Amazon.com and Best Buy have joined the growing list of retailers announcing early Black Friday sales promotions for 2009. Many of the deals are available online now, before the morning of Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving.
Other stores continue to roll out previews of their advertisements so shoppers can gear up for deals that will be available this week.
"The sales we're seeing now aren't the same as the sales we are going to see on Black Friday," said Kathy Grannis, media relations manager of the National Retail Federation. "Retailers definitely won't let [consumers] down this year."
Online sales account for 8 percent of total annual retail sales, Grannis said, but she doubts that online deals will take over store deals.
Black Friday is the term used to denote the start of the traditional Christmas shopping season in which retailers go from being in the red (posting losses ) to being in the black (turning profits).
Many stores also have promotions planned for Cyber Monday, which is the Monday after Thanksgiving when retailers offer their best promotions to online shoppers to kick off the holiday season.
For those looking for early Black Friday sales, there are a number of Web sites that post daily updates. including Black Friday @ Gotta Deal, Black Friday Ads, Black-Friday.net and BlackFriday.info
The latest Black Friday deals that we found:
Amazon.com is offering a 60 percent sale on Blu-ray movies starting at $9.99, with a considerable number of Blu-ray titles available for $10. The offer is available through Dec. 31.
Best Buy said last week that it will offer Black Friday pricing on certain models of flat-panel TVs a week early. Available now on BestBuy.com , the featured TVs are 32-inch Dynex LCD HDTV's at $299.99 and 40-inch Dynex 1080p at $499.99.
Best Buy's Black Friday circular is on their site starting today: BestBuy.com. Best Buy has a loyalty program called Reward Zone (RZ). RZ Silver customers can buy some of the doorbusters via phone or receive emails with the latest discounts.
Macy's rolled out its yearly Thanksgiving sale. The hard copy of the ad includes two additional coupon savings, the Macy's "Wow Pass," one with 15 percent off on select items, and the other $10 off any purchase of $25 or more on Friday and Saturday.
Target's Black Friday advertisement has been out for a while. Many of their deals will be on electronics, including a Westinghouse 32-inch LCD HDTV for under $250.
Toys 'R' Us
Toys 'R' Us said last week that its stores will open at midnight Thanksgiving, five hours earlier than ever before.
Beware the Crowds
Walmart is also bringing a week of early savings that Saturday. Black Friday prices are offered on select items such as a 26-inch Vizio HDTV and gaming packages from "Guitar Hero," "Band Hero" and "DJ Hero" with a $40 Walmart gift card.
Walmart also released its highly anticipated Black Friday ad; some of the deals that will be available online at Walmart.com on Black Friday. In addition, Walmart.com added another round of exclusive online deals of Holiday Bundles. The deals include electronics, video games and home items.
If you are going to take advantage of Black Friday sales, then you should expect a crowd. Keep in mind that a worker was trampled to death last year at the opening of a Black Friday sale at a New York Walmart. Although an extreme case, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration released a fact sheet last week that provided crowd-control guidelines for retailers in an effort to take the proper safety precautions for workers.