By Betsy Vereckey, AP Retail Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — You may want to check Facebook and Twitter before heading to the mall the day after Thanksgiving.
Office supplies chain Staples Inc. this week used social media to advertise price cuts of nearly 50% for Nov. 27 on certain laptops, GPS devices and computer monitors, and still other merchants are expected to follow suit.
Dan de Grandpre, editor-in-chief of dealnews.com, said retailers are smart to use social networking sites because shoppers probably will stick around as followers of the company even after the sale.
"Twitter and Facebook are now major ways to disseminate information," Grandpre said.
One in five shoppers plans to use the sites in their holiday shopping this season, according to Deloitte Research.
Hundreds of Black Friday bargains from retailers such as diverse as OfficeMax and Old Navy already are being leaked on deal sites, even though the big sales blitz is still a couple weeks away.
And the fun won't end Nov. 27, traditionally seen as the day that the holiday shopping season launches.
After that, an iPhone application from dealnews.com that now tracks Black Friday deals, for instance, will show sales for the following Monday, now known as Cyber Monday because it's the first weekday after the Thanksgiving weekend and many consumers shop from their desks that day.