Black Friday reading

It’s worth remembering that, lousy economy and historic financial crisis notwithstanding, most of us have plenty to be thankful for. So I hope you spend Thursday with people you care about with those things in mind — I plan to.

But on Friday, retailers will get a real sense of how bleak their sales might be this year. Here’s a round-up for small business owners of what to expect and how to prepare for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the weeks ahead.

Action Economics forecasts 2.7% drop in retail sales (excluding autos) this holiday season.

Big retailers are cutting deep.

Focusing on customer service can help small stores compete with discount retailers.

Online sales, while slower, will still grow this year, but customers expect discounts.

Small Business Trends has tips how to get your site in shape for Cyber Monday.

BusinessWeek’s Rob Hof told you three years ago that Cyber Monday was made up by marketers.

The actual busiest Internet shopping day is projected to be Dec. 8 this year, PayPal told me, but others say it’s Dec. 15.

This day is called Green Monday for some reason…can anyone enlighten me?

And Seth Godin’s holiday shopping guide.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.