For now it will be business as usual for Walmart (WMT) come Black Friday and the broader holiday season despite the unknown economic impact of Donald Trump's shocking presidency win.
"We are not making any changes to our media or marketing plans [in the wake of the election outcome]," Steve Bratspies, Walmart's U.S. chief merchant told TheStreet on a media call Wednesday to discuss the retailer's Black Friday plans. Bratspies said Walmart will have an "unwavering commitment to price leadership" on the annual kickoff to the holiday shopping. That includes deals online for merchandise starting at 12:01 a.m on Black Friday. Walmart will also have "dozens" of online-only deals that day, which is a slightly different tact than a year ago, he said.
The world's largest retailer is also hooking up employees working on Thanksgiving Day with free dinner and 25% off an entire basket of goods. Walmart's stores will open at 6:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.
Overall, Walmart shared in late October that it will have 400 exclusive toys available this holiday shopping season, about in line with last year. The list of toy exclusives will be headlined by a pricey $398 Disney (DIS) battery-powered car for children to ride around in. In electronics, the number of product exclusives will be slightly greater compared to a year ago.
Meanwhile, Walmart has invested in new Holiday Helpers in its stores to assist customers in finding the shortest lines, open registers if needed, and help with self checkout aisles.
Target (TGT) hasn't made any changes to how it's approaching the holiday season either, said a source close to the matter. The retailer did tweak its media marketing mix in the run-up to Election Day so it's initial holiday ads wouldn't get lost in the sauce, focusing more on social media, movie theaters and select cable TV networks such as the Food Network.
Despite Walmart or Target not making any snap changes to its holiday plans in the wake of Trump's win, doing so to bring out cautious holiday shoppers shouldn't be entirely ruled out.
"I think that weather (if still cooler year over year as predicted) will be the biggest factor impacting retailers' top-line over the next two months. The consumer is still reasonably healthy at the moment so Christmas will definitely come," explained Deutsche Bank analyst Paul Trussell. He cautioned, however, "My only incremental concern is where does consumer sentiment go from here, and I don't really have an answer. Volatility and uncertainty could pull it down, whereas, the other half of the country is perhaps going to be more bullish and optimistic about the future."
David French, the National Retail Federation's senior VP for Government Relations, added that "certainly there is some anxiety out there with respect to consumer confidence."
French said he wasn't aware of any upcoming changes to the National Retail Federation's holiday forecast in light of Trump's win. The trade association projects retail sales in November and December to increase 3.6% to $655.8 billion, well above the 10-year average gain of 2.5%.