Just two days before Wal-Mart reports its much anticipated earnings, the retail giant announced it will pull out all the stops ahead of Black Friday.
This year Wal-Mart is expanding the number of one-hour guaranteed items by seven times that of last year with more special pricing deals that begin at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. The retail giant is one of many stores to already announce deals ahead of Black Friday, including Target, Best Buy, Macy’s and Toys “R” Us.
With this year's six-day shorter holiday shopping season and low rates of consumer confidence following the government shutdown, Wal-Mart is upping its efforts to draw in more customers: offering what experts said were impressive deals and guaranteeing more products to customers in line during the Thursday sales.
"Black Friday is our day – our Super Bowl – and we're ready to prove once again that no one does it better than Walmart," said Bill Simon, president and CEO, Walmart U.S. "We're excited to give our customers an incredible Black Friday with shopping hours that will allow them to take advantage of great prices on Thanksgiving night and all weekend long."
Compared to last year, Walmart will offer 65% more inventory on televisions and double the number of tablets — some of the most popular Black Friday items.
"Delivering for our customers wouldn't be possible without our associates. They are a critical component of our success throughout the year, and especially during the holiday season," said Simon. “This year, as a special thanks, associates who work on Thanksgiving Day will receive a 25% discount on an entire purchase this holiday season."
Wal-Mart said it will also hold some deals back for Black Friday, with featured “Manager Specials” that begin at 8 a.m. that morning.
Analyst have said Black Friday is becoming more of six-day weekend. Duncan Mac Naughton, chief merchandising officer for Walmart U.S., recently promised huge sales supported by a massive ad campaign started with aggressive price rollbacks in October.
“It’s going to be a competitive market, the short timeframe between Thanksgiving and Christmas is giving more importance toward Black Friday,” he said.