no rainchecks
Kenmore 3.5-cu ft High Efficiency washer and 5.8-cu ft. dryer pair on sale for $579.98 (reg. price $1079.98)
*While supplies last, limit four per store, no rainchecks

Kmart Blue Friday Deals (Nov. 27):
Sony 32-inch 720p LCD HDTV on sale for $379.99 (reg. price $499.99)
*While supplies last, limit four per store, no rainchecks
Razor Ripster - $34.99 (reg. price $59.99)

Kmart Blue Light Specials (will be announced throughout the day on Nov. 27)
50 percent off Fallout 3 video games for Xbox 360 and PS3 on sale for $19.99 (reg. price $39.99)

Head to and now to take advantage of online only doorbuster deals on some of the latest GPS models. GPS Deal
Magellan RoadMate 1220 on sale for $89.99 (reg. price $149.99)
*While supplies last, no rainchecks, GPS Deal
Magellan RoadMate 1210 on sale for $79.99 (reg. price $129.99)
*While supplies last, no rainchecks,

-- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Disney Parks vacation sweepstakes at Pier I Imports


Visit a Pier I Imports store to register for a chance to win a Disney Parks vacation during Thanksgiving weekend, Nov. 27-29.

Prize includes: a 5-night vacation for a family of four to the winner’s choice of either Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort. The vacation package includes round-trip airfare, hotel accommodations, four tickets for five days with "park hopper" option at Disney World Resort or four park hopper passes at Disneyland. Complimentary transportation is included.

Pier I Imports has assorted merchandise up to 50 percent off on Thanksgiving weekend, including the Carmen Sofa for $599.99 (originally $799.98), the Mei Wei Flat Screen TV Stand for $359.99 (originally $449.95), and the Alayna Jewelry Armoire for $149.99 (originally $229.95).

Holiday décor and entertaining items also are up to 25% off. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Live chat for bargain hunting tips on Tuesday

Want to get a sneak peek at the Black Friday ads? Need help finding the best deals this season?

The Sun Sentinel's sister paper The Daily Press in Virginia (also owned by the Tribune Co.) and our shopping blogger colleague Nicole Paitsel has teamed with bargain hunters at for a 12-hour Internet chat on Tuesday, Nov. 24, to help you answers such questions. Bargain hunters will be online from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Find answers to gadget questions:
1 p.m. to 2 p.m.: Daily Press photo editor Dennis Tennant helps you pick out a digital camera or camcorder and editor helps you will cell phone choices.

4 p.m. to 5 p.m.: Get answers to your home theater questions, including TVs, sound systems and accessories.
6 p.m.: Talk to a local systems engineer about what computer you should buy.

To log into the live chat, go to:

Live Chat

If you like this, let us know here at Shop-o-matic. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Black Friday is a week early


The biggest shopping day of the year hasn't been Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, for many years.

This Friday, a full week before Black Friday, may have as many deals as next week. "Early bird" deals continue through Saturday at Kohls, Macy's, and many other South Florida retailers.

The deals may only get better next week and as we march toward Christmas, but there's more selection now than there will likely be closer to the holidays.

I spotted this pearl necklace for only $23, marked down from $90, on, which has a sale until midnight tonight and then again from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. in stores and 12 a.m to 4 p.m. online on Saturday. Use the coupon code "SHOPEARLY," to get another 20% off, according to -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Black Friday deals are heating up

The web is already abuzz with Black Friday deal news. Here are several sites to get your shopping lists started:

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Some shoppers unimpressed by the savings

At the Shops at Pembroke Gardens, a new outdoor mall in Pembroke Pines, some shoppers making the rounds were unimpressed with Black Friday sales.

Marlene Garau, 20, of Miami Lakes, said she and a friend had hit the Aventura Mall earlier but found “better than normal” discounts only at one store, Urban Outfitters. By 9 a.m., the friends each had picked up a shirt and jacket that was an additional half off the sale price.

Garau, who recently lost her job as a receptionist in a Fort Lauderdale salon, said she certainly is spending less this holiday season.

“Not a lot of people are giving gifts this year. We’re just like … money is tight,” said Garau, as she searched for more bargains at Pembroke Gardens.

