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COVID Pandemic Reshaping Holiday Shopping Season As Retailers Offer Major Deals In October

JERSEY CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- The COVID-19 pandemic is already reshaping the holiday shopping season this year.

Major retailers are kicking off Black Friday in October with major deals online, trying to lure families who may be more budget conscious.

As CBS2's Christina Fan reported Monday, it's unlikely we'll see frenzied crowds, doorbuster deals, and Black Friday as we know it this year. But retailers are still rolling out the deals.

Consumer experts say get ready because the sales are already here.

"October is really the beginning of this holiday shopping season kickoff, whereas in earlier years maybe it was early November," said CNET's Dan Ackerman.

The country's largest retailers are rolling out Black Friday this week, with Amazon Prime Day running from Oct. 13-14, Target's Deal Days following suit and Walmart having its Big Save event through Thursday.

Shoppers are already looking to capitalize.


"Of course, are you kidding me? My phone is already blowing up with all the Prime deals going for me already," said Bayonne resident Davinicus George.

"It's like the only exciting thing we have to do right now, you know?" another shopper said.

Ackerman said with money running tight for many families, shoppers should only buy what they need, make sure to compare prices, and ignore the urge to impulse buy.

It's unlikely the deals will get better as we approach the holidays, he added.

"I wouldn't hold out hope on some great bargain later on that you don't see Prime day, especially because all these other brands, like Walmart, Best Buy, and Target, are doing their own deals and are very aware of what everyone else is offering," Ackerman said.

Experts are predicting the most popular items will be lower cost computers and tablets. So if you're planning on buying, make sure to do your research and purchase early.

"Every kid who is remote learning needs their own device now, and everybody is working from home, so they all need their own device. You can't have a shared family computer anymore, really. So whenever you see a $500 decent laptop or a good tablet, they sell out very quickly," Ackerman said.

Other hot items include kitchen appliances and other electronics.

Experts say with so many of us staying home, items that can help ease stress on family resources are good investments.

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