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Black Friday Already? First Holiday Season Ad "Leaked"

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

It's not even Halloween yet, and we are already hearing about Black Friday -- the infamous day-after-Thanksgiving shopping frenzy. The first Black Friday ad has been "leaked" online.

The term is in quotes and used loosely because it is posted on the Facebook page of discount book retailer Half Price Books.

The ad promises Black Friday shoppers 20% off and a free calendar with $30 purchase, plus coupons with gift card purchases. Not bad, but nothing earth shattering -- Half Price Books has made similar offers in the past.

However, Kathy Doyle Thomas, the company's executive vice president, said discounts of any size are necessary to draw shoppers in. "As retailers we have trained our customers to only come in when we have a big discount."

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Retail experts say with stores offering weekly specials and online sites offering big discounts on a regular basis, Black Friday may not be as important as it once was.

In a recent survey, consulting firm Accenture found that 53% of people said they were unlikely to shop on Black Friday or have not yet decided, compared to 48% last year.

Brad Olson, operator of Gottadeal.com, isn't convinced that Black Friday will go the way of the dinosaurs anytime soon. "You'll still see … better deals on Black Friday than in these weekly sale ads," Olson said.