Two weeks before Black Friday, Walmart is already preparing and hoping to get shoppers thinking that way as well. In a Thursday (Nov. 9) announcement, Walmart released news that its U.S. stores would be rolling out color-code in-store sections for various types of goods during the Black Friday crush of shoppers, Reuters reported.
The goal of the color-coded Black Friday initiative is to make it easier for customers to visually navigate the store and snap up deals as they become available. Codes can be found in the Walmart Black Friday circular or on store maps, and will include sections for apparel, electronics, toys and other departments.
Black Friday has traditionally been the beginning of the winter holiday shopping season in the U.S. In recent years, though, it has been somewhat eclipsed as demand for both online-based Cyber Monday, in specific, and eCommerce, in general, have risen and damped consumers enthusiasm for hitting the malls before dawn and fighting the deal-hunting crowds.
Though Black Friday has somewhat waned in importance, it does kick off a season that accounts for 40 percent of some retailers' annual sales — meaning making a good showing is a prudent move.
Steve Bratspies, Walmart’s chief merchandising officer, told reporters on a recent conference call the brand is prepared to draw in shoppers this holiday season.
“We know the categories and items customers are looking for, have focused our assortment on those top items, pricing them so we cannot be beat and buying deep to ensure more availability,” Bratspies said.
And, for the digital enthusiasts out there, the online shopping opportunities will still exist this holiday shopping season. Walmart stores will be open all day on Thanksgiving and deals will start online at 12:01 a.m. ET and in-store at 6 p.m. local time.