From toys to tablet computers, which items will be steals on Black Friday and which ones are worth waiting for until the holidays are over.
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After demand for a limited-edition Missoni line brought Target to its knees in September, it's clear that shoppers are showing a preference for inexpensive and accessible fashion.
On Black Friday, that could mean a virtual stampede over discounts for items like $50 cashmere sweaters or $10 jeans at department stores and discount retailers alike.
"Expect an explosion of sales," said Candace Corlett, president of WSL Strategic Retail, a retail consultancy. "Department stores are not only competing with each other but with discount retailers," she explained.
And for consumers, that means there will be significant markdowns across the board -- making Black Friday a good time to stock up on their favorites.
Since there has yet to be a "must-have" item to emerge this year, retailers may have to mark down their stock even further after Black Friday to keep consumers shopping, said Tom Julian, president of Tom Julian Group, a retail consultancy in New York. "Every mall store will be 30% off, but they will be 40% to 60% off later in the season."
But if there is an item you are particularly yearning for, don't hold off too long. In anticipation of slower sales, retailers have been limiting their inventory and may sell out of some items well before the holiday arrives. "They will run out of colors and sizes and on some things," Corlett added. So if it's that purple sweater you want, be prepared to head out on the day after Thanksgiving.