Walmart (WMT) will kick off its Black Friday shopping holiday earlier than ever.
Black Friday, viewed as the “Super Bowl of retail,” will start online at 10 p.m. ET on Wednesday, two hours earlier than previous years. Meanwhile, the in-store event will begin at 6 p.m. local time on Thanksgiving Day.
“We really love Black Friday. It is the biggest shopping and the best shopping day of the year,” said Walmart’s chief merchandising officer Steve Bratspies during a phone call with reporters.
To lure customers in-store, Walmart will aim to create a more convenient experience by offering a Black Friday version of its store map in the Walmart app directing shoppers to the location of the top deals. Walmart will also ease some of those holiday checkout lines with its new Check Out With Me associates stationed in departments with handheld devices.
Some of the deals Walmart is already touting include the 65” Class 4K Roku (ROKU) Smart TV for $398 and the Hisense 40” Class 1080p TV for $99.
“The TVs are always a big hit on Black Friday, and I’m really proud of our assortment this year,” Bratspies said.
Other items will include Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone 6 on Straight Talk or Total Wireless for $99, the iPad 6th Generation for $249, a discount of $80, and the Google (GOOGL) Home Hub for $99, a $50 savings.
“We feel like we are advantaged from our inventory position to serve more customers than the competition,” Bratspies said. “That said, I doubt we’ll have a lot of product from the event sitting around midday Friday. Usually, it goes relatively quickly, within the first hour to two hours the majority of it goes. I wouldn’t expect this year to be any different.”
For shoppers arriving at stores between 4 and 6 p.m., Walmart will hand out 4 million cups of coffee from Keurig (KDP) and 2 million Christmas cookies from its bakery.
And for those who can’t wait for Black Friday, Walmart just rolled out 18 deals on its website, including items such as a Sharp 55” Class 4K Ultra HD HDR Smart LED TV for $299, a price drop of $200.99, and a Farberware Oil-Less Fryer for $39, a discount of $10.99. Walmart also published its circulars for deals online and in-store.
Store Associates working on Thanksgiving and Black Friday will be given a free dinner and a 15% discount off an entire basket of goods on a shopping day of their choice, on top of the normal 10% they’re given.
Julia La Roche is a finance reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter. Send tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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