Wal-Mart's 'Black Friday' Comes Early for HD Shoppers - TvTechnology

Wal-Mart's 'Black Friday' Comes Early for HD Shoppers

"Black Friday" arrived on Nov. 3 this year for Wal-Mart . That date was last Friday, but it's usually the Friday after Thanksgiving when stores set their holiday prices for the big selling season. In an attempt to get a leg up on the rest of the retail industry this season, Wal-Mart is offering its own price cuts on
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"Black Friday" arrived on Nov. 3 this year for Wal-Mart. That date was last Friday, but it's usually the Friday after Thanksgiving when stores set their holiday prices for the big selling season.

In an attempt to get a leg up on the rest of the retail industry this season, Wal-Mart is offering its own price cuts on dozens of electronics products, including HD monitors. The earlier-than-expected price slashing closely followed disappointing October sales for Wal-Mart and a somewhat negative outlook for November, according to the Associated Press.

The world's largest retailer's price "rollbacks" will last through Dec. 31 and includes a Panasonic 42-inch HD plasma unit cut $500 to $1,294, and a Polaroid 37-inch LCD HD set reduced by $300 to $997. Some 32-inch LCD HD monitors have been reduced to under $850.

How the early price cuts will affect CE rivals Best Buy and Circuit City (and possibly Target, which has recently juiced up its CE shelves) may not be known until traditional Black Friday comes on Nov. 24.

There are also published reports that Amazon.com will offer Samsung's Blu-ray Disc player for under $740, instead of the unit's more typical $999.

Some analysts are predicting slower sales growth this year for the consumer electronics industry (HD Notebook, Nov. 1, 2006), even as prices for flat-panel TV models drop--with sales of digital still cameras apparently having peaked in recent years, and no hot CE product this season (at least not yet) to stimulate widespread interest.