To attract shoppers on Thanksgiving day, Walmart plans to have in-store events on November 22. The retailer plans to offer complimentary cookies and coffee as it offers Black Friday promotions in-store that day and online the night before, CNBC reported.
Walmart U.S. Chief Merchandising Officer Steve Bratspies said, according to the outlet, “We’re trying to allow folks on the East Coast to shop a little earlier. Whether [people] go online or in stores, we’re agnostic to that.” At the same time, Walmart competitors Target, Macy’s and Kohl’s plan to let consumers into their brick-and-mortar stores beginning at 5 p.m. on the holiday. Some retailers, such as J.C. Penney, are allowing shoppers in much earlier, at 2 p.m.
In a survey, Deloitte noted that 44 percent of shoppers plan to start shopping on Black Friday. At the same time, however, 53 percent of them are planning to wait for Cyber Monday. Deloitte’s U.S. Retail and Distribution Team Head Rod Sides said, according to the report, “Online convenience is a way of life for most people, but what a person buys is still influenced by what happens in the store.”
The news comes as Walmart plans to offer digital maps in its stores to guide shoppers to product locations to prepare to take a larger chunk of consumer spending over the holidays. At the same time, the retailer said it would offer speedier checkout, it was reported in October.
Bratspies noted at the time that the company has a level of comfort with its in-stock inventory. Last year, sales had been impacted by inventory as the company brought on more items for the holidays such as gifts, toys and electronics, but it didn’t have sufficient everyday products.
This year, the retailer has updated its website and also plans to have a larger array of electronics, toys and fashion products. At the same time, the retailer has a new feature called “Check out with Me” to enable shoppers to skip the lines at checkouts to make payments within store departments.