Best Buy Joining Pre-Black Friday Parade


Minneapolis - Best Buy is offering Black Friday prices on select TVs one week ahead of the Thanksgiving weekend.

The deals, effective today on a pair of private-label Dynex LCDs, and effective Sunday on a several Samsung LCD and plasma panels, follow month-long pre-Black Friday sales events by Sears, Walmart and other CE retailers.

Best Buy dropped the price of its 32-inch Dynex 720p LCD by $80, to $300, and lowered the retail on its 40-inch 1080p model by $50, to $500. Both sets have 60Hz refresh rates.

On Sunday, Nov. 22, the chain will also offer Black Friday sale pricing on several Samsung models, including a 32-inch 720p LCD for $398 and a 50-inch, 720p plasma for $698.

All four offers appeared in Best Buy Black Friday circulars that were leaked online earlier this month.

But despite the pre-holiday hoopla, CE price cuts appear less dramatic than last year. "Promotional activity in the sector remains rational and discounts are actually down ... across most retailers," observed Credit Suisse analyst Gary Balter, based on a review of leaked Black Friday circulars from major CE dealers.

Best Buy's average discount on TVs, for example, is 13 percent vs. 24 percent last year, Balter reported in a research note. That, plus tighter inventory levels and a possible crackdown by several major vendors on online MAP violations, should bode well for dealer margins, he said.


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