Black Friday sales begin early

October 28, 2010 3:31:30 PM PDT
It isn't even Halloween yet, but it's already Christmas at big box stores like Best Buy in Westbury.

With it, come holiday bargains. Open the paper and you'll see Black Friday has arrived - a full month early.

"They want people to come in. People aren't shopping. It's a recession," Lore Cataldo of Levittown said.

"I think the people that run these chains, they're just like you and me. They're as nervous as you and I are," Gary Stempa of Great Neck said.

Analysts call it the Christmas creep. Retailers, trotting out weekend-long door-buster deals that usually wait until the day after Thanksgiving, trying to replicate that Black Friday feeling they think makes people want to shop.

"They've conditioned the consumer to wait for the product to go on sale. Hence, the reason why they're now going out and saying ok we have big sales," retail analyst Marshall Cohen said.

They've already put up the Christmas tree at Roosevelt Field Mall, where Cohen pointed out the sales that look dramatic for this time of the year - 30, 40, even 50 percent.

But Cohen says those deals are often deceptive. Retailers can no longer move merchandise that isn't marked down.

So first, they mark it up.

"The 59 dollar jeans you buy on sale for 39 dollars. Guess what? Three, four, five years ago you were only paying 39 dollars then too," he said. "All they've done is kind of eked the price up and increased the sale down."

You'll be bombarded by sales offers like this every week between now and Christmas, but experts say the sales will only get better between now and then. So be patient, and bear in mind it's never too early to say Seasons greetings.