Walmart (NYSE:WMT) announced its "New Black Friday," five consecutive days of holiday promotions. The special shopping hours will kick-off at 12:01 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning and lead up to the first in-store event at 6 p.m.
Other bonuses of the New Black Friday include deal-tailored events, the 1-Hour Guarantee, the first-ever circular and crowd management plans.
"Black Friday is no longer about waking up at the crack of dawn to stand in long lines and hope for the best. At Walmart, it has become a family shopping tradition where everyone shops at some point throughout the weekend," said Duncan Mac Naughton, chief merchandising officer, Walmart U.S. "This year, we're blowing it out with five days of deals in-store and online. We'll have crazy low prices on the gifts our customers want."
In its third year, Walmart will deliver the 1-Hour Guarantee in which customers in the designated areas of the store between 6 and 7 p.m. on Nov. 27 can purchase the gift they want and take it home immediately or get it by Christmas. Certain items are available on this list, primarily electronics including televisions, computers and iPads.
Beyond Thanksgiving morning and evening, sales will run between 6 a.m. and noon, Friday through Sunday, with 30 percent off entire categories. Other day-long deals include promotions on tires, wireless diamonds and more. Online sales will begin two days before Cyber Monday and continue throughout the day.
This year Walmart is also introducing an interactive circular on Walmart.com, which offers reviews, buyer's guides, how-to tutorials and other helpful tips. Also online, guests can find interactive store maps that highlight 1-Hour Guarantee items, wristband items and other popular products. Printed copies will be available in-store.
A few weeks ago, the big box retailer announced other holiday plans, including pricing rollbacks on 20,000 items, double the amount of what's offered on a normal day. The company also introduced a "Search My Store" feature within its mobile app to help customers locate products more easily.
Phillip Oaks, VP of merchandising at Walmart e-commerce spoke of the company's "renewed emphasis on customer service," and spoke of the Checkout Promise, a previously announced pledge to make sure every register is open in every store during the busy holiday season.
-See this Walmart press release
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