Black Friday has arrived: retailers start Christmas sales

Believe it or not, Black Friday has already begun.

Walmart Inc. is Best Buy Co. They are among the major retailers who have announced Christmas agreements on products such as smart TVs, laptops and high definition gaming consoles on Thursday. Amazon.com Inc. he is also promoting his early Black Friday discounts, while Target Corp. will launch this weekend offers in home decoration and bed linen.

The frenzy shows that the rules are changing as retailers are preparing to compete for what could be the strongest Christmas sales season in recent years, fueled by robust consumer confidence and low unemployment.

Retail sales increased 6.1 percent in the week ending November 3, which provides further boost to US chains offering free shipping and other incentives to capture the first buyers looking for opportunities.

The special factor this year is the disappearance of Toys "R" Us, which recorded sales of 100 billion dollars, according to Target. The bankruptcy of Sears Holding Corp. can create additional opportunities for large retailers.

It is estimated that year-end sales will increase by 5.8 percent this year and exceed one billion dollars for the first time, according to research firm eMarketer.

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving in the United States, traditionally marks the start of the Christmas shopping season.

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