Are Black Friday deals becoming meaningless?


Black Friday is nearly upon us. Does it matter?

You can’t deny that the day after Thanksgiving has lost something of its luster over the past decade. It’s not always the highest-volume sales day of the year any longer. (Check out this PDF from the International Council of Shopping Centers if you don’t believe me.)

You may have already known that. But are you aware of an even greater change in what’s taking place in the retail world this year?

Retailers are competing even more fiercely online for your business, which means the official “deal season” is being extended to even earlier in the year. Many online sellers now don’t even sweat the whole “Friday” concept of “Black Friday.”

For instance, Dell’s already pushing Black Friday deals, well in advance of the actual date. Some of its marked-down offerings include a Dell SE178WFP Monitor, a Dell V305 All-In-One Printer, a Western Digital 1 TB My Book Home External Hard Drive and a Sharp 42-inch LC42SB45U 1080p LCD HDTV. Other PC and electronics e-tailers are doing the same: Here’s MicroCenter’s deals.

Kmart is likewise carrying a slew of holiday sales — including products with “Black Friday Prices” — on its home page. USB storage figures prominently here.

Everyone’s getting into the action. Costco’s deals (going with the generic “Holiday Savings” theme on these) offer some big savings on GPS units and flat-panel displays.

A local favorite here in Manhattan, J&R Electronics, is also starting early with its Black Friday deals on DVDs and Blu-Ray discs. Here’s your chance to get a legal copy of 1992’s “Sneakers” for $3.99.

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