Judging from the fliers in The Breeze Tuesday, "Black Friday" got an early start this year with pre-Thanksgiving Day hours-long specials, door busters and one-day sales at big box stores like Toys R Us.
Bargain hunters can expect an extension to the heavy discount days as well: Retailers are counting on "Cyber Monday" to kick off a healthy round of on-line purchases for those who didn't want to line up in the wee hours and fight the Black Friday crowds at the stores.
Count us among the shoppers considering value.
In today's economy, we've all become more price conscious and are hoping to fill gift lists without breaking the bank.
With Belk, Kohl's, JC Penny, Sears, Beall's, Wal-Mart, Target and more, there's ample opportunity to do that this side of the river this year.
But bargains aren't limited to the major retailers.
Savvy quality-first shoppers and penny-pinchers alike know you can find much of what you're looking for in the locally owned specialty shops and independent franchises scattered through the city's downtown and the numerous small shopping plazas.
If you haven't browsed the Cape's vast retail marketplace, we urge you to do so this year.
Consider what the Cape has to offer this holiday season: Ornaments and collectibles. Cookies, pastries and holiday breads. Special ingredients for once-a-year dishes, deli delights, and jars and tins for hand-made gift baskets. Holiday sweaters, cocktail dresses and heirloom-potential baby garb. One-of-a-kind jewelry, pricey and not.
Cape Coral's small retailers offer a virtual treasure trove of the unique and what's special without the madness of crowds, lines, traffic, tolls and gas money most of us can ill afford to waste this year.
There are a lot of shopping options out there and prices have rarely been more competitive.
Enjoy your search for the perfect gift.
Only 25 more shopping days to Christmas.
- Breeze editorial