What is Labor Day and why do we celebrate it?
Labor Day takes place on the first Monday of September, according to the Department of Labor. The federal agency noted Labor Day is a celebration of the “labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers.” The inaugural Labor Day celebration took place on Sept. 2, 1882, in New York City. Nearly two years later, in June 1894, President Grover Clevland signed federal law to honor the day as a national holiday.
When is Labor Day 2020 and when do Labor Day sales start?
Julie Ramhold, a senior staff writer for DealNews.com, previously told NBC News Shopping that Labor Day sales begin on Aug. 24, two weeks before the holiday occurs on Sept. 7. Michael Bonebright, a consumer analyst with DealNews.com, said “the first rule of clearance sales definitely applies to Labor Day: Shop early,” because popular sizes and the best deals will sell out quickly.
Which retailers are offering the best deals during Labor Day?
“Labor Day events are like big rummage sales, so the best offers tend to come from retailers that always have a ton of stock to get rid of,” said Bonebright. He suggested scoping out multi-retailers like Walmart, Best Buy, Home Depot and Lowe’s. Additionally, he noted clearance stores like TJ Maxx and Big Lots are “great choices.” “Set aside some time and just scroll through the pages and pages of items. You’re practically guaranteed to find something you want,” he said.
What to shop during Labor Day sales?
According to Bonebright, your three safest bets for scoring Labor Day sales and deals are on summer clothing, which he noted is “probably the biggest category for Labor Day,” mattresses and large appliances like refrigerators.
Summer clothing: Stock up on summer basics like cotton T-shirts and tank tops along with denim shorts and breezy summer dresses. If you live somewhere humid, like Florida, then you can likely rock these everyday summer wardrobe must-haves throughout the fall and into winter. Bonebright said that retailers will usually include a bonus 20- to 25-percent off coupon on top of clearance items, and noted: “It’s not unusual to see deals like $2 for a T-shirt.” If you live somewhere that experiences the four seasons, then you can use these summer style staples as a base layer under your fall jacket or under your winter thermals.“Any clothing retailer is going to have a great summer clearance sale for Labor Day, but pay particular attention to outdoor retailers like REI. This is the best time of the year to buy rugged clothes for hiking or camping,” he said.
Mattresses: If you’re shopping for a new mattress, then you’re in luck. Bonebright said “you’ll always see mattress sales on patriotic holidays,” including Presidents’ Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day. He said all previously mentioned holidays “have consistent deals from mattress stores (both online and off).” He said these deals and discounts start early at Home Depot and Layla Sleep, so be prepared to browse our current sales coverage to help you stay informed.
Large Appliances: Bonebright advised shopping for large appliances at home improvement stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot for the best sales. While other retailers like Best Buy have similar deals, home improvement stores typically have extra perks like free delivery or they will remove your old appliance for you to help sweeten the deal.
If you’re able to work from home then you’re likely looking to spruce up your at-home office setup. Bonebright said tech — such as a second computer monitor or laptop — is another category to consider, although you may have to wait a while for it to arrive since there is a shortage for these resources. “If you can afford to wait, you’re definitely going to see great deals on tech from Amazon — but it might not ship until later in September,” he said. Bonebright added home office supplies and accessories are discounted at office supply stores. He pointed out Staples is offering 50 percent off office chairs, and you can include a coupon as well.
What to skip shopping right now?
While Labor Day sale deals are tempting, Bonebright said there are three big categories you might want to pass on for the time being:
He said shoppers can anticipate Amazon Prime Day in Q4, so you’re better off waiting until then to score the best deals. While Labor Day travel sales are currently taking place, “this is not the right time to book a vacation. If you do find an offer that’s too tempting to pass up, be sure to book your trip far in advance — like in 2021.” And if you’re into spooky Halloween decor, boots and other fall items, he advised waiting until these products are on clearance during the winter. If you still want to score some fall fashion must-haves that are at a discount right now, and you missed the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, then you’re in luck: Nordstrom is offering up to 60 percent off select fashion and home decor items. Just don’t wait too long — popular items from Uggs, Kate Spade, Gorjana and The North Face sold out quickly during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale event.
What stores are having Labor Day sales right now?
