SportsOneSource analysts and editors were out in force over the weekend assessing the market trends and talking to retailers. Following are a few Black Friday strategies presented by some of the major athletic chains:
Academy Sports + Outdoors ran a 5:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. “Hot Deals” promotion. The deals included Russell Dri-Power fleece crews or pants, $9.99 (reg. price, $15.99); Pro-Form 7.0 treadmill, $299.99 (“Sold elsewhere for $599.99″); Spalding 44” Basketball System, $49.99 (down from $99.99); Body Champ Mid-Width Weight Bench, $69.99 (down from $89.99), Stevens 200 Rifle, $239.99 (down from $279.99), and Heelys, $29.99 (down from $49.99.)
Bass Pro Shops held a “5 Hours Only” sale from 6:00 a.m. to 11 a.m. Deals included Garmin nuvi 255, $99.99 (reg. price, $189.99); Bass Pro Shops full-zip fleece, $10.00; Carhartt hooded work jacket, $39.99; RedHead Dog Bed Combo with Rope Toy, $14.99 (“Compare at $39.99”); and a Marlin Model 795 Marlin Semi Auto Rifle, $99.94 (reg. price, $119.94). The chain was also open on Thanksgiving from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Big 5 Sporting Goods ran an “Extra Savings” promotion on Friday from 5:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. as part of its “Thanksgiving 3-Day Super Sale.” Friday's early-bird special included a Sportscraft '2-in-1' Billiard Table with Table Tennis Conversion Top, $199.99 (weekend sale price, $299.99; reg. price, $399.99); a Lifetime 50″ “Fusion” Portable Basketball System, $169 (wkd. price, $199; reg. price, $299.99), a Variflex 14' Spring Trampoline, $249,00, (wkd. price, $299; reg. price, $399.99), and a Wilson 'LK-Factor K-7' Tennis Racket, $69.00 (wkd. price, $79.99; reg. price, $299.99). Other early-bird specials included New Balance 1224 running shoes, $59; women's Nike 'Reax TG' training shoe, $39; and a Fila full-zip hooded jacket, $25. Some unique offerings being offered included radio-controlled racing cars, remote-controlled mini-indoor helicopters, Digital Choice Trivial Pursuit, and DVDs.
Dick's Sporting Goods had an early-bird special on Friday from 5 a.m. until 2 p.m. Among the deals were Under Armour Cold Gear mock neck or leggings for $39.98 (regular price, $49.98); Nike City Court tennis shoes, $29.98 (a $10 to $30 savings); and a Horizon 901 treadmill or elliptical, $498.98 ($1,000 off). A $25 cash card was being offered with any The North Face purchase of $150 or more. A 15″ high-definition LCD TV/DVD with stand came free with any sole treadmill or elliptical purchase ranging from $1,000 to $1,999. A $20 gift card came with any purchase of $100 of more all day.
High-end trail cameras usually selling for $250-$400 were up to $100 off, while most gun safes were at least $100 off with some boasting price cuts of up to $200 off. Select ammunition from Dick's Sporting Goods was buy one, get one half off. Among firearms deals, most notable was the deep discounts offered on high-end shotguns like the Benelli SuperNova, which was only $369.97 after $130 in Black Friday savings. Mossberg's popular 935 Turkey/Waterfowl combo 12-gauge – normally priced around $650 depending on the retailer – was $200 off.
Dunham's Sports ran an early-bird special from 5:00 a.m. to 2 p.m. offering opportunities to “get huge deals from 30% to 60%.” Among bigger-ticket items, early bird deals included a Tucson/Cisco Billiard Table Combo, $199.99 (wkd. price, $299; reg. price, $450); Challenger II Hockey Table, $199, (wkd. price, $299; reg. price, $450), and an 860 Competitor Treadmill $549.99, (wkd. price, $799.99; reg. price, $1,300). The early-bird promotion also included “Buy 1, Get One Free” offers on Nike men's locker room hood and pants as well as men's NCAA tackle twill hood. Some unique offerings included a 7″ portable digital TV, $89.99 with rebate; a Pocket Mod Euro-style scooter, $189.99; a stainless steel grill, $199.99; and a Snuggie, $11.99.
