Holiday season starts earlier than ever

Retailers are already slashing prices and extending hours in an effort to boost what's expected to be a slow holiday season. Sears began Black Friday before Halloween, Kohl's is keeping stores open until midnight on Saturdays and Wal-Mart's toy prices keep falling, as merchants seek to attract budget-squeezed consumers. "Nobody's had very spectacular sales all year," said Britt Beemer, CEO of America's Research Group. "Everybody is figuring out their way to get their slice of the pie."

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