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So soon? First Black Friday ad appears

Will we all be burned out by the time stores open their doors Nov. 26?

By Karen Datko Oct 15, 2010 2:45PM

This post comes from Melinda Fulmer of MSN Money.

 

More than two weeks before Halloween, the first Black Friday ad of the season has tiptoed in -- from Dallas discount book retailer Half Price Books.

 

"Leaked" unceremoniously on the retailer's Facebook page, the ad promises early-bird shoppers 20% off and a free calendar with $30 purchase, plus coupons with gift card purchases. It's not exactly exciting -- and it's similar to what this retailer has done in the past -- but then the books are already heavily discounted to begin with.

Even if the books are $3.98, says Kathy Doyle Thomas, HPB's executive vice president, people still expect a big discount on Black Friday, especially after a couple of years of nonstop clearance sales and "Friends and Family" offers. "As retailers we have trained our customers to only come in when we have a big discount," she says.

 

And increasingly those big discounts are coming both before and after Black Friday, making those early morning runs less of a must-do for some consumers.  Post continues after video.

Indeed, in a recent survey, consulting firm Accenture picked up on a growing apathy to Black Friday shopping: More than half of consumers (53%) said they were unlikely to shop on Black Friday or they have not yet decided, versus 48% last year.

 

Is Black Friday fatigue finally setting in? Will we all be burned out by the time stores open their doors Nov. 26 (particularly since the first BF "leak" of the season is a week earlier than last year's)?

 

Maybe, given the round-the-clock discounting last year. First, there were Sears' pre-Black Friday weekend sales, which boasted "door busters" weeks before turkey day. Then, there were post-Black Friday sales, early December sales and last-minute sales, with prices getting progressively lower.

 

"What worries me is that people won't come Black Friday because their experience last year was that there was discounts every week," Thomas says. "They know that retailers are fighting for every shopping dollar and so they will not come early, but wait to the last minute to see if they can get the best deal possible."

 

Indeed, one jaded shopper, "Tinkrbell" is wondering what promotions retailers will be able to pull out of their hats to get her into stores on Black Friday.

 

"I am hoping (BF sales) will be better, as last year didn't really have any 'MUST HAVE' items for me," she said, on Gottadeal's Black Friday forums. "Maybe I'm a little spoiled by previous years' prices and year-round clearance shopping?"

 

Still, says Brad Olson, operator of Gottadeal.com, don't write off Black Friday yet. Even though the sales have been pretty good year-round, there will be some loss leaders that will make hitting the stores (or their websites) worthwhile, such as a Kitchen Aid mixer that's 40% off.

 

"You'll still see … better deals on BF than in these weekly sale ads," Olson says.

 

More from MSN Money:

10Comments
Oct 16, 2010 2:22AM
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I don't understand the concept of going to the stores @ 2 a.m. or such on Black Friday to stand in line for hours for the doors to open only to have a huge crowd shove their way ahead of you!  Or even better shots fired @ people these days!

The sales are not all that great especially when they only have a few of those items in-store.  I figure if the item that I want is there it was meant to be if not I'll go w/something else.

Oct 15, 2010 9:55PM
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I shop on Black Friday, but not at Walmart and the like. I go to a holiday festival where the only crafts/items being sold are handmade. I have made most of the gifts I am giving this year- handmade candles that were remelted/poured from thrift store candles; crocheted scarves, hats, mittens, and toys; and handmade ornaments.
Nov 4, 2010 7:13PM
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Stores have merchandise they need to sell.  We love to shop.  Sales will be fine.    http://www.BlackFridayAds2010.info   just posted the tomorrow deals for Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, etc
Oct 21, 2010 3:02PM
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The madness has begun.  I subscribe to a site that has already sent me the 2010 Harbor Freight ad and the 2010 KMart Toy Book.  Check out www.BlackFridayAds2010.info

Oct 18, 2010 2:33PM
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Black Friday is proof that humans do not learn from experience.  How many times are you going to freeze your butt off at 4 AM for some "hot item" that will be collecting dust next year?   How many times are you going to sit in traffic and fight the mob over some "sale price" that will become the regular price anyway by December 10th?   Let me get trampled to death just so I can get a $100 laptop computer. 
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