Nov 10, 7:04 PM EST

Target offers early access to Black Friday deals


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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Target is planning to offer Black Friday deals before the Thanksgiving holiday, in its latest move to boost sluggish sales heading into the holiday shopping season.

The retailer launched a one-day online sale Monday that will last until midnight Eastern time with deals that can be picked up at stores only. Target also is giving early access to some of the deals reserved for the holiday kickoff by holding a pre-sale on a handful of Black Friday discounts at stores and online on Nov. 26, the day before Thanksgiving. And on Thanksgiving morning, online customers will have access to discounts before the 6 p.m. store openings.

The moves come after Target said last month that it was eliminating shipping fees for online orders under $50 until Dec. 20. Target said it saw a 30 percent increase in online sales in the first 48 hours of free shipping compared with the prior two weeks.

Last year's holiday season started out fine for Target, but a data theft disclosed the week before Christmas caused shoppers to flee for months. While shoppers have moved beyond the breach, business has remained sluggish.

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