In an attempt to boost sales early in the week -- and avoid some of the traditional Black Friday mob scenes of earlier years -- several online merchants have begun their Black Friday sales early. Many are dribbling out a few bargains beginning Monday, while others are extending Black Friday sales to cover Thursday as well as Friday.
Amazon kicked off its Black Friday store early in the UK but incurred the wrath of hundreds of shoppers who complained that merchandise for the best sales had run out. In the US, Amazon launched its Black Friday Store on Monday with selected deals. For instance, Cisco's popular Flip MinoHD video camera can be purchased for $99.99. "We see more people choosing to shop online on Black Friday so we’re providing customers killer deals now through Cyber Monday (Nov. 29), and we’re working hard to meet or beat the lowest prices out there," Paul Ryder, Amazon.com's vice president for electronics, said in a statement.
RadioShack, too, is offering sales bargains beginning Monday, presenting them in day-by-day offerings. "By offering hot prices ahead (of) Friday, we have tried to ease the frustration of holiday shopping this season," Scott Young, the company’s executive vice president and chief merchandising officer, said in a statement.
Other firms offering merchandise online include Kohl’s, Best Buy, Macy’s and J.C. Penney, all of which plan to stretch their online offerings over the two-day Thursday-Friday period, according to media reports.
In an effort to make the shopping lives of consumers easier, Consumer Reports has advised shoppers to avoid the disappointment that was often associated with past Black Fridays when advertised bargains disappeared quickly. The magazine recommends that shoppers scope out their purchases first by looking for hot deals online at Fatwallet, Walletpop, Gottadeal and TheBlackFriday.