-- Doreen Hemlock, staff writer, Sun Sentinel

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'Tis the season... to economize

Megan Johnson, 34, of Parkland was talking Friday at the Town Center mall in Boca Raton about the need to spend less this holiday season.

"My husband's a contractor, and business is very slow," she said.

"That's right. No Coach bag for you," quipped her 11-year-old son, Jake.

- Paul Owers, staff writer

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Surprise! Palm Beach Mall is packed

I was stunned when I drove past the Palm Beach Mall around 9:15 Friday morning.

Normally, the rundown center's parking lots are practically empty. But today the place was packed, especially outside JCPenney.

Also busy was Dillard's, which is attracting shoppers with 70-percent-off store-closing sales. I hear Dillard's will be open until at least mid-December.

- Paul Owers, staff writer

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A sampling of Sawgrass Mills specials

Some of the busiest stores; and sample promotions at Sawgrass Mills:

KB Toy Works: "Biggest Sale Ever" signs plastered on store windows. Shoppers get $20 free bonus bucks with a purchase of $100 or more from Black Friday through Sunday.

Puma: 40 % off footwear and apparel, excluding clearance items.

Tommy Hilfilger: Everything in store, 50 % off all day

Perry Ellis: 60 % off or more on store items

Nike Factory Store: A plethora of discounts, including an extra 20% off entire purchase from midnight to noon Friday

- Arlene Satchell, staff writer

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Sawgrass Mills drew 30,000 in wee hours

Mall corridors were jam packed with crowds of between 30,000 to 40,000 shoppers.

Willie Mells of Fort Lauderdale had a game plan all mapped out until he saw the lines outside BrandsMart.

"I'd thought I'd knock out all my shopping early," said Mells, 53, staring incredulously at the crush of shoppers waiting to enter the electronics and appliance store.

Mells had hoped to snag a GPS navigation system, some stereo equipment and a few other miscellaneous gifts for co-workers during the morning shopping run.

"With the economy so whacked, I can probably wait until January and still get a good deal," he said, contemplating his next move.

Davis said he wouldn't stay until the throng abated and planned to stop next at a nearby Wal-Mart.

At KB Toy Works, Jeanne Semper of Coral Springs bought a Rhythm Station Keyboard early Friday for $29.98, a $10 savings.

Semper said she'd "comparison shopped" for specific items to determine where the best deals were before heading out.

"You have to do your homework," she said.

Although the crowds were out, Semper said she didn't think many people were spending as much as they did last year and that some were likely just got trying to walk off their Thanksgiving meal.

Of note: With parking scarce, especially near BrandsMart, a couple of enterprising young men tried to sell their parking space for $20 to drivers desperate for an empty spot.

- Arlene Satchell, staff writer

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Kohl's attracted 200 for 4 a.m. opening

Store Manager Thomas Gebhardt said lines formed an hour before Friday's 4 a.m. opening.

The crowd of 200 to 300 persons, was "well-mannered" and sang Christmas Carols before dashing for doorbusters.

Digital frames, GPS navigation systems and jewelry were hot items at Kohl's and despite the economy, there were many deals to be had this Black Friday, Gebhardt said.

"If you're a value conscious customer, this is the day to shop," he said.

Nancy Ali-Shamaa of Hollywood bought a Presto Cool Touch Electric Griddle for $19.99 (before $10 mail-in rebate), a blender and shirt at Kohl's, attracted by the retailer's "awesome sales."

The 20-year-old student, who arrived 30 minutes before opening, said the $10 Kohl's coupon she received for a $50 purchase was added incentive to start shopping early this holiday.

- Arlene Satchell, staff writer

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'I look out for discounts'

College student Raphael Tavernier, 19, teamed up with fellow Publix store clerk Jarrell Osborne, 18, to score bargains early Friday at Aventura Mall in north Miami-Dade County.

The two clean-cut youths each bought sneakers at Foot Locker in order to get $25 off a $100 purchase. They also each picked up a Florida Marlins hat to tap a “buy one, get the second one half off” deal. Together, they figured they saved at least $43.

“Publix has been cutting back on hours for part timers, so I work less now,” said Tavernier, an atmospheric science and meteorology student at Broward College, formerly Broward Community College.

He now is working 20 to 30 hours, instead of 40 hours, a week. “I look out for the discounts,” Tavernier said.