- Allswell is offering 15 percent off its Luxe and Supreme mattresses, 20 percent off everything else (excluding bed frames, toppers and Littles, their baby collection) with code PERFECTROOM through Sept. 8.
- Amazon’s Big Summer Sale is offering up to 50 percent off on shoes, kitchen appliances, tech and more and lasts until Sept. 7.
- BaubleBar is offering more than 50 percent off on select styles, including the Azalea Button Stud Earrings, Pitti Pisa Hoop Earrings, Soraida Pearl Ear Crawlers and Amore Pearl Necklace until Sept. 7.
- Bed Bath & Beyond is offering discounts on home goods, bedding and kitchen appliances and more. Deals include 50 percent off the Hawthorne Curtain Collection, 40 percent off Organic Cotton Duvet Covers, $100 off select Dyson and Shark vacuums, plus more.
- Best Buy is offering discounts on smart TVs and select Surface Laptop models.
- Crane & Canopy is offering up to 70 percent off on bedding, sheets, rugs, and home decor from Sept. 3 to Sept. 7.
- Dermstore is offering 20 percent off skin care, makeup tools and color cosmetics from top brands including Artis, Lorac Cosmetics and Lancer Skincare.
- Everlane is offering up to 50 percent off women’s clothing including rain boots, sweaters, cardigans, skirts, jeans and more.
- EyeBuyDirect is offering 20 percent off frames and 30 percent off lenses with the code LABORDAY through Sept. 7.
- Good American is offering an additional 50 percent off Sale items beginning Sept. 3 and ending Sept. 7.
- Home Depot is offering up to 40 percent off mattresses, 30 percent off with appliance special buys, storage solutions and tools and accessories. Select furniture, home decor and kitchenware are also up to 30 percent off. Small kitchen appliances and select bath items, including linens, are up to 40 percent off. Mattresses are also up to 40 percent off.
- HoMedics is offering 25 percent off site-wide, including air purifiers, UV-sanitizers and humidifiers starting on Sept. 3 and ending on Sept. 8.
- KiwiCo is offering a 15 percent off sitewide discount starting Sept. 2 to Sept. 8 using the code LABORDAY.
- My Sheets Rock is offering 15% off all sheets with code LONGWKND from Sept. 4 to Sept. 7.
- Nike is offering 40 percent off workout clothes and sneakers for men and women, plus accessories and equipment.
- JC Penny is offering up to 60 percent off mattresses and furniture for your bedroom, kitchen and dining plus living room. Home goods including bedding, bath, window, and small kitchen appliances are up to 50 percent off, as well.
- Lowes is offering up to 40 percent off kitchen and home appliances, furniture, tools, home decor and more.
- Lunata Beauty is offering 40 percent off their cordless Flat Iron Styler Plus + until Sept. 7.
- Macy’s is offering up to 50 percent off bed and bath items and Martha Stewart Collection cookware, plus 40 percent off kid’s clothing.
- Molekule is offering up to $100 off Molekule Air and $50 off the Molekule Air Mini. The Molekule Air Mini+ with Particle Sensor Auto Protect is on sale for the first time with a discount of $60.
- Nordstrom is offering up to 60 percent off on thousands of new markdowns for women, men, kids and home and kitchen.
- Old Navy is currently hosting their Pre-Labor Day sale from Aug. 25 to Sept. 3, offering up to 50 percent off store-wide, including activewear and jeans for $15 and dresses for $20. The Gap-owned retailer is also holding their Labor Day sale from Sept. 4 to 7, offering up to 60 percent off everything on the site and in-store, including styles from $6, all active from $16, all jeans from $15, all sweatshirts and hoodies from $20 and more.
- Otterbox is offering 20 percent off coolers, dry bags, dryboxes and more to help you prep for your socially-distanced Labor Day plans.
- Onzie is offering 25 percent off sitewide, including sale items and their face masks from Sept. 6 to 7.
- Paula’s Choice is offering up to 15 percent sitewide from Sept. 3 to 8, including deals on their their highly-popular 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant and Azelaic Acid Booster, plus a free Brightening Mini Duo with code BRIGHT.
- Pura Vida is offering 25 percent off sitewide from Sept. 4 to 7, which includes their Pura Vida x Vera Bradley collab floral face masks, Lover bead bracelets and gem pearl choker.
