Target Gets an Early Jump on Cyber Monday

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Target gets an early start on Cyber MondayTarget (TGT) is getting a head start on the biggest online shopping day of the year.

The cheap-chic discounter sent out an email blast on Sept. 26 touting "Cyber Monday in September."

Cyber Monday refers to the Monday after the Black Friday weekend -- the shopping marathon that kicks off the holiday selling season -- when retailers trot out mega-sales and promotions online, and consumers load up their virtual shopping carts.

"Lucky You. These Cyber Monday deals couldn't wait until November. Better hurry," coos's email blast.

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Target's Cyber Week Monday doorbusters, valid until 11:59 p.m., include Mossimo jeans for $16, and a second pair for free; $34.99 for an Epson WorkForce 325 wireless printer, slashed from $99.99; and $74.99 for a KitchenAid Classic 10-piece cookware set, down from $149.99.

Target's Cyber Week prices are valid through Oct. 1.

Some industry watchers are already predicting robust online retail sales this holiday season.

According to Deloitte's holiday retail forecast, issued on Monday, non-store sales -- three-quarters of which are online, with catalogs and interactive TV comprising the rest -- are expected to rise 14% this holiday season, outshining brick-and-mortar sales.

Overall, the accounting and consulting firm forecasts small holiday retail sales gains this season in the 2.5% to 3% range, as the slow economic recovery and uncertainty overseas "are sending shivers through consumers this fall," Deloitte said, in a statement.

And retail sales on Cyber Monday will likely outpace business in 2010, Alison Paul, leader of Deloitte's retail practice, tells DailyFinance.

"The difference [this year] is higher gas and food prices," she says. "Food prices are up 10% to 22%, depending on the commodity."

In turn, more shoppers, who are also time pressed, will opt to shop online, making "Cyber Monday even bigger this holiday season," she says.

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