JC Penney Offers Best Black Friday Deals

Following at least half a day of celebrating what to be thankful for, Americans will hit the bricks — both real and virtual — in search of Black Friday deals. And while it is quite likely that the National Retail Federation’s predicted total spending for the holiday season — $630.5 billion — is not going to be met, shoppers are expected to turn out in big numbers for the Black Friday promotions.

Consumer and small-business financial website WalletHub surveyed 8,000 offers from 30 of the largest U.S. retailers and calculated the average discount that each retailer plans to offer. The average discount was weighted based on the pre-discounted price of the item in order to give more credit to the retailers that are discounting higher-ticket items. The sample excludes deals that did not have calculable percentage markdowns. WalletHub then divided the deals into 11 product categories and ranked retailers with at least five products in a particular category.

Topping the list with an average discount of 68% was J.C. Penney Co. Inc. (NYSE: JCP). The troubled retailer reported less than stellar results last week and certainly faces challenges in the current quarter. At that average discount rate, J.C. Penney is likely looking to clear out inventory, the result of warmer-than-usual fall temperatures that left the retailer with unsold winter goods.

Behind J.C. Penney in the top five discounters are Kohl’s Stores Inc. (NYSE: KSS), with an average discount of 66.7%; Stage Stores Inc. (NYSE: SSI), where the average discount is 63.9%; Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN) with an average discount of 63.7%; and Belk with an average discount of 59.5%.

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Some highlights from among the 11 categories of goods include:

  • Groupon’s average discount on apparel and accessories is 84.2%, while J.C. Penney, Stage Stores and Kohl’s hold the next three spots in the ranking with discounts of 60% to 63%.
  • Office Depot and OfficeMax stores offer the biggest average discount (about 40.4%) on computers and phones, with Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) in second place with an average discount of 35.2% and Dell at an average discount of 34.6%.
  • Groupon also offers the best deals on consumer electronics, with an average discount of 63.4%, followed by Stage Stores with discounts averaging 60.7%.
  • Toys are discounted most heavily at Belk (nearly 61%) and Stage Stores (57.8%).
  • Jewelry is the most heavily discounted category, and the leader here is also Groupon, where the average discount is nearly 85%.

By category the biggest discounts are available in jewelry (73% on average); books, movies and music (56%); apparel and accessories (50%); consumer packaged goods (47%); and furniture (45%).

A complete rundown on the Black Friday deals is available at WalletHub’s site.

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