Black Friday Will Be Big, Despite Lousy Economy, Survey Says

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If you're planning to join the 3 a.m. line of bleary-eyed bargain-hunters on Black Friday, expect a lot of competition for those HDTV sets and gaming consoles.

A new Consumer Reports survey shows that 85 percent of Black Friday shoppers plan to purchase tech gear, up from 70 percent a year ago. The most popular items will be mobile phones, video game systems, flat-panel TVs, MP3 players, and home theater equipment.

Web retailers won't attract more customers this year, the survey says, but shoppers who buy online will spend more. Nearly half of consumers plan to shop on the Web-and about a quarter of those will do so from work. (They're lucky that most businesses don't have an effective plan to stop them from doing so. )

Some shopping trends never change, however. Once again women will handle the bulk of the holiday shopping: 44 percent of females surveyed expect to shop 10 hours or more; but only 30 percent of males plan to put in that much time.

Let's hope turkey-stuffed shoppers will bring along insider tips to get even better deals. After all, scoring a Black Friday bargain is a great way to forget about your sinking 401(k).

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