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What to Expect from 2012 Independence Day Sales

Published
By Laura Heller, dealnews contributor

Independence Day is a celebration of freedom; a time to enjoy family, friends, food, fireworks, and ... deals? But of course! While our upcoming July buying guide uncovers that July 4th sales are somewhat middling — especially in comparison to the stellar Memorial Day sales — shopping will still be on the mind of many, and there will definitely be some worthwhile discounts to consider. But the 4th of July holiday falls midweek this year, so when exactly will you see these deals?

Luckily, our retailer research shows that this year's Wednesday holiday should result in a longer period for Independence Day sales. Most stores will begin their July 4th sales this Friday, June 29, and many will run through Wednesday, July 4; a few are planning extended or cascading events on a schedule throughout the week. However, keep in mind that the last time we saw the holiday fall on a Wednesday, there were no July 4th-branded sales the following weekend.

With your shopping days now accounted for, we scanned some retailer reports to find out what kinds of merchandise will be on the sale racks. And while we cannot guarantee the hard value of any of these promotions yet, it helps to know what to expect. Just be sure to check back with dealnews when the sales start in order to help you put everything into context.

Apparel and Seasonal Merchandise

It may surprise some folks, but Independence Day marks the beginning of retailers clearing out summer apparel and other seasonal merchandise. Despite the fact that the season has barely begun, large stores begin to repurpose their space to begin setting up back-to-school items.

In fact, Target's sale starts Sunday, July 1 and runs through the week, but strictly features summer essentials. "We do not have any special '4th of July' products that will be featured, but summer essentials like pool and beach gear instead," said a Target spokeswoman.

Seasonal goods last a bit longer online, but retailers have become so adept at anticipating demand that clearance sales for things like patio furniture, grills, and outdoor décor aren't the deep discounts many would hope for. Anyone wanting to score outdoor items for the yard or beach might find better deals after July 4, but merchandise selection will be scarcer. Beyond that, big box retailers and large outlet malls will wooing shoppers away from picnics and fireworks with sales of an extra 25% off or more in some cases.

DIY Home Sales

Home improvement retailers count on long holiday weekends for the project-minded to get started on tasks around the house. Sears, Home Depot, and Lowe's are all planning sales on home improvement supplies and appliances in hopes of cashing in on this newfound motivation.

Home Goods and Furniture

A trip to the beach notwithstanding, Independence Day is for sticking close to home, and apparently buying items for it too. Furniture sales typically kick off in the beginning of July (and run through the month) from big retailers like Crate & Barrel and Room & Board. Mattresses too, take the spotlight. Sears is running a "July 4 Spectacular" with 50% to 60% off, as well as special financing and free delivery. Overstock's Independence Day sales include 10% off select living room, dining room, and bedroom furniture, and 10% off select mattresses and memory foam.

Electronics

Electronics retailers are already focused on back-to-school bargains: the biggest sales opportunity for this product category outside of the winter holidays. But they won't be ignoring July 4.

Jon Abt, of Abt Electronics, tells us that the store is running promotions the weekend prior to and up until July 4. newegg is holding a 24-hour sale on July 4 that will focus on TVs, laptops, desktop PCs, printers, and other computer-related products. Meanwhile, Best Buy will be announcing Independence Day deals starting on Sunday, July 1 and running through July 6; expect savings on computers, home theaters, and mobile phones and accessories. A company spokeswoman said that Best Buy will also hold an online-only sale on July 4 with new deals in addition to those advertised.

For those readers trying to keep track of promotions, here are some of the most important takeaway points:

  • Big retail chains run promotions in their weekly ads, although a good many will begin their Independence Day sales tomorrow, Friday, June 29 with an approximate end day of Wednesday, July 4.
  • Watch websites for 1-day events held on July 4 itself. While many retail stores will be closed, the Internet never sleeps and retailers of all types – online only and brick-and-mortar shops with an Internet presence – will capitalize on e-commerce from dawn til dusk.
  • Expect a second round of sales to commence the day after July 4; these sales are similar to Thanksgiving Day sales, but without the hyped-up doorbusters. We anticipate that extra deals will likely surface in home improvement and seasonal/summer merchandise.

Last-minute deals will also crop up, as it seems that several retailers are aiming to be responsive with what they offer. It's possible that retailers will use the extended holiday to clear out merchandise not sold by nightfall on July 4. For example, a spokesman for Overstock said, "We are considering extending the offers past July 4, and a coupon will be included in our email to customers prior to the holiday."

So while it may be a work holiday for many, it's no time for deal seekers to take a day off from checking dealnews (as well as those email blasts).

Front page photo credit: S. Paul Forrest
Photo credits top to bottom: Your Next Jeans, Facebook, and hhgregg


Laura Heller is a freelance writer based in Chicago who specializes in mass market retail trends and consumer electronics industries. You can follow her on Twitter @lfheller.

Follow @dealnewsfeature on Twitter for the latest roundups, price trend info, and stories. You can also sign up for an email alert for all dealnews features.

Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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