• The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that some retailers competing directly against Amazon - such as Walmart, Target and Best Buy - “ are coming up with new tricks to maximize sales ahead of Black Friday. Some are offering earlier discounts to attract crowds before competition heats up Thursday, and emphasizing products not available on Amazon. Others are rewarding their most loyal customers or marking store prices lower than those online.”

The story points out that in a recent study done by NPD Group, “Amazon was the top preference for places to begin shopping for the holidays.” In addition, the findings show “that shoppers are making purchases earlier in the season, and more people are feeling fatigue around holiday shopping than in past years, with 41% saying they would rather plan an outing with their family and friends than exchange gifts.”