- Rebecca Minkoff is offering up to 76 percent off all sale items, including women’s fashion and accessories.
- REI is offering up to 40 percent off outdoor gear and clothing until Sept. 7. REI Outlet is offering 20 percent off online only, along with an additional 20 percent off one Rei Outlet item when you use promo code LABORDAY20.
- Shopbop is currently offering up to 60 percent off designer clothing, shoes and accessories, no code required. Brands on sale include For Love & Lemons, Petersyn, Free People, Aje, Farm Rio, Paige and more.
- Skin Store is offering 25 percent off sitewide with the promo code LABOR and will host flash sales on popular skincare brands like Peter Thomas Roth and Dr. Dennis Gross.
- Stila Cosmetics is offering 20 percent off when customers try the product on YouCam, they will get a pop-up code for 20 percent from Aug. 31 to Sept. 30. From Sept. 4 to Sept. 7, Stila is also giving away free deluxe HUGE mascara with any order with code HUGE).
Best Labor Day Sales to shop right now:
Celebrate the long holiday weekend early and host a backyard barbecue complete with your Otterbox cooler, gas grill and smoker. If you want to keep your socially-distanced outdoor time more low-key, consider hosting a picnic in the afternoon and spending the night stargazing with your telescope and binoculars. Either way, this cooler can help keep your drinks cool and quench your thirst for a refreshing rum cocktail, natural wine or any spirits you had delivered. Otterbox says their Venture 65 Cooler can keep ice frozen for up to 16 days. It’s certified bear-resistant when you use their Locking Kit and it comes with Otterbox’s limited lifetime warranty. As a bonus, Otterbox is throwing in their Bottle Opener and Dry Storage Tray, which together is a $40 value.
As long as you’re virtually able to work from home, then you don’t have to sport real pants. Instead, put on a pair of comfortable and stretchy leggings, which are available in three colors: Black Jack, Genteal Soul and Medium Grey. These stylish, high-waisted leggings are size-inclusive, ranging from XS to XXL and feature options for petite, regular and tall women. These affordable leggings also boast 43 5-star reviews.
Lactic acid is a popular type of Alpha Hydroxy Acid or AHA, which does “an amazing job of improving overall texture and tone,” according to Rita Linker, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York. She previously told NBC News Shopping that lactic acid can help reduce the appearance of large pores, age spots and hyperpigmentation. Just remember to reapply sunscreen since lactic acid can cause sun sensitivity. Good Genes is Sunday Riley’s hero product, and features other good-for-you ingredients like lemongrass to boost skin radiance; aloe to soothe and refresh your complexion; and licorice to fade the appearance of dark spots.
Not ready to splurge on a smart bed? Transform your old mattress into a mini staycation at home with a brand new bedding set. This luxurious-looking grey set from Hotel Collection is unisex and has a modern design flair. The comforter is currently 40 percent off and if you use code PREVIEW at checkout, you get an additional 20 percent off your purchase.
Fashion experts previously told NBC News Shopping that mini dresses and puff sleeve dresses are in style for the summer. Even better? This chic white-and-purple floral-print mini dress with long sleeves transitions well into the fall, and even winter depending on how you style the rest of your outfit. For Love & Lemons would look great styled with Veja sneakers or white leather booties on a cozy, fall evening out (styled with your favorite face mask, of course).
Jonathan Bender, author and food expert, considers the Kitchenaid Mixer his go-to for 15 years. “I’ve discovered that whether you’re baking cookies or attempting to eat better after a few months of raiding your pantry, the Kitchen-Aid Artisan Series Stand Mixer deserves a spot on your counter,” he wrote. Bender isn’t the only Kitchenaid customer who likes their 10-speed mixer. It boasts more than 32,000 reviews on Home Depot with an average 4.9-star rating. Additionally, 99 percent of Home Depot customers said they would recommend the mixer.
Kiki Heitkotter, hairstylist to Busy Phillips, Michelle Williams, Reese Witherspoon and Lili Reinhart, previously told NBC News Shopping she “loves” using T3’s “versatile” flat iron on clients. This model features 1.5-inch-wide plates, which makes straightening longer hair less time-consuming. Flat irons can also be used to curl and wave your hair, so you can save money by not purchasing a separate hairtool for added texture.
