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Labor Day sales outlook: What’s hot? What’s not?

Should you sail into Columbus Day sales?
Posted at 4:18 AM, Aug 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-21 06:56:24-04

DETROIT, Mich. (WXYZ) — Bargain hunters, take note. You may have noticed some Labor Day sales rolling out a little earlier than usual. And there are some other changes this year due to the pandemic.

Yes, Labor Day is about celebrating the American worker, the labor movement, and for many, the unofficial end of summer.

But like so many federal holidays, it’s become a big weekend for bargains.

I asked folks on social media about this.

Cassie Sobelton of Birmingham posted, “I have bought all my patio furniture on labor day weekend! Great sales.”

Richard Hernandez of Lincoln Park is scouting for electronics. I asked him what he wants to buy. He replied, “Hopefully some new head phones.”

Linda Ouimet of Madison Heights wrote, “I desperately need a new mattress and firm pillows.”

When I think of Labor Day Sales, I always think of mattresses.

Is that still the case this year?

“Absolutely, we expect them to be on sale. And probably everybody needs to sleep better right now,” Julie Ramhold said with a smile. Ramhold is a Consumer Analyst with

She said some department stores are expected to have mattresses on sale for 50 to 60-percent off. But warehouse clubs may take up to $1,200 dollars off, depending on the model.

Where are the deepest discounts?

“When it comes to clothing, we’re expecting discounts as high as 70 percent off, which is going to be really nice if you want to refresh your wardrobe,” explained Ramhold.

She expects major markdowns on clothes at stores like:

  • Kohl’s
  • JCPenney
  • Macy’s
  • Eddie Bauer
  • Perry Ellis

For large appliances like washers, dryers, and ranges, Ramhold said The Home Depot and Lowe’s will be the standard go-to retailers with up to 40 percent off select purchases.

This year, the earliest Labor Day sale she spotted was at Omaha Steaks. It fired up Aug. 13.

“They have grilling deals for Labor Day weekend. You can go and get packages of burgers and steaks and brats and things like that,” Ramhold said.

But she predicted that more Labor Day sales will likely kick off around Aug. 24, two weeks before the holiday weekend.

Of course, some of the best deals won’t make a splash until around the actual holiday between Sept. 4 and Sept. 7.

What you probably won’t see on sale this year in September? Ramhold said it's an annual favorite Broadway’s 2-for-1 ticket sale.

With shows postponed until at least January of 2021, bookings are up in the air right now.

Also, Apple has delayed it’s big iPhone 12 release that was slated for September. Because of that, expects the typical “price drops” on the older iPhones to be lagging a little bit, too.