-- Doreen Hemlock, staff writer, Sun Sentinel

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Aventura Mall is brisk

Traffic was brisk at the upscale Aventura Mall in north Miami-Dade County despite the soft economy

. Nicole Gilfoy, a 25-year-old clerk at the Wild Buffalo silver jewelry kiosk, said she parked on the fourth floor of the Macy’s garage at 6:30 am and sees no difference in mall crowds from last year.

“I guess people can’t stay away from the sales,” said the Florida International University student.

Gilfoy said she personally will spend less this holiday season. An internship has cut into her work hours and she is preparing to get married.

“I am cutting down on gifts. I don’t have as much money,” she said. “I’ll buy just for the kids.”

-- Doreen Hemlock, staff writer, Sun Sentinel

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Man killed in Black Friday stampede on Long Island

Hey, let's take it easy out there.

Look what happened in Valley Stream, Long Island:

Read it here.

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Black Friday video

Thanks to our sister blog, Watch This Now, we have classic scenes of the morning rush:

Click here.

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Black Friday fun extends to auto repair

The economy is so awful that even auto repair shops feel the need to get in on the Black Friday fun.

Tires Plus in Palm Beach and Broward counties opened at 5 a.m. today and is offering 50 percent off a set of four select tires until 7 a.m. -- provided that you buy a lifetime balance, alignment and road hazard warranty. If you don't need tires, you still can save 50 percent on brakes and other repairs between 5-7.

But no work will be performed at such an early hour. Customers pay in advance and schedule the service for another time.

- Paul Owers

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Black Friday begins

The Christmas shopping season has begun.

Hundreds of shoppers smiled and gave weary cheers as the doors to Best Buy opened at 5 a.m.
Staff let them in a group at a time to avoid any panic rush, but no one seemed to be complaining.

- Rafael Olmeda, staff writer. Near Sawgrass Mills

5:55 a.m.
The wait at Best buy is down to 15 minutes

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Black Friday 20 percent coupon from Pottery Barn


I'm so excited. This 20 percent off coupon just came in from Pottery Barn. It is good for 20 percent off ONE ITEM.

Hurry and print it out now because it's only good for Thanksgiving weekend. Bring it to the store with you and shop 'til you drop...

To print this coupon, click on the single post for this item on the right rail, go to print preview, enlarge to 100 percent and print.

Now, what will I buy? Let me know what you found.

XOXO -- Shopper Girl

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Black Friday mall hours

On your marks, get set ....

Aventura Mall: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Broward Mall: 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Coral Ridge Mall: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Coral Square Mall: 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The Galleria in Fort Lauderdale: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Pembroke Lakes Mall: 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Sawgrass Mills: 12 a.m. Thursday to 9:30 p.m. Friday

The Promenade at Coconut Creek: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The Shops at Pembroke Gardens: 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Boynton Beach Mall: 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Palm Beach Mall: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The Gardens Mall: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The Mall at Wellington Green: 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Town Center mall in Boca Raton: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Hours reflect the times that malls will open Friday. Some retailers might open earlier or later.
Source: Sun Sentinel Research

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At Sawgrass Mills, Black Friday starts at midnight Thursday

Now we know why they call this Black Friday.

Because all the fun starts in the cover of darkness.

Best Buy and other major chains typically open at 5 a.m. on the day after Thanksgiving, but the Sawgrass Mills outlet mall in Sunrise is one-upping them this year.

Sawgrass is opening at midnight for die-hard shoppers hell-bent on leaving their football-watching husbands behind.

Marketing mavens hope the midnight blitz adds a little pizzazz to a shopping season that's expected to be one of the worst in decades because the tanking economy.

Some of the better deals out there: 50 percent off toys at Kohl's and a 52-inch flat-panel Samsung TV at Best Buy for $1,499.

Check back here throughout the day Friday for some of the more interesting tidbits we find. We'll be at Sawgrass Mills at midnight and at various stores in Palm Beach and Broward counties talking to shoppers.

Happy bargain hunting, everyone.

-- Paul Owers, staff writer

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Do you Twitter? We'd like to hear from you.

We're looking for a few good South Florida shoppers who use Twitter. We'd like to use your reports to help our readers know what's going on in our area's stores and malls on Black Friday morning.

