Re: Gymboree, Osh Kosh, Gap, etc
I feel like I need to caution you about buying ahead as it has not worked for me a couple of times (I used to do it every year, didn't work once, decided to try again, didn't work AGAIN!) I am DONE buying ahead except for things that are worn most of the year so I don't have to worry about if it will fit in the right season. (socks, underwear, short sleeve shirts are worn several months here, jeans.... I will not buy long sleeve shirts or shorts ahead any more. I don't normally buy dresses ahead because they might not be the right length or a summery dress may not look right paired with a sweater if it fits at the wrong time of year)
OshKosh, Carter's, and Old Navy all had some really incredible deals last year for Black Friday. The deals started online on Thanksgiving Day, so I ordered on Thanksgiving Day and didn't have to go out on BF and fight the crowds. Granted, not everything was on sale, but I was able to get a lot of stuff for really good prices.
I've been picking up stuff here and there at the consignment store to try to get us by until Thanksgiving... and that's probably how I'll continue to do things. But I realize that may not work everywhere - it is still pretty mild here right now and we have some really warm clothes, so we can manage until the really good sales.
I don't really shop Gap or Gymboree so I don't know what their deals were like for Black Friday.