Retailers across the region have given Chicago much to consider this holiday shopping season. Black Friday has long been a day of significant savings for Chicago area shoppers. Stores have opened their doors early Friday morning following Thanksgiving – rewarding consumers who are willing to lose a little sleep in search for savings. Stores have also extended their sales into the following Saturday and Sunday for additional savings opportunities.

As the Internet has gained in popularity over the past several years, retailers have added one more day to extend Black Friday — Cyber Monday — where customers can enjoy savings by shopping on store websites. Once the domain of early Internet shopping pioneers; all major stores offer savings on their websites on Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday (and Internet shopping in general) allow Chicago area households to buy goods from merchants across the country. For example, consumers in search of a Beautyrest mattress or Serta mattress can go to Internet mattress retailers like The Mattress Factory.

This year retailers have expanded post-Thanksgiving sales even further, by turning Black Friday into a week-long event, and even opening their doors on Thanksgiving. Most companies opened their doors Thanksgiving evening, while a few were as bold as to open up Thanksgiving morning. In addition to longer sales, the size of the promotions are increasing. For years gift sets have been used as incentive for making cosmetic purchases. This year more types of purchases earn free gifts. Numerous stores are offering gift cards, while others are using electronics. The Mattress Factory is giving away flat screen televisions on qualifying mattress purchases. The purchase of luxury mattresses, like the iComfort mattress and Beautyrest Black can mean a free TV as big as 42″!

Will these increased sales efforts result in increased revenue for retailers? If they do, we can count on even more aggressive sales next year.