The year’s most popular discount shopping event, referring to the Friday after Thanksgiving, is arriving ahead of Halloween this year, with some promotions beginning this week and others throughout November.
Both retailers who have had tepid sales lately (Wal-Mart Stores, Sears) and those with rising sales (Amazon, Target) are pushing the tradition forward in a bid to snag shoppers’ limited money.
Recession-trained customers are also pushing the stores to offer big deals now or risk losing out to competitors, though there is some skepticism about how significant some of the early discounts are.
The first “Black Friday Now” deals at Sears will be available beginning Friday and Saturday.
Amazon’s electronics department will offer sales on items like Blu-ray players and high-definition TVs on Friday, and Toys “R” Us is putting all the items in its 80-page Christmas toy book on sale on Sunday.
Black Friday creep has been around for a while, but analysts say this year breaks new ground: the range of stores offering early discounts is wider, the discounts are steeper and the sale periods longer — in some instances, a full month before the real thing.
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