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Web retailers slug it out as retail open season approaches

Contenders for Christmas number one battle it out

Online electronics stores and IT retailers are engaged in a battle royale as Christmas and the frenzy that is the traditional buying silly season approaches.

Amazon UK this week announced it would be running a Black Friday discounting spree, slashing the cost of popular computing and electronics products by as much as 50 percent and promoting the one-day-only deals throughout next week.

Waterstones is also looking to attract casual shoppers by announcing half price deals for the best-selling books of the year in both paperback and download form. The web will offer the deepest discounts, with both Waterstones and Amazon citing their Twitter feeds and Facebook pages as the place to find out first what deals will be offered.

The adrenaline is also flowing in the more focused PC arena: sites such as Dell are offering cut-price laptops in a bid to secure custom that might otherwise have gone to a rival, while online retailers such as Currys and Dabs have taken hundreds of pounds off the price of big-name laptops, printers, digital cameras and HDTVs.

The battle isn't just for big bucks, though. Online retailers are also engaged in a personal battle – for the title of PC Advisor's online retailer of the year. Over the past 10 weeks PC Advisor readers have been casting their votes for their favoured PC brands and sites, with the battle-ground for the best IT and general online retailer being the most hotly-contested.

With only a couple more weeks left to vote in the second annual PC Advisor Reader Awards Survey, it's neck and neck between some of the IT retailers. Companies such as Dabs.com, eBuyer and Misco – last year's winner – have stiff competition from the likes of Maplin, More Computers, Novatech and Aria.

To have your say about the products and services you rate (and be in with a chance of winning some of the finest gadgets around), head to our dedicated web page.

See also: Christmas 2010 buyers' guide: all-in-one PCs

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