Bucking the trend of staying open later on Christmas Eve, Walmart is underscoring its decision to close earlier this year by two hours. Walmart offers in-store pickups for online orders through 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve.
It’s a reminder that shoppers need to plan ahead.
In a video announcement given by Judith McKenna, Walmart’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, the move is focused on giving store associates more time with their family.
“Our associates work hard all year to make this holiday season special for our customers, and we truly appreciate what they do every day. We also know that getting home on Christmas Eve to spend time with families is important,” said McKenna. “That’s why, this year, we’ll be closing at 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve.”
The announcement — while not new — comes as Walmart is trying for its last shopping push, trying to make the last days before Christmas count. And it’s doing so by elbowing shoppers into planning ahead, somewhat.
The Arkansas-based retailer announced that shoppers could order a gift or other item on its website as late as 6 p.m. the eve of the eve (Dec. 23) to pick it up in-store at a Walmart Supercenter the next day (Christmas Eve). It’s a move that aims at those truly last-minute procrastinators, while protecting stores from being overwhelmed on Christmas Eve.
Walmart and other retailers know — and have known for years — that shoppers procrastinate. That said, typically they count on those shoppers to make those chaotic purchases.
However, that chaos should be planned accordingly.