Retailers search for limit of our desire for holiday deals

Black Friday is starting to get a little gray around the temples.
From early morning "door buster" promotions to stores "leaking" Black Friday deals before the actual day, retailers have sought to whip up as much excitement as they can on what is the traditional start to the holiday shopping season. And now this: Such retailers as Best Buy, Target, and Wal-Mart are opening their doors at midnight on Black Friday or even on Thanksgiving night.
Experts and even some retailers admit that the tactics don't really boost sales and profits the way television footage and newspaper photos of mobs bursting through doors suggest they do. The over-the-top retail frenzy is more defensive in nature: Stores need to open earlier, cut prices deeper, scream promotions louder because they don't want to lose sales to rivals.
"If this was a real day for engagement and sales, then why the [heck] are you opening up earlier and earlier?" said Robert Passikoff, president of Brand Keys, a consumer research firm based in New York.
Retailers, experts say, are running out of tricks to wow tech-savvy, hardened consumers who only want to grab a $200 laptop and a bargain-priced flat-screen television and nothing else. And in their zest to up the ante, retailers seem to be alienating some shoppers unhappy at the prospect of trudging to a Target or Best Buy on Thanksgiving night instead of early Friday morning.

‘Doubtful’ Supercommittee Will Agree, Kyl Says

A member of the congressional supercommittee expressed doubt today that the panel would reach an agreement on a deficit-reduction package by its Nov. 23 deadline.
Senator Jon Kyl called a slimmed-down debt plan rejected this week by Democrats a “last-ditch” effort by Republicans to ensure the panel is able to “at least accomplish something and not come away with a goose egg.”
It’s too late for lawmakers to send new proposals to the Congressional Budget Office to be analyzed for their impact on the deficit, he told reporters.
Kyl, an Arizona Republican, said his colleagues hope that “even at this late date” the committee could put together things that had already been analyzed by the CBO. “I think that’s pretty doubtful at this point but obviously nobody wants to quit until the stroke of midnight,” he said.
The panel has been deadlocked over income-tax increases, with Republicans pushing to permanently extend President George W. Bush’s tax cuts, as well as cuts in politically sensitive entitlement programs such as Medicare.
The deadline for an agreement on how to carve $1.2 trillion out of the budget is Nov. 23, though under the rules a CBO cost estimate of any final plan must be publicly available 48 hours beforehand. There was little sign of urgency today in the mostly empty Capitol. Democratic members of the supercommittee did not meet, while Republicans held a conference call.

‘Not Fair’