What to expect from Labor Day sales this year

By Donna Doyle/DealNews

Ready to celebrate your hard work with some retail therapy on Labor Day? Come September 4, you can expect a host of stores to drop prices across the web and offer some of the best deals of the season.

In order to get the most out of these sales, planning is key. Check out our predictions below, and if you're really dedicated, consider signing up for some newsletters from deal sites or retailers to get the best Labor Day offers delivered to your inbox.

Shop early to save big

The best thing about shopping online is that competition between retailers pushes prices down lower and makes sales last longer. The latter is evident when you note that in 2016, Hotels.com launched the first Labor Day sale of the season on August 9 — that's an eager 27 days before the holiday!

If that wasn't time enough to get saving, many retailers, including the likes of Home Depot, Walmart and Lenovo, kept the sale banners up until the weekend after Labor Day.

End-of-season clothing sales dominate

Since Labor Day falls at the end of the summer, you can expect to see major discounts on clothing as stores try to clear out their stockrooms ahead of the new season. Last year, a massive 31 percent of all Labor Day sales listed on DealNews were for clothing and accessories.

Among the best of these clothing sales was found at Old Navy, as the store knocked an extra 50 percent off jeans, tees and dresses (including sale items). It's still tied as the best extra discount we've seen on these items, outside of Black Friday sales. The now-bankrupt BCBG went one better and cut 50 percent off sitewide, coupled with free shipping. We've only seen that discount offered again once since then, making the Labor Day mention a tie for the best sale we've ever seen from the store.

We also expect to see a competitive sale from popular clothing store Uniqlo. Its Labor Day sales have impressed for two years running, and in 2016 it boasted a low starting price of just $6.00 on its sale items. Even shipping was free! Strong sales from Wilsons Leather and Jos. A. Bank are also anticipated after both stores' Labor Day offers were sweet enough to be marked Editor's Choice last year.

Shoes set to drop

It's not just clothing that'll see big discounts, but also shoes. Impressive sitewide discounts at Rocket Dog, Crocs and Clarks resulted in all-time price lows on a wide selection of men's, women's and kids' footwear last year.

Rocket Dog knocked 50 percent off already-reduced women's and girls' shoes, which is the highest extra discount we've ever seen from the shoe store. Crocs and Clarks matched each other by cutting 25 percent off sitewide — but Clarks' offer impressed our shoe-mad editors most, as high coupon offers are far more rare from that store.

Treat yourself to a thrifty trip

If you wish to spend the long weekend away from home, you don't have to break the bank. As we mentioned, it was Hotels.com that kicked off last year's festive savings. However, we advise you to hold off and delay your getaway until after the holiday as we saw the very best Editor's Choice travel deals on Labor Day itself last year.

BookIt cut up to $200 off all-inclusive hotel bookings on the day, while Travelocity's Labor Day coupon knocked $100 off all flight and hotel packages totaling $500 or more.

Save money on mattresses

Although mattress purchases can be pricey, holiday sales can see those prices plummet — and Labor Day last year was no exception. US-Mattress led the game by knocking up to 60 percent off sitewide, and combining that with a host of dollar-off coupons. Its mattresses even shipped for free!

Big-box stores Sears and Walmart also hosted top mattress sales over Labor Day. Although Sears' sale was among the most popular of the season, Walmart's offers had the edge, as the store offered free shipping on orders over $50 (as opposed to Sears' $599 minimum spend requirement). We saw mattresses as low as $79 shipped from Walmart as a result.

Whether you're spending on you, your loved ones, or your home, you likely won't get as good another savings opportunity like Labor Day until Black Friday.