The longest lines on Black Friday often lead to big-box retailers, which isn't surprising given the resources they invest in the start of the holiday shopping season. But they're hardly the only stores looking to rack up big sales this week.
From drugstore chains to dollar stores and even thrift shops, everyone in the retail world wants a piece of the action. Shoppers willing to branch out might do well to keep an open mind about where they look.
"You're going to see deals everywhere," said Bakersfield consumer savings expert Andrea Woroch, founder of consumer-advice website Andreaworoch.com. "If you (as a retailer) don't offer a deal on Friday, you're going to miss out on a huge chunk of sales."
Some of the sales can be substantial, especially with discounts built in to benefits cards like Rite-Aid's wellness+ rewards system and CVS's ExtraBucks program. Michelle Madhok, online shopping expert and founder of deals site Shefinds.com, said consumers last year earned credits and gift cards that made nice stocking stuffers.
"For example," she said, "Physicians Formula mascara was on sale for $9, but you'd receive $9 back in ExtraBucks for buying it, making it essentially free."
Dollar General is promoting discounts on toys of up to 75 percent Thanksgiving through Saturday. Family Dollar, likewise, is offering specials on toys, including $15 each for a brand of remote control helicopters.
Goodwill Industries of South Central California has lined up a series of special deals throughout the week. Starting at 8 a.m. Friday, its stores will give extra discount cards to the first 100 customers through the door, followed at 9 a.m. Saturday by $10 gift certificates for their first 50 shoppers.