Kohl's tries to help customers budget with online wishlists for Black Friday

To lure more traffic on Black Friday, department store chain Kohl's is allowing customers to create their shopping lists online.

Nov. 22-27, shoppers can compare shop, print out ads, prices and photos of items on their Holiday wishlist, the Wisconsin-based chain said in a press release. It would be just like creating a wedding or baby shower registry, and the online list would help shoppers focus on things they need rather than indulge in impulse buying.

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Kohl's chief marketing officer, Julie Gardner, told Bloomberg that the new shopping tool will help shoppers on a tight budget. The company plans to reveal more than 300 early bird specials on kohls.com for what is touted as the most important shopping day of the year.

"In a tough economy for our customers, pre-shopping and planning their shopping are more important than ever because they really have to stretch their budgets," Gardner said. "If we have a list, we stay well within our budget more."

Britt Beemer, chairman of America's Research Group and a consumer behavior and retail expert, says the new offering should bode well for the retailer. Beemer's company predicts sales to be down 2.9% this holiday season.

"I think it's good anytime you get creative in making shoppers' time more efficient," Beemer said in a phone interview. "If this works out, it will be a home run for Kohl's."

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