Walmart has a surprise for its shoppers this year, it will be offering Black Friday discounts early. Company execs have announced that this Black Friday will be coming on Thursday.
Sales will start at dinnertime on Thanksgiving Day, USA Today reports. Walmart joins Target, Best Buy and Macy's in offering early sales.
The company promises to offer more products on sale on Thursday, since this is a shorter season than usual. There is a six-day decrease in holiday shopping time, and analysts have observed less consumer confidence following the government shutdown.
Two sales events will be held at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Thursday. The latter will include a sale on "manager's specials" on highly sought after products.
"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.," financial deal analyst, Brad Wilson, says.
He also comments on Black Friday turning into a "six-day weekend." According to Duncan Mac Naughton, Walmart's chief merchandising and marketing officer, the company has to keep up with trends.
"Almost everybody is moving at least one hour up. We thought that was the best time to 'win the weekend.' It's going to be a competitive market. With six fewer days to Christmas, Black Friday's going to play an even more important role," he explains.
DealNews.com Features Director Lindsay Sakraida notes that customers will be enticed by deals that are subject to stores running out of stocks.
"Even though there are people still crazy about Black Friday and willing to camp out, some consumers are weighing whether it's worth going. 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,'" Sakraida says.
What do you think that Walmart should do to set itself apart from its competition? Post your answer in the comments box.