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Black Friday 2011 Sales Expected to Top $20 Billion

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Over the past several weeks, your trusty Lucky editors have been hard at work compiling the best tips for tackling the so-called Superbowl of Shopping: Black Friday. From five-step strategies to deals you can't afford to miss, it seems our efforts weren't in vain. This coming Friday is likely to be the most lucrative in our country's retail history. As in, ever.

According to Michael McNamara, marketing guru at MasterCard Advisors, Black Friday 2011 carries projected sales of $20.3 billion, which would make November 25 the first-ever $20 billion day the U.S. has ever seen. This is, of course, assuming a national or natural disaster (i.e. blizzard, earthquake or Brangelina divorce announcement) doesn't interfere with all that spending.

So why the uptick? Judging by the most recent polls, 17 percent of consumers plan to brave the stores this Black Friday, up from 11 percent in 2010. Additionally, many stores will be opening their doors to eager shoppers earlier than they have in past years—either just after midnight on Friday morning or even mid-afternoon on Thanksgiving Day. Question is, would you (or anyone) be willing to walk away early from all that delicious Turkey Day grub—not to mention the traditional family bonding time—in favor of amazing shopping?

Wait. Perhaps you shouldn't answer that.

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