Walmart is revving up its marketing presence during the Thanksgiving Day NFL broadcasts to lure more customers into stores for Black Friday deals. Typically, Walmart has been conservative with its NFL advertising on Thanksgiving due to budget restrictions and the high cost of ad space during the football games. This year, however, the retailer is planning to spend more to publicize its deals just in time for the Thanksgiving weekend shopping frenzy.
"We're doing more with the NFL around Black Friday than we've ever done," Walmart U.S. CMO Stephen Quinn told Advertising Age. "I don't know why we didn't figure it out sooner."
Quinn also suggested that the move may also be an effort to boost employee enthusiasm about the retailer's offerings for Black Friday. This "kill two birds with one stone" approach becomes effective for not only consumers looking for deals, but also for Walmart store managers looking to educate and excite store associates for Black Friday shopping.
"When you have 1.5 million associates, it blows things out to a whole different world of impact," Quinn said. "What we've found is that [NFL advertising] also works with our associates, so it has a magnifying effect."
Walmart's marketing strategy may turn out to be a wise one considering this year's Black Friday projections are somewhat bleak in contrast to previous years. According to the Chicago-based analytics firm, general merchandise sales are expected to increase by 2.4 percent in November and December, compared with 3.4 percent and 3.8 percent increases in the three previous years. That makes it the smallest increase since 2009. Furthermore, there will only be 25 days between Black Friday and Christmas this year, compared to 31 last year, meaning retailers will have to work harder to get holiday shoppers' attention in a shorter amount of time.
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