For years, retailers across America have dubbed today Black Friday, when shoppers descend like locusts on cut-price merchandise to signal the start of the holiday season. But as the New York Times reports, stores have been slashing prices for weeks now, often with little effect. From toys to electronics to luxury fashion, retailers are preparing for the worst season in memory.
At the Saks department store in New York, a $995 Marc Jacobs bag can be had for $248, while Wal-Mart will sell you a jumbo flat-screen TV for under $400. Executives say that the discounting is likely to continue for months, as gluts in inventory force retailers to offer further "doorbusters" to bring in buyers. Discounter TJ Maxx has summed up the sector's gloom with its new slogan: "Every day is Black Friday."