Web Lifts Holiday Gloom of Retailers

Online shoppers get jump on Black Friday sales, to the delight of merchants
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Nov 23, 2007 10:38 AM CST
A sign offering Internet shopping hangs over shoppers at a Costco Wholesale store in Culver City, Calif.   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Cyberspace may be this year’s favorite holiday destination as shoppers looking for bargains and trying to escape crowds eschew traditional brick-and-mortar malls for a cornucopia of retail opportunities online, reports Reuters. Retailers from Apple to Wal-Mart offered some of their best deals online starting Thursday, trumping the traditional Black Friday shopping madness that starts the day after Thanksgiving.

Among the online biggies: Wal-Mart offered a 47-inch flat-screen TV for $1,298 and Circuit City highlighted a Blu-ray disc player for $400. Retailers, worried rising food and gas prices and the housing crisis may sap holiday spending, are hoping online sales provide a bright spot. Stores offered shoppers cell phone text messages and wake-up calls to get them deals.