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Black Friday every weekend?

Sears and Target are pushing holiday sales early. But are they risking shopper burnout?

By Karen Datko Oct 28, 2010 1:56PM

This post comes from Melinda Fulmer of MSN Money.


Will anyone care when Black Friday finally rolls around? It seems every retailer is pushing up its sale calendar, promoting early Black Friday deals or limited-time-only doorbuster specials.


Retailing giant Sears, emboldened by the success of its "Black Friday Now" sale last November, has nudged Halloween aside and moved its holiday kickoff up to Oct. 29.

Target has announced it is offering its own four-day Thanksgiving sale with discounts and coupons on 170 items starting the Sunday before Turkey Day, as well as a one-day online-only Thanksgiving Day sale.


Will these sales be rich enough to keep people from camping out on Nov. 26? Probably not, says Brad Olson, operator of, who has been publishing leaked Black Friday ads for years.


"They may pick up one or two things at these pre-sales," he said. "Most (people) are still expecting the best deals to be on Black Friday." Post continues after video.

Indeed, one look at Sears' "doorbuster specials" between 9 a.m. and noon this weekend doesn't elicit much more than a yawn:

Black Friday discounts are much steeper than 20%. Sears, Olson says, is just "trying to use Black Friday-related terminology to hype up a 'normal' sale."


Sears officials say the early sales are intended to get people to use their layaway and payment plans. They, of course, contend there are good deals to be had on each of its weekend sales -- from "Black Friday Now" to "Real Deals Now" to "Wow Now" to the last-minute "Christmas Now."


Its not-yet-leaked Black Friday ad will carry some very strategic and "aggressive" discounts, promises Sears spokeswoman Natalie Norris-Howser.


They had better be hot, or jaded shoppers might decide to sit this one out, or cut back on some of their stops. With four more weeks to go, will Black Friday fatigue set in?


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