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Apple and Amazon prepare for holiday shopping season as Black Friday nears

20 Nov 2012
The Apple Store at Covent Garden

With the US holiday shopping season set to officially kick off at the end of the week, retailers are preparing to launch massive sales campaigns.

Apple said that it would be kicking off the season by running a 24-hour "Black Friday" sales campaign on 23 November.

The company said that the sale would cover both its retail and online operations and would be offered all day in both the US and UK. For customers making their purchases in the online Apple Store, the company will offer free shipping on all Black Friday purchases.

Those who stick with the traditional approach and shop at Apple Store retail locations will also receive special services as the company is planning to offer special express checkout services along with special in-store EasyPay options for customers who visit the store with their iOS devices.

Amazon, meanwhile, is devoting the entire week to its holiday shopping kick-off. The company on Monday kicked off a special sale campaign which will include discounted prices on PCs, mobile devices and hardware accessories including storage and peripherals.

"We’re offering customers our widest selection of Black Friday Lightning Deals ever and we’re bringing doorbuster deals to shoppers earlier this year,” said Amazon vice president for consumer electronics Ben Hartman.

"Customers should check our Black Friday Deals Store regularly to find a vast selection of great gifts at great prices. Plus, there is no need to stand in long lines, fight crowds, or brave the cold weather – shop from the convenience of home."

While Black Friday, the day after the US Thanksgiving holiday, has commonly been seen as the biggest day of the year for online shopping, online retailers are also preparing for the "Cyber Monday" rush in which customers returning to work take to online storefronts in search of holiday deals.

Last year, analysts estimated that in the UK alone Cyber Monday purchases climbed by some 18 percent.

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Shaun Nichols

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

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