By Bill Hudson

By Bill Hudson, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The day after Thanksgiving is affectionately known as “Black Friday.” It’s one of the busiest shopping days of the year. But expect to see a lot of those door-busting deals earlier this year, due largely to the recent recession.

Shoppers want to make sure they don’t miss out on what they’re looking for while retailers are trying to avoid getting stuck with unsold inventory.

That’s why in the days before the little goblins are up to their Halloween tricks, it’s the early shoppers who are in for the treats. Stores from Sears to Target to Wal-Mart are all planning to roll out early Black Friday like deals in hopes of attracting crowds early.

Sears Ridgedale manager Dennis Carroll says the store will cater to customers looking for early holiday deals. It put its first circular in newspapers on Thursday morning for a sale that begins Friday, Oct. 29.

Sears will discount items across the board, from toys to big screens to home appliances. They will be featured in its weekly “Black Friday Now” sales circular, all the way up to Thanksgiving.

“It’s all about the shopping pattern changing. It’s really a big, big difference from even three years ago,” said Carroll.

That’s largely because the recent recession conditioned shoppers to buy items only then they’re on sale. Meantime, retailers worry about getting stuck with unsold inventory that will have to be deeply discounted too close to the holidays.

So far, Wal-Mart, Ace Hardware and Sears are already enticing customers with Black Friday-like deals, including Wal-Mart’s online offer of a 50-inch Plasma HDTV for $599. A Shop Vac at Ace will sell for 70 percent off retail, and Sears is offering up a washer-dryer combo at $1,179.

Shoppers like Pam Rykken like what they see.

“I’m looking for more deals, absolutely, and value for my money,” she said.

Expect to see even more stores entice shoppers with early Black Friday deals, not to mention the glut of online deals popping up.

However, retail experts say not to expect to get those huge money-saving, door-buster deals until the real day comes around, the day after Thanksgiving. Online retailers often offer “Cyber Monday” deals the week following Black Friday, as well.

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