Wal-Mart, Amazon Not Waiting Another Month For Black Friday

Retailers are getting aggressive with their holiday deals — the annual shopping season is set to begin a month ahead of its traditional opening.
Posted at 2:52 PM, Oct 31, 2014

Black Friday is known as the unofficial start to the holiday shopping season.

And the day after Thanksgiving tends to generate famous — or infamous — images of consumer culture. (Video via The Salt Lake Tribune)

Stores have opened earlier and deals have debuted sooner as the years go on to take advantage of that enthusiasm. Now, rather suddenly, it's happening a month earlier than it used to. (Video via Bloomberg)

Amazon announced Friday it will run two Deals of the Day starting Nov. 1, plans to add increasingly frequent discounts through Dec. 22 and plans to give members of its Prime service early access to exclusive savings.

Its special site is online now, with ticking deal clocks on a constantly refreshing range of products.

Wal-Mart, too, is getting in on the early action. The store announced plans to discount 10,000 more items — for 20,000 total — also starting Nov. 1.

It will offer free shipping on its best sellers, and a report in The Wall Street Journal indicates Wal-Mart executives are also considering matching competitors' prices this season — even from the likes of Amazon.

"If you come into a store and you want a TV, for example, you look on your phone and it's cheaper on Amazon. You say, 'Hey, match this price and I'll buy it from you.'"

Office Depot and Office Max start their deals on Nov. 2, with recurring "Cyber Monday" deals every week through November.

And Sears will open up its sales two weeks ahead of the "old" Black Friday.

And it looks like consumers are on board for the rev-ups. PayPal decreed holiday shopping season officially open more than a month ago, going by the annual spike in e-commerce spending it sees on its network.

So you don't have to brave these waters if you don't want to — don't even have to get out of bed, for that matter, with all the online deals. That Halloween sugar crash headache will thank you. (Video via ABC)

This video includes Getty Images.