Today officially kicks-off "pre-Black Friday Friday." Eager shoppers are already lining up at stores today, a full week ahead of Black Friday, as retailers get a head start on slashing prices for the holiday shopping frenzy.
According to multiple reports, crowds of customers were spotted at Walmart (NYSE: WMT), Sears (Nasdaq:SHLD), Target (NYSE: TGT), Toys R' Us and Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) stores around the country in order to score doorbuster bargains during pre-Black Friday promos.
"Black Friday is our Super Bowl, and we plan to win," Duncan Mac Naughton, the chief merchandising and marketing officer for Walmart U.S., said in an announcement this week about the store's pre-Black Friday shopping event.
Most of this year's early deals this year are likely in response to the shorter selling period between Thanksgiving and Christmas. This year's shopping season is six days shorter than last year's, so by launching pre-Black Friday deals today, retailers are essentially recouping those days of the shopping season.
While some stores are dropping prices to lure shoppers, others are hosting in-store events to attract early holiday customers in a more understated way. Barnes & Noble is hosting Discovery Friday today, and will offer festive games, activities and giveaways, including a chance for customers to win one of five $1,000 Barnes & Noble shopping sprees offered across the country.
Black Friday competition is also heating up online. In addition to a "Black Friday Week" full of promotions, Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) is currently hosting a shifting array of limited-time pre-Black Friday deals. Additionally, a number of online-only deals will be offered today on Walmart.com, many of which include free shipping.
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