Sears: Eating Their Young?

Hmmm, it’s still October but the Black Friday madness has started already. Sears has decided to start a “Black Friday Now” campaign that offers “doorbuster” deals every Saturday from now until Christmas. The offers will be available from 7 AM to noon each Saturday, but in honor of Halloween this week the doorbusters will be available starting tomorrow (Friday) at 5 PM.

The company press release does not mention an HDTV products for this week’s deals, but makes a point of mentioning that on November 7 (next week), a 42″ Zenith Plasma TV will be available for $499 instead of the regular $649.99 price. Now, this is a little curious because you can pre-order that deal today online at the Sears site, and not have to wait for November 7.

UPDATE: I opened today’s paper and found a circular from Sears. On the front page, it showed a “Black Friday Now” deal on an LG 42″ 1080p LCD HDTV (42LF11) for $649.99, which is a $50 discount. That price is good from 5 PM Friday to noon on Saturday.

The bottom line here is that once again, the “Black Friday” sales are moving earlier and earlier in the season. Will this help put buyers “in the mood” or just steal sales from that day and move them earlier? My guess is that it’s a zero sum game, and these “pre-sales” are going to come at the expense of reduced revenues on Black Friday. In any case, it’s time to start watching the sales flyers as the retailers start clawing to make any sales that they can.