/>
X
Innovation

Wal-mart preempts Black Friday with HDTV specials this Saturday

Every year, retailers' ads for Black Friday—the day after Thanksgiving and the unofficial starting of the holiday shopping season—manage to leak out a few weeks beforehand (this year being no exception). And every year, said retailers freak out when the ads appear online, perhaps fearing that competitors could change their prices in response.
Written by Sean Portnoy, Contributor on

Every year, retailers' ads for Black Friday—the day after Thanksgiving and the unofficial starting of the holiday shopping season—manage to leak out a few weeks beforehand (this year being no exception). And every year, said retailers freak out when the ads appear online, perhaps fearing that competitors could change their prices in response.

Wal-mart appears to be short-circuiting this annual struggle, offering some pre-Black Friday deals available this Saturday only starting at 8 a.m. While the deal getting the most notoriety is the $199 Xbox 360 Arcade with a $100 gift card, there are a couple of decent HDTV specials as well. First, Wal-mart is selling the Panasonic TC-P46U1 (pictured above), a 1080p plasma, for $788. That's a couple hundred off what the set is selling for on Amazon ($1,099.95), and just $10 more than what the cheapest 1080p 42-inch Panasonic plasma currently costs at JR.com.

If you'd rather go LCD and spend a little less, there's the Sharp LC42SB45UT, a 42-inch 1080p set for $498. It costs around $700 from online retailers, but it does not offer 120Hz refresh rates. Wal-mart is also selling a Sony Blu-ray player for $148, though $99 will be the price point that will really get people jumping for Blu-ray units.

It will be interesting to see if Wal-mart will continue offering these deals before Black Friday, and if they impact the deals the retailing giant offers for the big day itself. The other question: Will other retailers like Best Buy follow suit with some pre-Black Friday specials of their own? I'll keep you posted if they do.

Editorial standards