The race to consumers’ wallets is on.
About a week-and-a-half after Target and Macy’s announced their midnight madness plans for Black Friday, the nation’s other retail giant, Walmart, announced its intention to open even earlier.
Walmart said on Thursday it has three Black Friday events planned, highlighted by a 10 p.m. opening on Thanksgiving for customers who want to get their hands on popular toys for the holidays.
“Our customers told us they would rather stay up late to shop than get up early, so we’re going to hold special events on Thanksgiving and Black Friday,” Duncan Mac Naughton, chief merchandising officer, Walmart U.S., said in a statement. “We’ll have this season’s hottest gifts at prices only Walmart can provide. And by sharing our Black Friday specials earlier than ever, we hope to make buying decisions easier for parents working hard to give their families the Christmas they deserve.”
Continuing a trend that has changed in recent years, Walmart also released its Black Friday circular on its website and Facebook. Black Friday catalogues used to be a safeguarded secret. Now, retailers are pushing circulars out even earlier, hoping to accelerate the Black Friday excitement.
Walmart’s Black Friday events will be held at three separate times:
• 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day – Top Toys, Home and Apparel
• Midnight on Black Friday – Electronics
• 8 a.m. Nov. 25 through the weekend – Gifts for the entire family
Customers will also be able to get deals on walmart.com, on Thanksgiving Day, the company said. Walmart is already advertising a special on 46” HDTVs for under $400.
Black Friday has evolved over the years, with retailers now deciding to open earlier for customers who rather not wake up at 3 a.m. to get to stores for a 5 a.m. opening.
Earlier this month, Macy’s cited customers’ “eagerness to shop early for great deals.”
Target based its decision on customers’ heightened awareness for deals in an attempt to save money. “The holidays brings hectic schedules and tight budgets,” the company said in a statement, “so extending store hours and offering lots of additional ways to save makes Target a great choice for affordable, one-stop holiday shopping.”