In our guide to the best air purifiers of 2020, John McKeon, MD and CEO of Allergy Standards told us air purifiers use a process to “deactivate” airborne toxins like pathogens. One of our top-rated picks was the Dyson Pure Humidify + Cool, but that model is still listed at full price ($800). The Dyson TP02 Pure Cool Link Tower is a great alternative, which is HEPA filter-equipped, equips Amazon Alexa compatibility and can be controlled with an app. This Dyson air purifier has a 4.6-star average rating from 803 reviewers on Best Buy. While Amazon and Dyson both sell this model — in different colorways — this option available at Best Buy is the only one with a discount.
An Instant Pot is a brand of pressure cookers or multicookers, and can help when meal prepping a variety of foods including yogurt, rice, eggs, meats and more, according to Brittany Williams, founder and creator of Instant Loss and author of Instant Loss: Eat Real, Lose Weight. She previously told NBC News BETTER: “It’s like a Crock Pot on steroids. You can put everything in there and walk away.” 98 percent of reviewers on Macy’s said they would recommend this six-quart Instant Pot, which is currently 20 percent off and comes with free shipping and handling. The brand also just launched its first ever coffee maker, the Instant Pod.
Harold Lancer, MD, a board-certified dermatologist to Oprah and Beyonce previously told us that spray sunscreen isn’t his favorite sunscreen formula, unless it’s applied to your back. However, If you’re open to trying spray sunscreen, make sure you mist the SPF onto your skin since particles can spread onto your furniture. Fortunately, this lightweight and paraben-free spray sunscreen from Dr. Dennis Gross mists onto your face and body with ease. The formula not only provides full-spectrum SPF 50 coverage, it is also water-resistant for up to 40 minutes of sweating or swimming.
Molekule Air’s cleaning capacity is up to 600 square feet, enough to help purify most studio and one-bedroom apartments in densely-populated cities. According to Molekule, their filter uses their patented technology: photo electrochemical oxidation (PECO). The brand worked with researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory on PECO filters and claimed and their filter removes common gases, bacteria, viruses and mold in the air. If you’re willing to invest in an air purifier but not quite ready to spend $600, consider relatively compact options from the brand instead: Molekule Air Mini and Molekule Air Mini+ with Particle Sensor Auto Protect are both at a discount.
Experts agreed that you should rock sunglasses while outdoors in our guide to the best sunglasses for men and women. Ashley Brissette, MD, a cornea specialist and assistant professor of ophthalmology at Weill Cornell Medicine, previously said trendy, smaller frames aren’t the best for protection. Instead, she recommends shopping for larger styles, such as wrap-around or oversized frames and considering darker tinted lenses. These over-sized Balenciaga sunglasses with dark lenses are imported from Japan, feature an engraved logo at the temple and are available in Black, a classic, seasonless color.
NBC News Shopping has been covering UV-light sanitizers since January, and the medical experts we consulted say at-home UV sterilizers are not as effective as hospital-grade options. However, Ehsan Ali, MD, of Beverly Hills Concierge Doctor Inc, previously said, he uses light sanitizing devices at home and in the office. “UV light devices are worth purchasing because they are known to be effective and have already been in use pre-COVID for sanitation purposes,” Ali said. A popular option to consider adding to your cart is the Homedics UV-Clean Phone Sanitizer. The brand claimed this model can kill up to 99.9 percent of bacteria and germs within 30 seconds when you turn on the two UV-C LED lights. Homedics said you get up to 70 uses per charge. And don’t feel limited to just cleaning your mobile device. Ali said you can also clean other items ranging from your retainer to wireless ear buds and makeup brushes.
If you’re shopping for a chic, leather bag that’s large enough fit your essentials — tablet, wallet, makeup, face masks and hand sanitizer — then consider the Rebecca Minkoff Bedford Zip Satchel. Satchels are both stylish and practical because they offer versatility — you can carry it as a handle bag or sport it on your shoulders. There are also three exterior pockets, including one with a zip closure to keep your items secure, and five interior pockets to help keep your belongings organized.