AUSTIN -- With Thanksgiving just a few days away, many Austinites are looking past that holiday and onto the next one: Christmas. Or Christmas presents, that is. According to the National Retail Federation, shoppers spent a record $59.1 billion over the holiday weekend in 2012, and the number of shoppers online and in stores also reached a new record.
Before hitting the stores this weekend, check this comprehensive list of major stores' special hours and shopping deals:
Academy: Stores will open at 5 a.m. Friday. For specific deals, go here.
Amazon: Black Friday deals are lasting all week online. New deals are added as often as every 10 minutes. Go here to shop.
Best Buy: Stores open at 6 p.m. Thursday. Midnight Mystery Doorbuster deals will be available for an online sneak peek at 10 p.m. Thursday and will go on sale at midnight on Friday. More Doorbuster deals will be available at 10 a.m. Friday. Stores will close at 10 p.m. Friday. For specific deals and offers, go here.
Home Depot: Stores will be open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, and deals will be available online all week. For specific deals, go here.
J.C. Penney: Online shopping lasts all day Thursday and Friday. Stores are open from 8 p.m. Thursday until 9 p.m. on Friday. Go here for specific deals.
Kohl's: Online shopping is currently underway on Kohls.com and the deals will last through 3 p.m. Friday. Stores open 8 p.m. Thursday and deals last through 1 p.m. Friday. Go here for Kohl's Black Friday deals.
Kmart: Stores will be open at 6 a.m. on Thursday through 11 p.m. on Friday. Kmart will have three rounds of doorbuster deals both online and in stores:
- 6 a.m. until 5 p.m. Thursday in stores, 5 a.m. until 7 p.m. Thursday online. Go here for deals.
- 7 p.m. Thursday until 3 a.m. Friday in stores, 6 p.m. Thursday until 5 a.m. Friday online. Go here for deals.
- 6 a.m. until noon on Friday in stores, 5 a.m. until 2 p.m. Friday online. Go here for deals.
Lowe's: Online deals will be available from 11 p.m. on Wednesday until 10:59 p.m. Monday. Stores will open at 5 a.m. Friday. Go here for deals.
Macy's: Online shopping deals will last from Thursday until Saturday. All Austin Macy's stores will open at 8 p.m. Thursday, but you can go here to check other store locations and hours. Go here for Macy's Black Friday deals.
Sears: Online shopping starts at 6 p.m. Wednesday and lasts until 3 p.m. Thursday. Stores open at 8 p.m. Thursday and deals end at 1 p.m. Go here for deals.
Staples: Stores will be open from 8 p.m. until midnight on Thursday and 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday. Go here for deals.
Target: Online shopping deals are available in the days leading up to the holiday weekend for Target's Pre-Black Friday Sale, which lasts from Nov. 24 to Nov. 27. For daily deals, go here.
Stores will be open from 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving until 11 p.m. on Friday. You can map out your Black Friday shopping trip here.
Toys R Us: Stores open Thursday at 5 p.m. and have several rounds of doorbuster deals. For all Black Friday deals, go here. For four-hour deals from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, go here. For bonus doorbusters available from 5 a.m. Friday through Saturday, go here. Online shopping will be available at 11 p.m. Thursday.
Walmart: Most Walmart stores are open 24 hours, but check with your specific Walmart store for exact hours. Black Friday online shopping at Walmart begins Thursday morning.
For deals available at Austin Walmart stores from 6 p.m. Thursday until midnight Friday, go here. For deals available from 8 p.m. Thursday until midnight Friday, go here. Items can be reserved with a wristband for the 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. events by going to your local Walmart store, waiting in line for the item you want to reserve prior to the event start time and returning within two hours to claim your item. Find more information on the wristbands here.
For deals available from 8 a.m. Friday until Sunday, go here.
For deals not listed here, visit coupons.com to find a range of discounts and Black Friday deals.
What to avoid, according to dealsnews.com:
- Game consoles without a bundled item
- Brand name HDTVs
- DSLR cameras
- Winter clothes
- Christmas decorations
- Exercise equipment
- Jewelry and watches
- iPad mini with retina
- Kindle HDX
- Bedding and Blankets
- Wine and Specialty Foods
- International airfare
The National Retail Federation released the following tips for surviving Black Friday:
- Make a list before you shop.
- Check and compare prices online before heading out to the stores.
- Research return and exchange policies before buying.
- Wear comfortable shoes, since you'll likely be waiting in line for an extended period of time.
- Get gift receipts with your purchases.