Please send us some info now and on Friday morning, just use Twitter as you normally would, on your phone or on your computer, and we'll spread your word to Sun Sentinel readers. E-mail with the following information:

1. Your name

2. Phone number (for contact purposes only)

3. Twitter account name

4. City you live in

5. What your Black Friday plans are

We'll get back to you as soon as we can.

Note: You must be 18 or older, and not a store or mall employee.

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Black Friday deals at BJ's


Members of BJs Wholesale Club can get fab Black Friday deals. The club is offering more than $3,675 in coupon savings, including a 42” LCD HDTV for $679.99.

Get up early. BJ's will open two hours early -- at 7 a.m. Special coupons will be offered through the holiday weekend while supplies last on name brand gifts, online shopping as well as groceries.

You should have a received a coupon book in the mail. But if not, they are handing out coupon books at the door. Instant coupons also are available at For example, there's a $50 instant coupon on line for a Garmin nuvi 200 3.5 GPS receiver that was $179.99 and is now $129.99.

Some of the hot deals include:


Sharp® AQUOS® 52” 1080p LCD HDTV (BJ’s Member pricing – including $300 coupon –$1399.99)
Samsung® 46” 1080p LCD HDTV (BJ’s Member pricing – including $200 coupon - $1099.99)
Samsung® 32” LCD HDTV (BJ’s Member pricing - including $100 coupon - $499.99)
Sylvania® 37” LCD HDTV (BJ’s Member pricing - including $80 coupon - $599.99)
Sylvania® 22” LCD TV (BJ’s Member pricing – including $40 coupon - $289.99)


Sony® VGC-JS1100/SC, Intel® Dual Core Processor, All-in-One PC (BJ’s Member pricing – including $100 coupon - $849.99)
Sony® 16.4” Notebook (BJ’s Member pricing – including $200 coupon - $799.99)
HP® Desktop Bundle (BJ’s Member pricing – including $100 coupon - $799.99)
HP® D7260 Printer with 3.5” Touch Screen LCD (BJ’s Member pricing – including $50 coupon - $49.99)

Prices are valid Friday, November 28 thru Sunday, November 30, while supplies last.

Makes you want to join.

XOXO -- Shopper Girl

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Win $2,000 shopping spree at Mizner Park

Mizner Park kicks off a month of holiday shopping events with a fashion show on Thurs., Dec. 4.

The "Holiday Nights on the Town" also features live jazz, wine and food tastings, and the chance at a $2,000 shopping spree at Mizner Park.

A special shopping pass with discounts and specials is available at shops. Go to Mizner for details and other incentives. I found, for example, 15 percent off at Ann Taylor Loft on Friday, Nov. 28, aka Black Friday. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Black Friday Ads at Kohl's


Thanks to the folks at Kohl’s we don't have to search Websites for their Black Friday specials.

Better get to bed early Thanksgiving night because Kohl's opens at 4 a.m. The Early Bird specials are from 4 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Thanksgiving shoppers also will get $10 off future purchases for every $50 spent.

Here are some of the 300 specials:

Toys: 50 percent off entire stock including popular brands like Fisher Price, Playskool, Barbie, Tonka, Matchbox and Hot Wheels. This year it also covers Little Tikes, Crayola and Play-Doh.

Designer brands for misses: 40 to 50 percent off entire stock of apparel including:
Simply Vera Vera Wang – $17 to $100.80, originally $34 to $168; Elle Contemporary Collection – $8.99 to $49.99, originally $24 to $84; Daisy Fuentes – $8.99 to $35.00, originally $18 to $89.

Chaps apparel for misses (selected styles): 55 to 60 percent off; $13.50 to $75.80, originally $30 to $189.50.

High-definition video camera value pack including 2GB SD card, tripod, rechargeable batteries, cable and pouch. Records HD video and captures still images up to 12M resolution: $99.99; regularly $199.99.

Kohl's is cool. You can check out the ads now at

XOXO -- Shopper Girl

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Use JC Penney coupon for small gift purchase


On my shopping list this weekend are some warm jammies. Not only has it been a little chilly lately for this reborn Floridian, I occasionally head north during the holidays where I know I'm going to be freezing my fanny off.

No Victoria's Secret here. Something solid like J.C. Penney. My mother bought me a pair of pajamas a few years ago from JC Penney or Sears -- two department stores reliable for relative gift giving because items can be returned in other cities.

