Black Friday promotions start early online

By Beau Ebenezer

November 1, 2013 Updated Nov 1, 2013 at 10:57 PM CDT

PEORIA Ill -- Why wait until the day after Thanksgiving to begin your holiday shopping, when you can knock it out before the holiday even gets here?

That's what Walmart was thinking when they launched their Black Friday online promotions at the tick of midnight November 1st.

Some think the early start may be triggered by six fewer shopping days because of a late Thanksgiving on November 28th.

But Walmart says it chose to start early due to past spikes of online traffic the day after Halloween.

A statement released by a Walmart representative said that they have already seen a large response to the cyber event.

They also said by saving early, customers can extend their budget further through the season.

Business and economics research professor at Bradley University, Doctor Bernard Goitein said based on a recent study of Central Illinois consumers, the majority of shoppers are ready to shop now.

However, many are concerned with the economic future.

"What they are looking at is the potential for some people who want to do it early, and if it looks like they are in the financial situation to do so," said Goitein. "But don't forget about the others because there are plenty of people postponing it until later to see what kind of things are happening for the economy."

Meanwhile, the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce is hoping the jump-start does not affect their locally operated businesses.

"I mean they are always there. We have large businesses as our members too, and we have the small businesses," said spokesperson with the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce, Rachel O'Connell. "We really try to communicate both, but small business are the heart of our community so we try to promote that as much as we can."

Commerce officials added that they had large success last year with their Small Business Saturday, which falls on the day after Black Friday.

This year, they are aiming to start an online campaign in hopes of holding off shoppers until their special promotions day on November 30th.

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