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Black Friday 2012: Reports From the Holiday Season Kickoff

DailyFinance's Matt Brownell is covering the Black Friday holiday shopping kickoff, starting Thursday evening. This article will be updated periodically with fresh details from across the country. And if you've got pictures or stories of your own shopping experiences, pass them along for us to share.

Holiday Shopping Alert: The Best Deals Are Ahead

Attention holiday shoppers: Don't feel blue if you missed Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Retail analysts say the best deals are yet to come, with discounts growing deeper as Christmas draws nearer.

Smartphone Elves: 5 Retail Apps for Black Friday

Your Guide to a App-y HolidayThis Black Friday, here are a few things to whet your bargain-hunting "app"-etite: 5 mobile apps designed to help you nab deals during the holiday weekend shopping bonanza.

8 Survival Rules for Black Friday Shoppers

Switch on the TV or open the newspaper today, and you'd think there was only one day a year to get bargains: Black Friday. But if you're not careful, the year's most-hyped shopping day can be filled with traps. Here's how not to get bamboozled.

Occupy Protests: Shop Mom-and-Pop on Black Friday

Occupy protesters want shoppers to occupy something besides door-buster sales and crowded mall parking lots on Black Friday. Some don't want people to shop at all. Others just want to divert shoppers from big chains and giant shopping malls to local mom-and-pops. And while the actions don't appear coordinated, they have similar themes: supporting small businesses while criticizing the day's dedication to conspicuous consumption and the shopping frenzy that fuels big corporations.

5 Things to Watch: From Food Stocks to Black Friday

The holiday shopping season officially kicks off on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Actually, make that during Thanksgiving for some retailers. Here's a rundown of some of the items that will shape this holiday week.

Macy's, Target to Start Black Friday at Midnight

Setting a new holiday shopping tradition, Macy's and Target will swing open their doors at midnight on Black Friday for the first time ever, giving shoppers a jump start on door-buster sales while offering an implicit challenge to their fellow retail brethren to follow suit.

Walmart's Holiday Price-Match Offer Is Just a Gimmick

From Nov. 1 until Christmas, Walmart says it will match prices with its rivals retroactively. Buy now, and if anyone advertises an identical product for a better price, go back to Walmart and claim a refund for the difference. But of course there's a catch -- more than one, in fact.

Black Friday Is Losing Its Luster As a Shopping Event

Here's the scoop on the holiday shopping season: Fewer people will camp out in front of stores before Black Friday this year in hopes of scoring hot deals on the "it" gifts. Instead, they'll use smart phones and tablets to comparison shop for the best prices, according to Accenture's latest survey.

Do You Really Want Walmart on Your Facebook Wall?

Shopping at Walmart is your guilty pleasure, but would you share with your Facebook friends which store in the chain is your very favorite? The world's biggest retailer hopes you will, and it's launching more than 3,500 store-specific Facebook pages to connect shoppers with what's happening in their local aisles.

Analysts: Santa's Bag Will Be Filled With Bargains

Consumers can expect a holiday shopping season heavy on promotional offers as stores offer sweet bargains on all manner of products amid a still-sluggish economy -- good news for buyers of tablet computers, smartphones and video games, all predicted to be big gift items this year.

Target Gets an Early Jump on Cyber Monday

Target is getting a head start on the biggest online shopping day of the year. The cheap-chic discounter sent out an email blast on Sept. 26 touting "Cyber Monday in September." "Lucky You. These Cyber Monday deals couldn't wait until November. Better hurry," coos Target.com.

Holiday Spending Will Rise Despite Fewer Customers

Consumers will spend a bit more this holiday shopping season, but there will be fewer of them in stores, predicts research firm ShopperTrak. It forecasts that national retail sales will rise 3% during November and December compared to the year before, but foot traffic will fall 2.2%.

Toys R Us Releases Hot Toy List for 2011

When it comes time for children both naughty and nice to make their holiday shopping lists and check them twice, they may have a few things in common. Click inside for a peek at why Toys R Us thinks these will be some of the hottest toys of the 2011 holiday season.

Toys R Us Plays Up Exclusives for Holidays

Toys R Us took the wrapping paper off its strategy to "win" this Christmas season, unveiling a raft of exclusive merchandise, such as new toy line Moshi Monsters, based on the online children's game, and a beefed up e-commerce operation to better serve shoppers.

Black Friday coupons and cash rebates

So you missed the doorbusters. No worries. Who wants to cram into a store at dawn or set the alarm for 2 a.m. to get a virtual doorbuster? The best...

Black Friday freebies abound

Forget about getting a deal on Black Friday. There's tons of free stuff to be had! Here are the top freebies I found for Friday, Nov. 27.

Get a...

ING bank offers Black Friday deals

The down side of saving a big chunk of change on Black Friday is that you usually have to spend a lot of money to realize those savings. That's why...