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Apple Black Friday Store Promotion Enthusiastic, Cyber Monday Online Sale Perfunctory

The folks at Apple don't like to discount their products, but they proved willing to entice Black Friday crowds at that the mall with widely ranging promotions even if they teased more than appeased Cyber Monday online shoppers.

Discounts for Black Friday, distributed in an email blast to enthusiasts and past customers, generally fell in the 10 percent range. Yet, surprisingly for Apple, its usually laid back stores made a Black Friday fuss. A gauntlet of red-shirted employees handed out flyers to consumers who approached the store, while a host of waiting staffers immediately provided a "Can I help you?" to whoever stepped inside. Even in the mall lobby in front of one store in Garden City, N.Y., Apple employees wandered alertly to engage any passer buy who stopped to ponder the commotion.

The flyer provided those who dared the gauntlet a range of bargains, including MacBook Pro laptops for $1,098 to $2,448. While they flyer didn't say how much of a bargain the price represented, it must be good given all the enthusiasm surrounding it, right? Online a couple of days later, MacBook Pro computers, with no sign of a discount attached, ran from $1,199 to $2,499. Yet, not all the flyer discounts were quite so modest. Beats headphones from Dr. Dre started at $128 on Black Friday, the brochure relates. At the cyber Apple Store a couple of days later, prices for the line were $179.95 and up, so the $128 deal represented almost a 30 percent savings.

On Cyber Monday, upper end Monster Beat headphones, regularly $299.95 were only 10 percent off. Accessories were the focus of online Apple Cyber Monday promotions rather than hardware and the bargains were consistently modest. Apple might not have been worried about traffic on that particular occasion, recognizing that its Internet store was bound to get browsed the day long. Still, it's a little ironic that a computer company unleashed some of its better deals for consumers who were using their feet to shop on Black Friday rather than their flying, keyboard-stroking fingers on Cyber Monday.

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