Walmart and Target are starting Black Friday earlier and extending it longer, leading the way as retailers attempt to put the early morning stampedes behind them.
Target (NYSE:TGT) begins its 10 Days of Deals promotion on Saturday, Nov. 22 in stores and online. There will be a new discounts on holiday items including electronics, kitchenware and toys. Stores open at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving and will stay open until 11 p.m. on Black Friday.
Walmart (NYSE:WMT) is making availability and simplicity its buzzwords this season, announcing deep inventory on popular items and is making most of the Black Friday deals available online for the first time.
New features should drive more shoppers to download Walmart's mobile app. There's an interactive circular, ratings, reviews, and tutorials on how to use its one-hour guarantee. The one-hour guarantee lets shoppers in designated areas of the store purchase items from 6 to 7 p.m. on Nov. 26., and then either take home the items immediately or pick up in-store before Christmas.
Store maps will highlight the locations of hot products and larger gifts like televisions, tablets, toys, small appliances and kid's clothing. Maps can be viewed on Walmart.com and on the mobile app starting Nov. 17.
Walmart will also extend Black Friday-style deals beyond the day, kicking off a week of discounts on its website as part of its larger holiday strategy.
Walmart began eight weeks of sales the day after Halloween, emphasizing the many digital initiatives developed this year.
The retailer expects more than 210 million visits to its app in November and December, up from 18 million in 2013. It will be the most digitally integrated holiday for Walmart and all retailers, many of whom are making sure that shoppers know about the new and improved omnichannel capabilities.
While these changes don't mark the death of Black Friday—51 percent of shoppers still love Black Friday—large retailers are taking advantage of new technology to deliver the day's deals to shoppers at home, earlier and later than ever before. It's a more measured pace, but not the end of the holiday shopping event.
-See this Target announcement
-Read the Walmart announcement
Starbucks early victim in the War on Christmas
Shoppers will skip Thanksgiving dinner for a deal
REI will be closed on Black Friday
Holiday shoppers want store pickup
Digital holiday sales to increase 16% in 2015