The 10 Stores with the Best Black Friday Bargains

"Black Friday" has become a misnomer, with most big chain stores opening their doors – and their sales – on Thursday evening. It also turns out that Walmart and Target are no longer the kings of Black Friday, at least when it comes to having the largest markdowns.

When most people think of Black Friday, they imagine lines of rowdy shoppers lining up outside a Walmart or Target in the early morning hours the day after Thanksgiving.

In reality, “Black Friday” has become a misnomer, with most big chain stores opening their doors — and their sales – on Thursday evening. It also turns out that Walmart and Target are no longer the kings of Black Friday, at least when it comes to having the largest markdowns.

The consumer finance website WalletHub took a look at advertised Black Friday sales at the nation’s 22 largest retail chains. They surveyed discounts on 5,525 items to find out which retailers were offering the biggest discounts on their sale items. Neither Walmart nor Target made the Top 10.

Overall, the biggest discounts can be found on toys, averaging 25.90%. Next came apparel and accessories (16.04%), and electronics and computers (10.39%).

Some of the companies in the Top 10 are to be expected, though the list also includes stores that are known for hardware or prescription drugs.

What follows are the 10 national chain stores with the biggest average advertised Black Friday sales, according to WalletHub’s analysis.

Average Discount: 38.56%

Black Friday Start: 6 p.m. Thanksgiving Day

The office supply giant carries much more than pencils and printer paper. WalletHub found the store has the second-highest discounts on consumer electronics (45.26%) and electronics and computers (35.3%). The store also has the third-highest discounts on furniture, averaging 55.37%.

Photo (cropped) by Flickr user Mike Mozart/Creative Commons

Average Discount: 39.89%

Black Friday Start: 6 p.m. Thanksgiving Day

Kohl’s offers a range of clothing, home appliances, jewelry, and other items. The store earns some of its highest marks for furniture and clothing. Furniture sales average 59.60% at the store, good enough for first place. Clothing discounts average 58.28%, good for No. 4 in the category. Kohl’s is also ranked fifth in discounts on electronics and computers and consumer electronics, as well as fourth in appliances.

by Flickr user Mike Mozart/Creative Commons

Average Discount: 41.01%

Black Friday Start: Discounts begin Wednesday, Nov. 26

Holiday shoppers won’t find everything at this well-known hardware store, but they’ll save money on what they do find. For instance, consumers can get furniture on sale for an average of 43.12% off. Other sale items average 40.52% off, WalletHub found.

Photo (cropped)

by Flickr user Nicholas Eckhart/Creative Commons

Average Discount: 43.89%

Black Friday Start: 6 p.m. Thanksgiving Day

Office Depot and Office Max represent one of 2 office supply chains on the list, though their deals are generally greater than those at rival Staples. Office Depot and Office Max offer the highest discounts on electronics and computers (averaging 40.63%). The chain also scores well on consumer electronics (43.23% average discount, fourth place) and furniture (53.85% average discount, fourth place).

Photo (cropped)

by Flickr user Mike Mozart/Creative Commons

Average Discount: 46.74%

Black Friday Start: 8 a.m. Thanksgiving Day

The ubiquitous pharmacy has used major discounts to become a major player on Black Friday (or rather, on Thanksgiving Day). The chain’s best deals can be found on consumer packaged goods (51.12% discount on average), and consumer electronics (30.56%).

Photo (cropped)

by Flickr user Mike Mozart/Creative Commons

Average Discount: 50.19%

Black Friday Start: 6 p.m. Thanksgiving Day

Sears is the best place to find discounted clothing, according to WalletHub, with an average markdown of 69.02% in its sales listings. It also ranks second for furniture (57.65%), and fifth for consumer packaged goods (39.42%) and appliances (40.22%). Still, it’s only not the first place you’d want to go at your mall. Two rival department stores have better deals, according to the survey.

Photo (cropped) (cropped)

by Flickr user Mike Mozart/Creative Commons

Average Discount: 50.85%

Black Friday Start: 6 a.m. Thanksgiving Day

The Michigan-based chain is advertising 3 days of sales, and those sales average out to discounts of 50.85%. The store’s best deals are on jewelry, with advertised savings averaging 78.67%, placing it second in the category. Meijer also has solid deals on toys, with average savings of 33.34%, placing it fifth in toys.

Photo (cropped)

by Flickr user Nicholas Eckhart/Creative Commons

Average Discount: 53.34%

Black Friday Start: 8 a.m. Thanksgiving Day

Rite Aid wins the battle among pharmacies, ranking the highest of any drug store. That said, its biggest deals tend to be limited to the consumer packaged goods category, where its sales averaged 53.32%, ranking it second among all stores. The store also sells electronics and kitchen goods, among other items.

Photo (cropped)

by Flickr user Mike Mozart/Creative Commons

Average Discount: 53.52%

Black Friday Start: 6 p.m. Thanksgiving Day

Macy’s offers deals in a wide range of categories. It comes in first place for consumer electronics (65.29% average savings) and consumer packaged goods (59.47%). However, the store is also in the Top 5 in clothing (62.34%), appliances (48.62%) and jewelry (65.94%).

Photo (cropped)

by Flickr user Nicholas Eckhart/Creative Commons

Average Discount: 65.44%

Black Friday Start: 5 p.m. Thanksgiving Day

JCPenney has had a rough time on Wall Street lately, but the store’s strategy for boosting sales seems to be working out in the customer’s favor. The store easily wins for having the deepest Black Friday discounts. It’s also opening an hour earlier than most of its competitors. The chain’s best deals can be found in appliances (49.79%), clothing (62.62%), and jewelry (66.40%).

WalletHub’s entire list can be found here.

Photo (cropped)

by Flickr user Mike Mozart/Creative Commons

Photo (cropped)