The holiday season is already shaping up to be highly promotional, with many experts saying the discounts will be even greater than last year. Already, Target has said it will offer free shipping on all purchases made through its website until Dec. 20. Office Depot and OfficeMax entered the ring on Wednesday, when the retailers said that they, too, will kick off Black Friday deals early, beginning Nov. 2.
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The stores are also launching an "Every Monday is Cyber Monday" initiative, offering online deals every Monday from Nov. 3 through Nov. 24.
Additionally, retailers from Kohl's to Macy's are opening their doors at 6 p.m. Thanksgiving Day—two hours earlier than last year.
Retail Metrics President Ken Perkins said that slow foot traffic and unseasonably warm weather during October have already caused retailers to start marking down items. He expects the price reductions will continue into November and December.
"This has in turn forced many mall-based and big box retailers to ratchet up their discounting into the 40-60 percent off range already as we turn the corner and head into what is widely expected to be a very promotional holiday shopping season," he said.