These PJ's look cute, for $24.99 to $28.99. I may look at these and possibly use JC Penney's $10 off coupon this weekend for items $25 and over.

I want to be warm, but since I fully intend to return to better weather, I don't want to pay a lot for it! -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Black Friday Giveaway of VW Beetle at Pier I


Shop at Pier I and win a car! This is one of the best Black Friday promotions I have ever seen!

Pier I will sponsor a nationwide in-store sweepstakes Nov. 28 (Black Friday) through Nov. 30. The grand prize is a 2009 Volkeswagen New Beetle plus a $500 Pier 1 gift card. Five first prize winners will receive a $500 Pier 1 gift card. Just register at your local Pier 1. You are limited to one entry per day during the sweepstakes period.

The drawing will be on or around Dec. 17. For more info and official rules, see

I really miss my Beetle so I can't wait to enter. How about you?

Store hours for Thanksgiving weekend are 8 a.m. to 10 Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.

XOXO -- Shopper Girl

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Black Friday bargains at Burlington Coat Factory


Are you heading to Burlington Coat Factory for Black Friday specials?

Here are some of the cool things in their ads:

Hannah Montana or Spiderman jacket for $19.99

Gloria Vanderbilt twill jeans for $7.99

Diamond Accent Pendants for $29.99

You can find all of these ad scans on

XOXO -- Shopper Girl

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Black Friday Deals

Looking for more Black Friday advance ads?

Here are the latest ads posted on the Black Friday 2008 Website:

- Staples' 6-item Black Friday Advertisement "Sneak Peak"

- Dell Home's 27-item Black Friday Advertisement

- CVS Pharmacy's 56-item Black Friday Advertisement

- Gander Mountain's 58-item Black Friday Advertisement

- Rite Aid's 47-item Black Friday Advertisement

- Tommy Hilfiger's 8-item Black Friday Advertisement

You can find all of these ad scans on

XOXO-- Shopper Girl

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Black Friday Blackout on Specials, Discounts


Earlier this week we told you about, a great site that tips you early about Black Friday specials.

Apparently, every year some retailers don't want you to know what their offers are too early. Boo to them.

They keep their lawyers busy with Cease and Desist orders. As of this morning, five have weighed in with their blackouts -- Walmart, Sears, Big Lots, Macy's and Ace Hardware.

Check for the sneak peak of the Lowe's Black Friday ad listing that was leaked by Lowe's. Some of the best buys include a Black & Decker 24-volt, 4-piece Cordless Combo Kit that was $159 for $59.97 and 14-gallon Shop-Vac Wet/Dry Vac that was $89.97 for $29. They also have decor such as the 3-piece 29-inch Bronze Casual Table with two buffet lamps that was $88 for $49. Remember, specials won't be available until Nov. 28. But you can start planning.

Thanks, Lowe's, for being a good sport!

XOXO -- Shopper Girl

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Get in the holiday mood at Crate & Barrel

Whether it's Halloween, Thanksgiving or Christmas, Crate & Barrel Outlet at the Sawgrass Mills mall is bound to get you in the holiday mood.

I stopped there on Saturday and found a beautiful table runner 50 percent off, only $19.95. I chose the Alexandra red design, but there's also one with autumn colors (see at right).

Then I found an irrestible item for $6.95: fanciful salt and pepper shakers in the design of snowmen. My friend M collects those for her friend M, so I may pass them on to her. If not, one of my sisters' is getting snowmen as part of her Christmas present.

The snowmen design also is available in a sugar and creamer for $12.95, appetizer plates for $14.95, and tapered candles - snowmen with tall winter hats, 2 for $5.95.

What a fun tabletop for the children in us during the holidays! And at a bargain price, of course. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Check out Sam's Club: $10 holiday deal


Sam's Club announced today (Thursday, Oct. 16) that it's offering a $10 membership good for 10 weeks for families and businesses not currently members.

Consumers can sign up for Sam shopping privileges on two weekends, Oct. 17-19 and Oct. 24-26. Sam's Club stores are in West Palm Beach, Lantana, Coral Springs, Sunrise, Miramar and Miami.

