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Memorial Day 2024 Shopping: What To Buy, What To Hold Off On For Deeper Discounts Later On

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ACROSS AMERICA — Memorial Day is traditionally seen as the unofficial start to summer. While millions of Americans are traveling, the extended Saturday-Monday holiday is a big shopping weekend for about 1 in 5 Americans.

Retailers are counting on sales featuring summer apparel, patio furniture, grills and other seasonal items to draw customers into their stores. Those may not be the best prices of the year, according to retail analysts.

Most major retailers will be open on Memorial Day including Barnes & Noble, Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, Crate & Barrel, Dollar General, Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, Foot Locker, GameStop, HomeGoods, IKEA, Kmart, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Marshalls, Michaels, Old Navy, Petco, Sephora and T.J. Maxx.

A survey of 1,001 U.S. adults by RetailMeNot, which maintains a collection of coupon websites, found that 18 percent of them plan to shop on Memorial Day this year, and about 34 percent of them are looking for deals They plan to spend an average of about $297.

More than half (54 percent) plan to buy food and drinks for Memorial Day cookouts and gatherings. Shannon Dwyer, a shopping expert at RetailMeNot, told NBC News that grocers are discounting those items, making the long weekend a good time to save on groceries.

There are tons of Memorial Day mattress sales as stores clear out their spring inventory to make room for new products for summers. Prices are often the lowest of the year during the sales. Some mattress stores had pre-holiday discounts, but the best mattress sales take place during the holiday weekend itself, according to Forbes.

Other items that are “on sale” may not be such great deals.

“If you’re patient, outdoor items and summer clothing will be available at deeper discounts in August and September,” Adam Davis, a managing director on the Wells Fargo Retail Finance marketing team, told NBC News. “It’s a seasonal cycle, and retailers typically want to sell in-season merchandise with limited promotions.”

However, people shopping for summer living accessories may want to acquire them before events this weekend. In that case, Adams told Yahoo! Finance, shop around for the best deals.

“I think for grills and outdoor furniture … it’s very tempting to buy now. I think if you have a specific item that you absolutely have to have, then kind of shop around, kind of hunt, do some price comparisons,” he said.

Swimsuits and other summer apparel aren’t likely to be discounted much, but retailers may offer big savings on spring apparel to make room for new inventory.

And this probably isn’t the best time to buy televisions and electronics, even though retailers are featuring these items in sales ads. But you don’t have to wait until Black Friday sales, either. Some of the deepest discounts on electronics are found during Amazon’s summer Prime Day, usually held in July.

Dwyer told NBC at careful shoppers may find good deals on small appliances, such as vacuums, steam cleaners, air fryers and toaster ovens, a well as washing machines, dishwashers and refrigerators.

“One really good thing you want to look out for are home appliances,” consumer finance expert Andrew Woroch told Fox News. These big ticket items are typically discounted during holiday weekends, as well as May, because some brands like Maytag are offering an entire month of deals, Woroch said.

Some of the year’s best prices on tires are found around Memorial Day, but the holiday weekend overall is not a good time to go shopping for a new car, according to FinanceBuzz.

“There could be some good deals at your local car dealership for Memorial Day, but the holiday weekend may not be the best time to pick up a new car,” the site advises. “Instead, try to wait until the end of the summer when dealers are trying to move old inventory to make room for new models arriving in September.”

Prices will likely be even lower closer to the end of the year as car dealerships cut prices to meet year-end sales targets, the site said.

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