Stores Bring Black Friday to the Web

As retailers gear up for the traditional shop-fest known as Black Friday, they are focusing on the mobs that line up outside stores and — increasingly — on the masses that shop online from home.

Chain stores prefer impulse-purchase-prone store shoppers. Yet sales growth during the busy Thanksgiving weekend more often is coming from Internet shoppers like Melanie Cortese.

Going to Woodbridge Center Mall with her mom on Black Friday was a family tradition for Ms. Cortese, a 37-year-old New Jersey mother of two. But no longer: she plans to go to bed on Thanksgiving night with a laptop nearby and wake up on Back Friday to shop online instead.

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