Chicagoans looking to make most of Black Friday deals in-person and online

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CHICAGO (WLS) — It’s not even Thanksgiving, but the holiday shopping season is in full swing.

With many people off work or school this week, retailers are already offering deals.

Chris Peake was getting a jump on her holiday shopping Monday, and a Northwest Side Target store is ready for her. All the holiday stuff is out, and many of the so-called Black Friday deals are already available.

“They’re starting already up here,” Peake said.

She said she got a good deal on Legos.

Retail analysts are predicting a strong holiday shopping season this year, despite inflation, which has driven up many prices.

Over the weekend, the annual holiday lights parade on the Magnificent Mile unofficially kicked off the holiday season downtown, and shoppers responded in big numbers.

Jen White and her daughter were taking advantage of Chicago Public Schools being off school all week to get a jump on shopping also.

But they are seeing higher prices.

“Definitely noticing things are much more expensive compared to last year, not sure if that’s due to inflation,” White said.

Analysts say some of the bigger chain stores are likely to benefit from the economic conditions this year because they are frequently able to offer lower prices.

Walmart stores will open at 6 a.m. Friday.

“We are offering prices lower than they have been. We are fighting inflation, trying to stay the lowest prices in town,” Walmart store manager Keith Gallo said.

Experts say another factor affecting shoppers is high credit card interest rates, hovering in the 25% range, which could mean a major post-holiday spending hangover in the new year.

“While many stores are seeing a lot more activity in the aisles, experts are predicting online shopping will be bigger than ever this year, as they say, while supplies last,” financial advisor Earl Rubinoff said.

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