November 21, 2011, 1:49 PM — It's that time of year again: Black Friday arrives in fewer than five days and it's time to make your game plan for the holiday shopping kickoff. If you're braving the crowds on Friday, you'll need to figure out where to go and when since many stores have different opening times and some are even coming out with new deals throughout the day. If you plan to shop online, most major chains also offer some of their Black Friday deals online, but you'll have to read on to find out when.
Here's a look at five popular national retail chains and their opening times, item limits, when online deals start, and other basics to help you get the most out of Black Friday 2011.
Doors open: Midnight, Friday, November 25
Item Tickets Available? Yes. Handed out up to two hours before opening.
Item Limits: One item ticket per doorbuster item per person.
Online Deals Start: Thursday, November 24
Best Buy has a number of tech deals available, including laptops priced less than $500, a 3TB external hard drive for $100, and $45 off any Apple iPad 2. But to get these doorbuster savings you'll have to line up early. Item tickets are being handed out up to two hours before the doors open at midnight. Select Best Buy locations in 22 states are also doing free outdoor screenings of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2" at 9 p.m. local time. Check out Best Buy's Black Friday movie page for more information. Note: Massachusetts stores open at 1 a.m. on November 26.
Doors Open: Midnight, Friday, November 25 and 8 a.m. Friday, November 25; video game deals start at 10 p.m. on Thursday, November 24
Item Limits: None specified.
Online Deals Start: Friday, November 25
Walmart's Black Friday specials come in phases, with some deals beginning as early as 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving. But unless you are looking for a deal on video games, consoles, and accessories, savings on electronics start at midnight.
Doors Open: 6 a.m. Friday, November 25
Item Limits: One of each item per customer.
Online Deals Start: Black Friday deals are in-store only.