Sam's Club, Costco and other discount shopping stores are likely to be busy places this holiday season when most of us are trying to S-T-R-E-TCH that dollar. Check it out. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Sawgrass starts Black Friday at midnight

No doubt responding to the less-than-cheery retail season expected, Sawgrass Mills outlet mall in Sunrise will open its doors at midnight on Thanksgiving (that's really Friday, Nov. 28).

Sawgrass will have "door busters" and other specials for its midnight opening event.

So if you've had your fill of turkey and pumpkin pie and you need to "walk" it off, try middle-of-the-night shopping at Sawgrass. It will be interesting to see who turns up. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Best Buy, Sawgrass ... a welcome refuge for Black Friday shoppers

By 10 a.m. Friday, the heavy crowds which had lined up overnight at Best Buy Sawgrass had dissipated and the barracades were gone, but the shopping mania continued as a steady flow of late-comers entered the game.

On approach to the Best Buy, the bumper to bumper cars lined up in the parking lot were evidence of the shortage of parking spaces, but the backlog cleared quickly as cars quickly pulled in and out.

Latecomer Amos Pierre of Oakland Park had no intention of lining up early to get into the store. He left home at 7:30 a.m. but still found good deals, leaving the store just after 10 a.m. Pierre bought a Dynex shredder, a laptop and monitor.

Though door-buster deals were going fast and some sold out, other sales continued throughout the morning, including DVDs for $4.99 each, Sony SR 42 hard drive digital camcorders for $499.99 (with accessories bundle) and a Dynex digital picture frame for $79.99.

At noon, the Best Buy floor was abuzz with activity as hot-ticket items like high definition televisions, MPs players, portable DVD players, and computers continued to fly off the shelves.

--Arlene Satchell
Staff Writer

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Comp USA, in a slower mid-morning shopping groove....

Across the street at Comp USA, a few minutes before 1 p.m. the scene was decidedly calmer with fewer people milling about the store at 12170 W. Sunrise Blvd

Many sale item displays no longer had prices posted, a sign that some supplies had been exhausted, but shoppers were searching for deals.

"We didn't wake up early enough for the bargains," said Carlos Sanchez of Sunrise as he shopped with companion Susan Cain at Comp USA.

They were shopping for MP3 players, black DVDs and memory cards and had been to Best Buy and Circuit City earlier in the day.

The prices are better at Comp USA and Best Buy, Cain said.

--Arlene Satchell
Staff Writer

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Circuit City (Pembroke Pines and Sunrise)

Pembroke Pines resident Bob Cain got a head start on his Black Friday shopping when he lined at 11 p.m. Thursday at the Circuit City in Pembroke Pines.

Despite waiting for hours and staying until 5 a.m., Cain left the store disappointed, failing to get the $299 Acer desktop computer he wanted.

While sale vouchers had been handed out to customers, none reached Cain and to make matters worse, some shoppers began offering their unused vouchers for sale at $60 apiece, Cain said.

Determined, Cain continued his quest at the Circuit City at 12300 W. Sunrise Blvd, where the nine-year Black Friday veteran got lucky, finding the Acer desktop computer in stock.

Jennifer Cole of Wauchula was visiting sister Kim White of Cooper City and the two were out shopping for Black Friday bargains at Circuit City.

Cole bought the King of Queens DVD set for $12.99 and White, the House DVD set also for $12.99, originally priced at $50.

An earlier shopping stint at Wal-Mart proved fruitful for Cole, who came away with gifts for her daughter -- a Fisher Price Chicken Dance Elmo and a Barbie VW Beetle both priced at $10 each.

Frank Bozarth of Davie had a different shopping strategy Black Friday, especially as he and his wife recently lost their jobs, casualties of the construction downturn.

To avoid the lines and still get good bargains, Bozarth shopped online, but opted for in-store pickup.

"Only parking seems to be a problem," said Bozarth after he pulled into the Circuit City lot around 1:25 p.m., a little surprised to find he didn't have to wait for an open spot.

People have been getting aggravated over parking, Bozarth said, shopping since the wee hours at Sawgrass Mills Mall, Broward Mall and now at Circuit City.

--Arlene Satchell
Staff Writer

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New garage at Town Center expected to curb some of the parking crunch

You can usually tell the holiday shopping rush at Town Center by the number of cars parked on the grass by the mall’s main entrance.

