Despite the fact that Walmart more or less invented the doorbuster special for Black Friday during the mid-’80s and early ’90s, it seems the nation’s largest physical retailer is deciding to ease off its traditional big push on the first official weekend on holiday shopping.
Walmart will still be opening on Thanksgiving this year at 6 p.m., but they will not be enticing shoppers with supercharged savings this time around. Nope, instead, Walmart will focus its discounting efforts on items that are normally in shoppers’ Black Friday carts. TVs, DVDs and pajamas will see the deep discounts while everything else will be mostly business as usual.
Instead of wrapping their savings around one big day, Walmart is moving to a more holistic approach to holiday deal-making where the savings are spread throughout the season instead of piled up around certain pressure points.
Because customers simply don’t want it, according to Walmart’s executive team. Instead, today’s consumers prefer to shop earlier, save throughout the year and enjoy something like a relaxing run-up to Christmas.
Walmart has also sought to modify their inventory going into the holiday season, with a deeper focus on shopper favorites like video games, televisions (again) and toys. Inventory is something of a sticky wicket this year going into holiday shopping. Retailers were already dealing with a backlog this quarter, a backlog that was then exasperated by unseasonably warm weather that depressed sales, particularly in apparel.
Greg Foran, Walmart’s CEO in the U.S., said he thinks the retailer is prepared as far as inventory goes.
The question is, what will customers do this holiday season? And will they still want their Walmart, even when doorbusters are off the table?
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