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Black Friday Deals Get An Even Earlier Start at Walmart

Image: Black Friday Deals Get An Even Earlier Start at Walmart

By Clyde Hughes   |   Tuesday, 12 Nov 2013 11:59 AM

Feeling the pressure from rivals this shorter holiday season, Walmart announced it will hold major sales events at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving, according to USA Today.

USA Today reported that stores are combatting a holiday season that is six days shorter because of a late Thanksgiving and low rates of consumer confidence following the government shutdown.

"We saw even in the last two years, when stores were opening Thursday, they weren't necessarily kicking off their promotions on Thursday — the best deals wouldn't necessarily start at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.," online deal expert Brad Wilson told USA Today. "This really shifts the focus."

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NBC News reported that Walmart plans to push additional sales through social media and its website along with advertised "manager's specials." Those specials, NBC News said, can come on the store's Facebook page where managers can lower prices for an entire category and curate deal maps on its website while shoppers are in the store.

"We're always looking at what's going on in the competitive environment," Duncan Mac Naughton, executive vice president, chief merchandising and marketing officer for Walmart U.S., told NBC News. "Our goal is to have a lot of folks come shop with us at 6 p.m."

Wal-Mart will issue wristbands to shoppers so they can browse the store for other items while waiting for sales to start, according to NBC News.

"Black Friday is our day — our Super Bowl — and we’re ready to prove once again that no one does it better than Wal-Mart," Bill Simon, president and chief executive of Walmart U.S., told the Wall Street Journal's Market Watch in a statement.

Other outlets have upped the ante this holiday season. Market Watch reported that Target announced on Monday that it will open on Thanksgiving Day at 8 p.m., two hours earlier than in 2012. Toys "R" Us jump in Monday as well, announcing that it will open at 5 p.m. that day, noted Market Watch.

"Even though there are people still crazy about Black Friday and willing to camp out, some consumers are weighing whether it's worth going," DealNews.com features director Lindsay Sakraida told USA Today. "It's going to be more of a trend to have stores saying, 'Here's an item that you absolutely will get when you come.'"

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