Black Friday may be suffering an identity crisis as retailers of all stripes make moves to stretch out the 24-hour period into a ­multiple-day shopping event.

With worries that shoppers are haunted by the weak economy, that online retail will pick up market share and that the traditional five-week shopping period in between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year is truncated to a four-week period, music merchants went into proactive mode and have begun pre-Black Friday sales as early as the week before.

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