Black Friday Sales Start… on Monday?

From advanced email flyers to ahead-of-schedule sales, retailers are enticing bargain-hungry shoppers with early deals.

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TORONTO, ON-Trying to leverage the old adage, “the early bird gets the worm”, Walgreens sends its customers a “Holiday Sneak Peak at Black Friday Deals” email flyer… a week before Black Friday. Best Buy officially announces immediate “Black Friday” pricing on select products… nine days before Black Friday. Sale prices that used to be closely guarded trade secrets – restricted to release on Black Friday only, are now openly distributed through multiple channels – as early as possible.

Coupon website RetailMeNot has launched a full advertising campaign to publicize their compilation of Black Friday coupons, while shipping rate comparison website ShipGooder.com is publicizing their “search engine for shipping rates” to allow consumers to compare prices and send packages more cheaply.

“ShipGooder is well-positioned to help consumers who have just gotten the best shopping deals find a way to get the best shipping deals.” said Franc Vodopivec, President of ShipGooder.

The International Council of Shopping Centers and Goldman Sachs’ Holiday Spending Survey found that 16 percent of respondents expect to begin their shopping on “Black Friday”, an increase from previous years and the previous record of 13 percent in 2006. The study found that consumers planned to spend an average of $543 on gifts – more than in 2008.

“Bargain hunting will continue to be an important element of the consumers’ holiday shopping strategy,” stated Michael Niemira, ICSC’s director of research and chief economist.

“We have been assisting value-seeking consumers and small and medium-sized businesses since our launch in 2007;” said Nancy Chafee, VP of Marketing for ShipGooder, Inc. “Economic cycles have fueled demand for our instant shipping rate comparison service, adding tremendous growth to our visitor base. Our technology efficiently matches shipping service providers to customers who are aggressively searching for ways to be cost-effective.”

Indeed, for many companies this year, “Black Friday” will thankfully refer to a bottom line “in the black”, rather than “in the red”.