retail news in context, analysis with attitude

USA Today reports that "more than 30 retailers' ads have already been released - somehow - to deal sites this holiday season. By Tuesday afternoon, sites had already gotten copies of ads for deals starting the day after Thanksgiving for stores including Sports Authority, RadioShack and Kmart." The Friday after Thanksgiving - the traditional beginning of the end-of-year holiday shopping season - is known as Black Friday.

In some cases, the story says, the ads are being leaked without authorization (sometimes prompting the retailers to object). But there also are times when the leaks are unofficial but (likely) sanctioned by top management, which wants to look relevant and take advantage of the buzz that social media can provide once the ads become public.

Meanwhile, Walmart has said that it will make its Black Friday prices available as of 8 pm the evening before, and, as Reuters reports, the retailer will "guarantee that three items will be available that night to people standing in line in its stores between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Thanksgiving, though the items are not among the hottest new gadgets of the year.

"Those shoppers are guaranteed access to an Apple (AAPL.O) iPad 2 16GB with Wi-Fi, a March 2011 version, priced at $399 with a $75 Walmart Gift Card; a 32-inch Emerson 720p LCD TV at $148, $80 below the usual price; and an LG Blu-ray player for $38 that Walmart does not typically sell but said goes for $68 to $79 elsewhere."
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