While many consumers often associate February with deals on chocolates and flowers, this month's best sales will actually take place on Presidents' Day, which some consider the retail industry's first major sale day of the year. If you're one of the lucky few to have the day off, there are a lot of offers and promotions to wade through. But are these sales worth it? We combed through 2012's best Presidents' Day bargains to offer some guidance for 2013.
Sales Might Eclipse Valentine's Day
As with Black Friday and Christmas, Presidents' Day sales start way in advance. In fact, last year some of the earliest sales began nine days before Presidents' Day. However, the majority of retailers (like Macy's, Aeropostale, and Crate & Barrel) kicked off their sales five days in advance. So this year, we expect to see the brunt of Presidents' Day sales begin Wednesday, February 13. (Sorry, Valentine's Day.) Last year, promotions were consistent throughout the week, so if you see a Presidents' Day sale on the 13th, you can rest assured that price or discount won't change much come February 18.
Apparel Is Most Heavily Discounted
Shoppers take note, when it comes to Presidents' Day sales, apparel is the most discounted item. In fact, last year clothing accounted for 30% of all Presidents' Day sale items listed on dealnews. We saw major sales from the likes of Gap (40% off), Levi's (25% off), and Aeropostale (50% off). Men's suits also saw significant savings with a BOGO sale from Macy's and up to 55% off men's suits at Kohl's.
In addition to apparel, home furnishings and accessories also saw an influx of discounts last February accounting for 23% of sales with deals on big-ticket items like mattresses (up to 66% off at Sears) and patio furniture (up to 50% off at Home Depot).
Consumer Electronics See Aggressive Discounts
Finally, gadgets and consumer electronics accounted for 17% of all deals, with notable discounts from Lenovo, Dell Home, and J&R; each took between 10% to 15% off select laptops. However, keep in mind that this year, big-screen HDTVs (55"+) and Ivy Bridge-based laptops are undergoing aggressive discounts, so keep an eye on these items this Presidents' Day.
Other discounted items worth noting include tools, watches, and pet food, each of which saw deals from 20% to 30% off. In addition, if you happen to miss a Valentine's Day jewelry or chocolate deal, rest assured that there's a chance it might still be available come Presidents' Day. Last year we saw Godiva and Szul extend their Valentine's Day offerings through Presidents' Day.