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The New York Times reports this morning that Wal-Mart will inaugurate the 2007 holiday shopping season by offering “door-buster discounts this Friday, three weeks before they are traditionally unveiled on the day after Thanksgiving.

“The giant discount chain is expected to announce a plan today to sell five major products — like a $350 laptop — beginning at 8 a.m. on Friday in a bold effort to jump start holiday shopping two days after Halloween.”

The move by Wal-Mart seems aimed at getting out in front of its competitors, but the Times suggests that “the pre-Thanksgiving price-cutting underscores how worried the retail industry is about consumer spending this season. With the housing market in a slump and energy prices high, industry analysts expect retail sales in November and December to grow at the slowest rate in five years.”

KC's View:
At first, my reaction to this story was utter amazement that we’ve gotten to the point where we’re talking about holiday shopping before Halloween. I felt the same way the other day when I was in Costco and noticed that they’ve already started putting up decorations and holiday-themed promotions.

But I have to be honest. I’ve already started creating Christmas lists on Amazon, trying to figure out what is going to appeal to which kid this year. So I – like a lot of consumers – have bought into the early holiday buying notion as well…though my goal, as in previous years, is to avoid brick-and-mortar stores as much as possible.