TV Bargains Come Early This Year

Retailers and manufacturers are slashing flat-screen television prices more aggressively than usual this holiday season in hopes of avoiding a pileup of inventory.

Wal-Mart Stores, Best Buy and Amazon are touting deals ahead of Black Friday to clear out older and cheaper sets before an anticipated flood of deeper price cuts in coming weeks. "We expect a lot of aggressive pricing" by Black Friday, says television analyst Riddhi Patel of market-research firm iSuppli. "You will see 32-inch value-brand televisions for $199, and regular name brands will be more like $249 and $299." She forecasts that 42-inch higher-end models will fall to $500, and some 55-inch sets with LED backlighting will retail for less than $1,000, half what many cost just last year. The frenzy is being fueled by such top makers as Sony Corp. and Samsung Electronics Co., which are reducing suggested retail prices and sweetening their promotions with such extras as free Blu-ray movie players and 3-D glasses after initially overestimating the American consumer's appetite for pricey features.


TV Bargains Come Early This Year