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amazonAmazon is once again getting a head start on Black Friday.

The Seattle online retail giant today launched a “Black Friday Deals” store nearly a month ahead of one of the busiest annual U.S. shopping days that falls on Nov. 27 this year.

The store is available to anyone, but Prime members will have a 30-minute early access window on more than 30,000 of Amazon’s “Lightning Deals” starting today until Dec. 22.

Here are some of the deals:

  • 30% off Sony XBR55X900C 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD TV with a Blu-ray Player
  • $170 off the Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Digital Camera with 16-50mm Power Zoom Lens
  • 47% off Jaybird X Sport Bluetooth Headphones
  • Optima HD37 Full 3D 1080p 2600 Lumens DLP Home Cinema Projector for less than $800
  • 40% off select Frye shoes, handbags, accessories and luggage/travel for men and women
  • 40% off select toys from top construction brands including K’NEX, Tegu, and Magformer

Last year, Amazon did something similar when it offered thousands of “Lightning Deals” and two “Deals of the Day” every day from Oct. 30 until Dec. 22, but this is the first time Prime members have the 30-minute jump start.

Since October 2014, Amazon has offered Prime members early access to two of its year-round discount services: “Lightning Deals” and MyHabit.com. Prime members pay $99 per year for benefits like free 2-day shipping, free streaming video, and more.

Over the past couple of years, retailers have started extending sales events over an entire week or month, rather than just on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. By getting ahead of Black Friday, Amazon is no doubt trying to lure customers to shop earlier and more often this season — rather than centralizing their purchases on a couple of the most popular shopping days.

This past July, Amazon created its own Black Friday shopping event to celebrate its 20th Anniversary called “Prime Day” that was exclusive to Prime members. Amazon said it sold more units on Prime Day than its biggest Black Friday sale ever, as customers ordered a whopping 34.4 million items at a clip of 398 per second, though many did not seem happy with the deals Amazon offered and questioned the quality of the deals and whether the items were of much value even on sale.

On a related Black Friday note, REI announced last week that it will close its 143 brick-and-mortar stores on Black Friday this month to encourage its employees and customers to get outside.

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