Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Black Friday deals could mean a blue Christmas

Retailers have baited their hooks with tempting after-Thanksgiving sales, but the question is whether consumers will bite.
With Americans worried about the economy, their investments, home values and jobs, many aren’t in much of a buying mood this holiday season. But stores like Best Buy and Wal-Mart hope to change their minds with one word: doorbuster.
Doorbusters are those super low-priced items, available in limited quantities, at early-bird sales. They get their name from the mobs of crazed shoppers who practically bust down doors to get inside a store to grab bargains when it opens.
Here’s a snapshot of what’s hot in electronics at this year’s early-bird doorbuster sales on Black Friday, the traditional kickoff to the annual Christmas shopping season:
  • Blu-ray Disc players and movies: With Blu-ray Disc now established as the high-definition successor to the DVD, consumer electronics manufacturers and Hollywood studios are driving down prices to encourage mass market adoption of the blue-laser format. Wal-Mart is selling a Magnavox Blu-ray Disc player on Black Friday for $128. (A year ago, the cheapest Blu-ray Disc players were about $300.) Wal-Mart also is selling a Samsung Blu-ray player for $199. Plus, the discount chain is selling several Blu-ray movies for $15 each, including “Iron Man” and “Transformers.” (Blu-ray Disc movies usually cost $20 to $40.)
  • HDTVs: Retailers are sitting on a glut of flat-panel LCD and plasma high-definition televisions ordered before the economy turned south. Add to that struggling and bankrupt retailers like Circuit City and Tweeter liquidating inventory and forcing other retailers to drop prices to stay competitive. For more details, read the article in Investor’s Business Daily. Wal-Mart is selling a Samsung 50-inch plasma HDTV for $798 and a Polaroid 42-inch widescreen 1080p LCD HDTV for $598.
  • Portable GPS navigation systems: Faced with competition from GPS-enabled smart phones and factory-installed car navigation systems, portable navi device sellers like Garmin and TomTom are breaking the $100 price barrier. Wal-Mart is selling a Garmin Nuvi 200 with 3.5-inch display for $97. RadioShack is offering a TomTom One 125 with a 3.5-inch screen for $99.99.
Low-cost notebook PCs and video game system bundles also are popular doorbuster deals this year.
For more deals, check out:

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