Stores finalize Black Friday preparations

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The Thanksgiving dinner isn't even cooked, but shoppers have already outlined their Black Friday plans.

The countdown is on for deal-seekers as many popular stores will open Thanksgiving night, or early Friday morning, offering shoppers great deals to save money.

For many retailers, today is the calm before the storm, with shelves stocked, just waiting for shoppers to clear them out. According to Dr. Richard Feinberg professor of Retail Management at Purdue, holiday retail sales represent anywhere from 20-50% of total retail sales for a business. Holiday sales are expected to be slightly up from last year, just like the year before.

This year Walmart is hoping an app will give shoppers an edge.

"For each individual location there will be a map that's tailored to that store that shows where items are. So customers can go ahead and start planning now," said Walmart's Ashley Hardie.

Wal-Mart has a one-hour guarantee on their top three electronics doorbusters. That means if you're in the store between 10 and 11 p.m. Thursday, you get a card that can be redeemed later if they run out of the top sale items.

Now we get to the major question, are you really getting the best deals on Black Friday? The answer is mixed. Stores do offer a few really great bargains that you can not get any other time of the year, but not everything in the store is on a sale. Generally, prices will be lowest for merchandise at different times before and after Christmas.

Also, while many consider it the busiest shopping day of the year, it's not. It is among the top five, but the busiest is almost always is the Saturday before Christmas.