Ace, Sears Black Friday specials leaked online

Ace Hardware and Sears are among several retailers whose Black Friday deals are being leaked on the Internet.

Traditionally, Black Friday deals meant to lure Christmas shoppers are usually not revealed until the day after Thanksgiving. But sites like black-friday.net, theblackfriday.com and blackfriday.info are leaking the specials now.

Among the deals expected from Ace are a GPS navigation system with 3.5-inch touch screen for $89.99; a Vivitar digital camera for $19.99; and a Black & Decker detail finish sander for $9.99. Sears will slash prices on hundreds of items in categories like electronics, clothing and apparel, digital cameras, cell phones, tires, tools, toys and video games.

Toys''R''Us and Harbor Freight are also among the companies featured.

Some experts have called it a move by retailers to get more customers in the door during what some Wall Street experts are predicting will be the worst Christmas shopping turnout in 20 years. But Ace spokesman Christopher Boniface told HCN that Ace does not give its preprint (circular) files to these Black Friday Web sites, but that they obtain the information through other channels.

“They are not authorized by Ace to publish these ads and, in fact, we have asked them over the past few months to remove the ads from their sites,” he said. “While we see a value in the sites as the sale event gets closer and the ad is complete and final, unfortunately they are posting inaccurate and incomplete ads, and it’s misleading and creates a real consumer disconnect.”

Arecent survey by the National Retail Federation indicates shoppers will spend $466.13 this year on gifts for family this year, down from $469.14 in 2007. The survey says that in total, consumers will spend $832.36 on holiday related shopping, up just 1.9 percent over last year and the lowest increase since the survey started in 2002.

Some consumer experts say the stepped-up competition from retailers for consumer dollars could backfire, as pricing items too low will cut into profits.