Retailers Share Best Black Friday Steals for Holiday Shoppers

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"Do not be confused, retailers want you in their brick and mortar stores," she said. "They want you there so you can spend money on other things. They know people are shopping online, they're going to give some discounts, but the big jaw-droppers are still in the malls."

Amazon.com, which features a countdown clock that shows how long each item is left on sale, is advertising a special Black Friday discount on one of its most popular products: the Kindle e-reader.

"Starting on Black Friday at 9 a.m. Pacific, the Kindle 2 -- the older model, in limited quantity -- is going on sale for $89," Worley said, "and that's a steal."

For Worley, the hottest gadget this year is Microsoft's Kinect gaming system for the XBox 360.

"There's only one deal, anywhere," on the Kinect, both in-stores and online for $30 off the entire system, Worley said.

"It's the must-have item, it might sell out."

Although it's still an uneasy economic climate, many retailers said they're counting on shoppers' experiencing something called "frugality fatigue," meaning they're tired of pinching pennies and have the urge to splurge, if only just a little.

The National Retail Federation has forecast a 2.3 percent increase in sales for November and December, up from 0.4 percent a year before.

One shopper in Chicago said she's "a little optimistic."

"I've been able to save and spend more this year," she said, "but I haven't made up my mind if I'm going to spend more or less."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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