Following the game plan of Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) , Target Corp. (TGT) , Kohl's (KSS) and others, Walmart Inc. (WMT) plans to start Black Friday early, with big deals, technology-aided shopping and, no doubt, an army of full-and part-time staff.
Despite the holiday's official date of Nov. 23 this year, Walmart is letting shoppers get discounts as early as Thursday, Nov. 8, offering a dozen and a half "Black Friday deals" online. It's going full steam with Black Friday on Nov. 21, a couple of days early. That's similar to strategies used by Amazon, Target and others who offer sneak peeks weeks in advance of the shopping bonanza.
The discount giant is also pushing up the start of it's in-store sale to Thanksgiving day at 6 p.m.
As seen with other retailers, Walmart plans to use app gimmicks, such as setting its Walmart app for phones and tablets to display a map of Black Friday deals as the sales begin.
Customers nationwide are estimated to spend as much as $472 on Black Friday, according to a survey by BlackFriday.com, and Walmart plans nab as much of that cash as possible. Some discounts in the works include 6th generation iPads for $249; Sony PS4 1TB Slim Spider-Man Bundle for $199; the Google Home Hub for $99; the HP 15" Touch Notebook for $259 and 65" TVs for $398.
Online customers who log in early will find additional discounts, such as Sharp 55" Class 4K Ultra HD HDR Smart LED TVs for $299 and Lenovo Ideapad 330s 15.6" laptops for $349.