The Floodgates Are Open: The First Black Friday Ad is Here

Black Friday veteran Harbor Freight is the first retailer to leak its ad, while Ace Hardware, Macy's, and GameStop could be next.

Ready or not, Black Friday deals are here. To kick off the holiday season, we have our first sales circular leak courtesy of Black Friday veteran Harbor Freight. This may seem early, but the hardware retailer has actually been unveiling its Black Friday wares in mid-October since 2010. So now that the holiday seal is broken, what else can you expect in the coming days?

More Black Friday 'Leaks' Are on the Horizon

To find out which additional retailers will also be releasing "sneak peeks" at their Black Friday offerings soon, we reviewed historical data about the ads we typically see in October. We found that last year, JCPenney initiated the Black Friday frenzy when it teased shoppers with its in-store snow globe promotion on this exact same day. While not particularly exciting, the snow globe was a JCPenney tradition, which most shoppers welcomed. In 2012, both Harbor Freight and dollar store Fred's commenced the season with ads that debuted on October 12.

In the coming weeks we might also see ads from Ace Hardware and Half Price Books, which have traditionally accompanied Harbor Freight in October. Last year, Macy's, GameStop, and Build-A-Bear also made a move into the October time frame.

But if you're wondering about retail giants like Toys "R" Us, Best Buy, and Walmart, these vendors typically leak their ads in early to mid November.

Black Friday is for DIYers, Too

Harbor Freight's leak, which is debuting a day earlier than its 2013 ad did, consists of deals on items like cordless drill drivers, work benches, and generators with prices ranging from $5 to $550. It's worth noting that this ad is a "leak," so advertised prices may change.

If you prefer confirmed prices, last year Harbor Freight released its official Black Friday ad on November 2. Based on last year's official ad, Harbor Freight is doing more than just hyping the masses, as the retailer is among the top hardware vendors on Black Friday, with meaningful discounts on all things relating to tools.

As always, keep an eye on our features hub for all the latest Black Friday news and posts.

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Louis Ramirez
Contributing Writer

With over a decade of experience covering technology, Louis Ramirez has written for CNET, Laptop, Gizmodo, and various other publications. Follow him on Twitter at @louisramirez.
DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).


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The Harbor Freight ad came out early because those prices are their regular sale prices. Nothing new, or cheaper, than usual.