News Column

Best Buy Revealing Black Friday Deals Early

Nov. 14, 2011

Wendy Lee

best buy logo

Best Buy said on Monday it will reveal more of its Black Friday early-bird deals, in a bid to get shoppers to their stores and website during the Thanksgiving holiday.

Bargains include Verizon's ThunderBolt smartphone for $100, a $300 Samsung laptop and a $200 42-inch LCD Sharp high-definition television, Best Buy revealed on its website.

The Richfield-based retailer's move to reveal some of its best Black Friday deals is a reversal of retailers' long-standing practice of closely guarding doorbuster deals until Thanksgiving, worried that other competitors could match their prices.

But with the prevalence of Black Friday websites that leak store ads early and some stores upping the ante by opening on Thanksgiving day, more and more retailers are voluntarily previewing some of their best Black Friday bargains.

Britt Beemer of America's Research Group says he believes this will help Best Buy compete with discount retailer Wal-Mart, which is opening to offer some deals at 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving. Best Buy is opening at midnight on Black Friday.

Beemer said 40 percent of Best Buy's customers also shop at Wal-Mart.

"They are probably trying to freeze their customers from going anywhere else," Beemer said. Best Buy is "probably worried that Wal-Mart is stealing some of their customers."

Best Buy did not immediately return a call for comment.

Best Buy also said on Monday it will be showing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 and giving out snacks and refreshments for consumers waiting in line at select locations on Black Friday, starting at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving night.

Other retailers, such as Kmart, also revealed Black Friday specials on Monday. Meanwhile, Sears Outlet is telling its customers that if they bring in a Black Friday ad for a competitor prior to Nov. 30, they will match the price if it is the same model, brand and color.

Beemer said at this point, retailers already have their early-bird specials set for Black Friday.

"At this point, everything is planned out," Beemer said. "There is nothing they can do at this point, except kind of stare at each other."

Wendy Lee --612-673-1712



Source: (c) 2011 the Star Tribune (Minneapolis)


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