Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Black Friday Sales Now to Extend All Week Long; Not Everybody Wants to Wait; Some Online Ads Already Out

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Black Friday Sales Now to Extend All Week Long; Not Everybody Wants to Wait; Some Online Ads Already Out

Article excerpt

Byline: Roger Bull

Black Friday is two weeks away, but the buzz has begun and the hype is happening. A 40-inch HDTV for $119! A 50-incher for $199!

Many of the big-box stores, including Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Sears and Target, released their Black Friday ads online this week. But as the holiday season starts earlier and earlier each year, Black Friday has become a full week.

Target and Wal-Mart already held one-day sales this week. And Wal-Mart is stretching its Black Friday sale into a five-day event.

For the first time, Target will make some of its deals available online and in stores Wednesday, Nov. 26, the day before Thanksgiving.

"Not everyone wants to wait until Black Friday to start shopping," Kathee Tesija, Target's chief merchandising and supply chain officer, told The Associated Press. "They like to spread their shopping over the holiday shopping season."

Then, when the store opens at 6 p.m. Thanksgiving, online customers will have the same access to sales as in-store customers.

Early predictions vary on how much the American public will spend this year.

The National Retail Foundation said it expects sales in November and December (not counting autos, gas or restaurant sales) to increase 4.1 percent over 2013 to $616.9 billion. Holiday sales have grown an average of 2.9 percent each year over the past 10 years.

But PricewaterhouseCoopers' annual forecast, based on a survey of more than 2,200 shoppers, is much gloomier. It predicts the average household will drop from $735 last year to $684 this year.

Driving so much of that spending are the slick, brightly colored, multi-paged fliers that each chain puts out to advertise its Black Friday deals. Though some have been released online, they won't show up in print until Thanksgiving Day.

The Times-Union will have at least 72 in its paper that day. …

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