1. Free Shipping: It’s no longer an extra. Shoppers expect it.
2. Black Friday doorbusters: Getting earlier and earlier each year. Why even go to sleep?
3. Mobile shopping: Smartphones let shoppers compare prices in the palm of their hands.
4. Pop-up shops: Toys-R Us and FAO Schwarz opened temporary holiday stores in malls.
5. 24/7: For the past four years, Macy’s has opened select stores around the clock through Christmas Eve.
6. Bargains before bites: Select Gap, Old Navy and Sears stores opened on Thanksgiving Day last year.
7. Black Friday deal sites: Websites start leaking Black Friday bargains weeks in advance of circulars.
8. Gift cards: Take the pain out of shopping. And you can buy them everywhere, even at the grocery store.