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Black Friday, all month

I’m seeing references to Black Friday almost every day. They come by e-mail. I see them on television. I see ads in the newspaper and ads in my snail-mailbox.

It wasn’t long ago that Black Friday referred to the Friday after Thanksgiving. It symbolically marked the day when their accounting books moved from "red" (as in losses, in red ink) to "black" (as in profits, in black ink). It was the start to the holiday shopping season and rife with remarkable deals: things like televisions for the price of radios or computers for the price of calculators.

Yes, the lines are long since merchants traditionally carry only a very limited number of those super-duper deal items. They count on the crowds to snap up the deals and stay to spend a few bucks on other holiday gifts.

But Black Friday is starting earlier and earlier. With the economy struggling, the merchants need shoppers. Holiday spending was down last year and 2009 forecasts look grim. The Wall Street Journal today did a story about the monthlong Black Friday phenomenon (http://bit.ly/4oqMcI).
The story predicts a 3 percent drop in spending compared with 2008 holiday spending.

For those planning their Black Friday adventure (the actual Black Friday, Nov. 27), take heart — the Web has plenty of valuable information. Check out Black Friday Info (http://www.blackfriday.info/)

It’s a perfect place to do research before hitting the pavement on the day after Turkey Day, with information on sales, including items and prices.

Other sites worth watching:

The Official Black Friday site (http://www.theblackfriday.com/). I’m not sure what makes it “official,” but it’s loaded with information.

Black-Friday.net (http://www.black-friday.net/). More information on the ultimate sale day.

I plan to take advantage of Cyber Monday. That’s the Monday following Thanksgiving, when the deals head to the Web. Free shipping and great deals figure to be commonplace in cyberspace this year.

I’ll have more on 2009 holiday shopping predictions in my column this weekend.

Happy Thanksgiving.

 

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