PhotoWith the turn of the calendar, the countdown to Black Friday is underway.

Amazon is one of the first retailers out of the gate, announcing today that its Black Friday Deals Store is open for business. As part of its promotion, it is introducing new ways for customers to shop and outlining exclusive entertainment options.

The deals store will feature four gift guides this year, along with a toy catalog delivered to consumer's Kindle. The ebook, "A Holiday of Play," provides a rundown on the top toy picks for kids.

As for entertainment, Amazon has secured the rights to stream the Frank Capra classic, "It's a Wonderful Life" on Prime Video. For a number of years, the film was in the public domain and shown constantly on broadcast television during the holidays. The film is once again under copyright and has been subject to limited showings ever since.

More same-day delivery options

Amazon says it's increasing the number of items Prime members can get the same day they order. This year, Prime members can select from more than three million items with free same-day delivery.

At the same time, two-hour delivery from local Whole Foods Market stores is now available in more than 60 cities. And Alexa will instruct holiday chefs on the best way to prepare a Butterball turkey.

Amazon will even deliver real Christmas trees this year. Shoppers can select from 10- to 14-inch Charlie Brown Christmas Trees, which are available now, to the six to seven-foot Fraser firs, balsam firs, and Black Hills spruces. If the tree costs over $25, shipping is free.

Amazon joins Walmart and Target, rivals that recently outlined their offerings for holiday shoppers. This week, Walmart announced it would deploy roving checkout cashiers throughout the store so customers wouldn't have to stand in line.

Last week, Target announced it is offering same-day delivery through Shipt in hundreds of markets in 46 states while expanding its Drive Up service to nearly 1,000 stores.


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