The cars were on the grass en masse Friday, but if shoppers searched they might have found one of the mall's 1,000 new parking spaces in a two-story garage by Bloomingdale’s.

The garage, which opened just a week ago, is expected to curb some of the parking crunch at Town Center during the holidays, said Venetia Tiberi, the mall’s marketing director. Shoppers may have missed the garage today, though there are signs to the new spaces, Tiberi said.

“Before long, people will notice,” she said.

-Kathy Bushouse
Staff writer

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No mall madness at the Gardens

It seemed more like a busy Saturday than Black Friday at the Gardens mall.

The mall opened its doors at 8 a.m. At 10 a.m. parking was still plentiful. Some stores -- the Apple store, Macy's, the Gap, Bath and Body Works -- seemed busy, while at other stores clerks stood outside to beckon passing shoppers.

The longest line: Starbucks. The scene hardly evoked images ofa post-Thanksgiving shopping frenzy.

A manageable pace of the holiday rush was just fine with Faith Higgins, 22 of Port St. Lucie. She left home at 6:30 am to hit the sales here, two counties to the south.

"It's very casual," Higgins said. "I like that."

-- Kathy Bushouse
staff writer

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Holiday Gifts 2007: Toys R Us on Black Friday

If you are inclined to hit Toys R Us on Black Friday, check out this email I got today. Sounds like there are plenty of ways to save money.


The Door Busters deal goes from 5 a.m. to noon Friday. You can see the deals if you go into the store today (Wednesday); then buy on Friday.

There are also deals on For example, free shipping on many items. And some savings of up to 60 percent if you shop online on Thanksgiving Day.


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Black Friday shopping tips from my dental hygienist

After my dental hygienist found out I worked for the Sun-Sentinel, she wanted to double-check on when the Black Friday ads were going to be in the paper (primarily Thursday). But then she also asked whether she could find them online. I told her about, which has a link to the Black Friday ads.

She then told me about her Black Friday shopping strategies:

-- Make a game plan of where you're going and what you're after.
-- If you're hitting the 5 a.m. deals, show up at 5:05 a.m., after the initial crush has made its way through the doors.
-- And for her, JC Penney had the best deals.

Thanks, Marlene, for the tips and for the shiny teeth.

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South Florida malls offer Black Friday freebies, perks

South Florida malls are planning to treat early bird shoppers to freebies and perks Friday.

The Friday after Thanksgiving — called Black Friday because it's typically a big sales day for retailers — is considered the official start to the holiday shopping season. Malls in the region are hoping to draw shoppers with special offerings.

Here's a look at what's happening:

Aventura Mall will offer early-bird shoppers valet parking and free Starbucks coffee outside the mall entrance.

The Mall at Wellington Green will pamper some lucky shoppers. The first 100 customers to purchase $500 worth of mall gift cards (in a single transaction) will receive a $100 gift certificate from SpaFinder, redeemable at any of the nearly 4,000 spas worldwide.

At The Gardens Mall in Palm Beach Gardens, shoppers can use text messaging to find out about hot Black Friday deals and promotions and be eligible to win prizes. Shoppers can text the mall at 97904 to learn about the day’s special deals.

Then, for the next eight days, Gardens Mall shoppers can text the same number to learn how to register to win a luxury gift basket filled with more than $4,000 worth of merchandise and gift cards.

-- Jaclyn Giovis

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About the authors
Doreen Christensen has never paid full price for anything. If there is a way to save on something, she will find it and share how you can save, too. Doreen is a senior reporter covering consumer news, health, beauty and features for the online and print editions of the Sun Sentinel. A 32-year veteran of the newspaper, she previously was a senior copy editor on the universal copy desk. Doreen spends her time off hunting bargains, clipping coupons, gardening and traveling.

Justine Griffin covers retail and marine business for the Sun Sentinel. She is a Tampa Bay native who graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2010. After spending a year covering crime in St. Augustine, Fla., she moved to Fort Lauderdale and made the switch to business journalism. When she’s not writing, she’s riding horses and spending time with her whippet puppy, Josie.

Marcia Heroux Pounds is the Sun Sentinel's workplace columnist when she's not shopping for shoes. She also writes about small business, which allows her to visit many of South Florida's unique shops and boutiques.

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