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The Most Incredible Black Friday Deals Are at a Store You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

It’s safe to say Americans are obsessed with Black Friday and all the sales that come with it. And as sales start earlier and earlier each year with some pre-Black Friday sales starting at the beginning of November, like World Market, we’re learning that not all Black Friday sales are created equal. And the best Black Friday retailers out there, those with the biggest discounts in various departments, are legitimately surprising – and admittedly less familiar to many shoppers

According to Wallethub’s 2019 “Best Stores for Black Friday” study, three totally unexpected retailers, Stage, Belk, and Bealls Florida, are the top stores offering the best, deepest discounts this year. Rounding out the list are JCPenney at No. 4, Kohl’s at No. 5, New York & Company at No. 6, Dick’s Sporting Goods at No. 7, Kmart at No. 8, Sears at No. 9, and Fred Meyer at No. 10. Nope, no Target or Walmart in the top 10.

WalletHub surveyed nearly 8,000 deals from 29 of the biggest U.S. retailers’ 2019 Black Friday ad scans to identify the biggest discounts in categories such as appliances, jewelry, and toys. According to the report, the overall average discount for Black Friday is 40 percent, and consumers should aim for this 40-percent discount amount or higher to avoid Black-Friday traps, WalletHub advises.

Also according to the report, Stage offers an average 69.83 percent discount on its items this Black Friday. For those unfamiliar, Stage is a Houston, Texas-headquartered department store with about 900 stores in 40 states across the U.S. Likely the reason behind Stage topping Wallethub’s list is Stage Stores plans to close 40 stores in fiscal 2020, and has already converted 98 stores to off-price since 2018. In fact, according to Stage’s Black Friday ad, this year is its “last Black Friday ever!”

No. 2 is Belk, with an average 66.92 percent discount this year. A North Carolina-based department store chain, Belk has nearly 300 stores across 16 states, mostly in the south and on the east coast. Unlike Stage, Belk seems to be in good health – and its Black Friday deals this year are pretty impressive. Currently, Belk has a pre-Thanksgiving sale with up to 75 percent off many items, from women’s clothing to home décor and beauty products.

Here’s the full top 10 list, including the average percentage discount per store:

  1. Stage (69.83 percent)
  2. Belk (66.92 percent)
  3. Bealls Florida (62.56 percent)
  4. JCPenney (60.97 percent)
  5. Kohl’s (57.10 percent)
  6. New York & Company (56.27 percent)
  7. Dick’s Sporting Goods (52.27 percent)
  8. Kmart (51.84 percent)
  9. Sears (49.25 percent)
  10. Fred Meyer (47.14 percent)

Macy’s just missed the top 10, coming in at No. 11. Walmart ranked No. 19 and Target No. 20, with Amazon five spots below at No. 25.

Coming in dead-last? Ace Hardware with 11.77 percent.

WalletHub also identified the best stores to pick up certain items. For computers and phones, head straight to JCPenney, which also ranked No. 1 for toys AND furniture. For consumer electronics, Fred Meyer is your best bet; and for apparel and accessories, Meijer is No. 1, beating out JCPenney. Stage is No. 1 for appliances; Belk is No. 1 for jewelry; and Walmart for books, movies, music, and video games.

Happy shopping!

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