Gander Mountain ran a Black Friday special from 6 a.m. to noon. Deals included Carhartt Jacket, $39.99 (reg. price, $74.99); Pelican Pursuit 80 DLX Kayak, $149.99 (reg. price, $299.99); Crickett 22 LR Single Shot Bolt Action Rifle, $116.99 (reg. price, $149.99); and TomTom GO 630, $169.99 (reg. price, $299.99.) The company was also open from 3:00 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving and offered a $20 cash card with every $100 purchase during the day. Early-morning specials were also held on Saturday and Sunday.
MC Sports ran its “Early Bird Sale” from 5:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. A big focus was on a “10 Gifts Under $10″ promotion. The sale included Wilson NCAA composite leather footballs, a Soft Air USA Colt Double Eagle Handgun, Sports Stuff 48” Snowtube, and a Halex 3-in-1 Disc Golf Starter Set – all priced at $9.98. EB specials also included a Harvard Double Shoot-Out Basketball Game, $79.98 (wkd. price, $119.99; reg. price, $199.99); Pro-Form iSeries 980 Trainer Treadmill, $499.98 (wkd. price, $799.99; reg. price, $1,599); Everlast 70lb. Boxing Kit, $49.98 (wkd. price, $69.99; reg. price $139.99); and adidas fleece hoodie, $19.99 (wkd. price, $29.98; reg. price, $39.99).
Modell's offered a special coupon for three deals from 5 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday. The 8-hour deals included 33% off any one regular priced team apparel item, 33% off any one regular priced footwear item, and 33% off any one regular priced sporting goods item. The coupons excluded Under Armour product, Nike Hero products (Air Jordan, Shox, Air Jordans & LE), Timberland men's 6″ premium boots, Skechers Shape-Ups, Reebok EasyTone and New Era On-Field fitted headwear. Other early-bird deals 50% off all men's Nike fleece; 50% off Nike Pro Thermal Cold Weather mock or leggings; Timberland men's 6″ Classics, $60 (reg. price, $109.99); and a free 80 lb. Heavy Bag Kit with a purchase of a $99.99 Heavy Bag Stand. Although several footwear styles were discounted 50% over the weekend, Modell's also offered an overall coupon for 25% off any footwear item over the three-day weekend. The same items noted in the early-bird coupon were excluded.
Olympia Sports had a 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. early-bird special on Friday with a heavy emphasis on “while supplies last.” EB specials included Columbia men's Hartford Ridge Parka or women Arctic Trellis Parka, $79.99 (a $110 saving); 50% off both Timberland 6″ Basic Boot and Timberland Conway Trail Mid; 50% off Majestic team-licensed Therma Jacket, and 40% off a Razor Ripstick. A number of “Buy 1 Get 1 for 99 cents” promotions were being offered on flannel and micro fleece PJ pants, all winter hats, all winter gloves and mittens, and Champion fleece and crews. A coupon for 20% off any one item was available for the whole weekend.
Sport Chalet opened at 5:00 a.m. with a major focus on “Friday Only” deals rather than early-bird deals. Among the one-day promotions, 30% off Nike and adidas athletic apparel, 30% off Timex watches, 30% off Ripzone and Powder Room outerwear, and 50% off a men's Covert snowboard. Other prominent deals under the Friday-only promotion included Asics GEL-Kayano 15, $99.97 (off $40); Nike Zoom Structure Triax, $59.97 (off $40); and Burton men's Phantom Jacket, $79.97 (off $80). Among bigger ticket items, Magellan Triton 500 GPS went for $139.97 (off $110); and a Garmin 60 CSX Handheld Mapping GPS, $269.97 (off $130). Customers also received a $25 cash card for spending $100 or more during the day. For the rest of weekend, most prices were adjusted slightly higher. For instance, most 30% deals became 25% discounts.
Sports Authority opened at 5:00 a.m. with the first 80 people at each store receiving a Bonus Bucks Card worth $10 to $500. Early bird deals at each store from 5:00 a.m. to 3 p.m. included “Buy 1, Get 1 50% Off” its entire stock of footwear, as well as its entire socks assortment. Among the bigger ticket items, doorbuster specials included a BodyFit Elliptical Trainer, $239 (reg. price, $449.99); Stack-On 24 Gun Safe, $449.99 (reg. price, $649.99); and Classic Boulder Soccer Table, $119.99 (reg. price, $299.99).